“History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come at times of urgency when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.” Rarely has Justice Thurgood Marshall’s observation seemed more piercingly true as it applies to our nation’s last five years of harrowing tumult and revelation. Paradoxically, I was reminded of quotation when, out of the blue, I received a letter from the National Rifle Association’s huckstering (and I would have hoped, disgraced) Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. He offered me the NRA’s current sweepstakes “Wall of Guns 12-Gun Prize,” with the possibility of winning not one but all 12 guns of my choice.
Because I’m in my 80s and rely nowadays more on epigrams and quotations than sustained persuasion, I would offer another saying: “A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves.” Terrifyingly, huge swaths of our fellow citizens, a group that, of course, includes publicly elected officeholders, appear to agree with Mr. LaPierre’s belief in arming up and thereby very likely shedding blood. Better to bring all the unremitting pressure we can apply, as caring citizens, to our federal, state and local representatives to have the courage to create and pass legislation to change the monstrous situation in our beloved country today (”FedEx mass shooting: Gunman never appeared before judge under Indiana’s ‘red flag’ law after shotgun confiscated,” April 19).
I should note that our Maryland legislators have done well in passing a limited number of well-conceived and reasonable gun control measures, but I should also note with serious disappointment, that the Biden administration to date is putting forth no more than a perfunctory response to the horrors of the almost daily mass shootings. This must change.
Jane Harrison, Baltimore
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