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Avoiding another Woodlawn shooting requires tougher approach | READER COMMENTARY

A pile of rubble is all that remains of the Parkview Crossing townhome of Everton Brown in Woodlawn. Police shot and killed Brown Saturday, May 8, after he set fire to his townhome then shot four neighbors, killing three of them. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun).
A pile of rubble is all that remains of the Parkview Crossing townhome of Everton Brown in Woodlawn. Police shot and killed Brown Saturday, May 8, after he set fire to his townhome then shot four neighbors, killing three of them. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun). (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun)

It’s past time to step up to the plate, legislators, police authorities and any other officials whose lack of action contributes to horrific episodes like the Woodlawn slayings (”‘Everybody is unsettled’: Woodlawn neighborhood, a destination for those searching for a better life, tries to heal after killings,” May 12). In trying to research the parameters of peace orders, I could find nothing definitive regarding gun ownership. However, this man had multiple complaints against him.

The valiant attempts of neighbors to diminish this individual’s dangerous actions in the past appear to have been rendered impotent by inaction from authorities. Somehow, Baltimore City police were able to confiscate one of his legally owned firearms, but havoc was rendered with the remaining gun. People whose tragedy was simply living in proximity to the gunman cannot simply be considered collateral damage to his obvious mental illness.

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There are countless cases in our state where a legal loophole facilitated murder, including the security guard forced to surrender personal firearms who killed his wife and two others with a gun he was permitted to retain for work (”Man accused of killing 3 in Maryland ordered held without bond,” May 9, 2016). There was the gunman who killed his estranged wife, her teen-aged Mount Airy neighbor and himself, shortly after a protective order against him expired (”Gaithersburg man kills estranged wife and neighbor in Mount Airy, then himself during standoff, police say,” April 2, 2020).

It is not enough to restate the same platitudes about investigating, finding a motive, etc. We need to demand accountability and a mandate from our state and local leaders now. The lassitude regarding all gun violence in Maryland must end.

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Gabrielle Lawrence, Randallstown

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