Cumberland Times-News

March 30, 2013

If you want this, move to Va.

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— The monster who killed the children at Newtown fired 152 bullets in less than five minutes.

The majority of the citizens in this state do not feel that anyone should possess such firepower.

As the majority, we have the right to reasonably regulate access to guns, determine the capacity of magazines and strictly limit open and concealed-carry permits.

No one, not the county sheriff in Colorado, the president or the citizen on the street, has the right to interpret the Constitution as he or she sees fit. That right has been exercised by the Supreme Court since the days of the first chief justice.

Consequently, one cannot loudly proclaim his Second Amendment rights. All one can claim is that the most conservative court in modern history has ruled that a law-abiding citizen has the right to a handgun in his home for self-defense.

Justice Scalia, one of the most ideologically conservative, pompous and arrogant justices in the history of the court, said that the Second Amendment is not unlimited and that states can reasonably regulate firearms.

The Federal Appellate Court, based on this Heller decision written by Scalia, sided with the state of Maryland in its severe restrictions on granting concealed-carry licenses.

If you want to sit in a restaurant with fellow customers wearing sidearms, if you want to wander through the aisles of a grocery store and bump into a man with a rifle slung over his shoulder, if you want to go to church knowing that a dozen people are wearing shoulder holsters under their suit jackets, then pull up stakes and move to Virginia.

The city of Chicago seems to be the favorite example used by Wayne LaPierre and his ardent followers to demonstrate a correlation between gun violence and strict gun laws.

He must think we are all stupid. The majority of gun violence there is criminal on criminal. Anyone who has watched “The Wire” knows that the average Chicago citizen is not walking in a drug-infested neighborhood at 2 in the morning where every drug dealer and his crew are packing heat and killing off their rivals.

Deaths by gun violence in Chicago with strict gun laws is obviously going to be much greater than Richmond with hardly any gun laws.

Furthermore, if Wayne’s supporters believe you need high-powered weaponry to stave off a tyrannical government or to shoot down gangbangers, they should at least admit that their thinking is out there on the fringe.

Many of his fans have bought gold, seeds that sprout in two days and they are saving for an underground bunker.

I would recommend that they stop listening to Wayne and Glenn Beck’s scare tactics and acknowledge that they are not going to change the thinking of the majority of Marylanders.

We want gun laws that reflect the feelings of a rational citizenry in the 21st century after 20 precious children were massacred in a setting so similar to many of ours.

Finally, please don’t paint a Wayne’s World where the bad guys have the edge. Teachers carrying sidearms, college students toting pistols in their backpacks, restaurants full of armed citizenry — is this the world we want?

The most powerful and technologically sophisticated country in the world can certainly clamp down on bad guys with guns once the NRA leadership stands aside.

William Tunney