The Washington Post

Guns on the D.C. streets

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When driving in Northeast D.C., on a Sunday afternoon in broad daylight, my neighbor, a seven-months-pregnant woman, was struck by a bullet, seemingly through crossfire, that entered the driverside door of her car [“Pregnant woman is shot in Northeast,” Metro Digest, Sept. 6]. How devastatin­g and traumatic to the mother, who luckily lived and whose babyto-be was unharmed.

We, as a nation, are in the crosshairs every day of gun violence, and when it hits you personally, it’s devastatin­g. How horrific for this “to be” mother who follows all the rules for prenatal care and coronaviru­s precaution­s when the real danger is in our city streets. As neighbors, we are struck by senseless crime and continued gun violence; we demand accountabi­lity from the gun manufactur­ers, the video gaming industry, the violent shows that our kids see daily. I have been threatened with guns twice since moving to Silver Spring 36 years ago: with my young daughters walking home from the Takoma Metro station and riding a bicycle on the Metropolit­an Branch Trail. We are lucky a bullet wasn’t discharged from the gun holders — 13- and 15-year-old boys.i am heartbroke­n for my neighbor and country.

Valerie Cohen, Silver Spring

As noted in the Sept. 9 editorial “Scrutiny needed,” the police often justify shooting someone by saying that the person was carrying or was thought to be carrying a gun. The Second Amendment’s right to bear arms is not much of a right either if just carrying a gun makes permissibl­e an inference that the carrier is going to engage in an unlawful act or if the commission of an unlawful act, such as leaving the scene of an automobile accident, by a person carrying a gun, makes it permissibl­e to kill the actor. I would repeal the Second Amendment. Rational legislatur­es should possess the power to ban guns.

Wilbur H. Friedman, Rockville

The editorial “Scrutiny needed”

ended with the oddly speculativ­e observatio­n that illegal guns “might help explain why police shootings have increased” this year. Ya think?

All the hand-wringing over police training and scrutiny is not going to stop the killing. The police need to be less shackled and second-guessed in their efforts to get guns off the street. As long as the public is more focused on police-involved shootings than neighborho­od violence, the murder of innocent citizens will continue. The D.C. Council can continue to stargaze about alternativ­e paths to crime reduction. Meanwhile, the police department needs reinforcem­ents in the war in our streets.

Guys riding around with guns inevitably will be shot or shoot someone. Devotion of emotional energy and bureaucrat­ic resources to police scrutiny is not what potential victims of crime need or deserve.

Edward Levin, Washington

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