The Washington Post
Guns on the D.C. streets
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