The charges brought against a Prince George’s County student for firearm possession absolutely defy logic. The Nov. 29 Metro article “Teen brought gun to high school, police say” reported that a student was “charged as an adult with a handgun on person, dangerous weapon on school property and possession of a firearm by a minor.” It’s bad enough to charge a juvenile as an adult, but here the student is being charged as an adult and as a minor at the same time.
If one is considered an adult, one cannot be charged with “possession of a firearm by a minor.” If the latter charge is valid, then one must not be charged as an adult. Doesn’t anyone else see the incongruity here?
Megan McArdle cherry-picked examples in her Nov. 30 op-ed, “Don’t blame conservatives for mass shootings,” to chide liberal pundits for rushing to “blame their political enemies” after every shooting.
Who passed legislation to protect the gun industry from litigation? Conservatives. Who rushes to defend the gun industry, invoking the Second Amendment after every shooting? Conservatives. Who enacts gag laws to prevent federal or state agencies from collecting data on gun violence? Conservatives. Who elevated the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to a Cabinet-level position requiring Senate confirmation just to hobble the agency’s effectiveness? Conservatives.
Given the right’s assault on the LGBTQ community and Tucker Carlson’s homophobic rants, are we to believe that the suspect in the shooting at the Colorado LGBTQ club was just a “deranged” individual? If conservatives are not responsible for gun violence and mass shootings, they are certainly a large part of the problem.
Derwood K. Staeben, Arlington
In his Nov. 28 op-ed, “A new type of reporter emerges: The ‘mass shooting correspondent’,” Greg Sargent wrote, “While shootings are obviously different from wars in all kinds of respects, and while reporters covering shootings don’t define themselves by this coverage as war correspondents do, the parallels are unmistakable.” Blood, maimed and dead bodies, innocent victims, surprise attacks, multiple venues (e.g., Colorado Springs; Charlottesville; Raleigh, N.C.; Memphis; Greenwood, Ind.; Highland Park, Ill.; Tulsa, and on and on), and traumatized family and friends of the victims. No one is safe from surprise carnage.
Common is the weapon of choice used to commit the violence: an assault weapon with high-capacity magazines. Beneficiaries are the weapons manufacturers who sell these instruments of horror and politicians who accept support from them and the National Rifle Association. Opponents of the elimination of weapons of war at home are accomplices/enablers to murder and are, in fact, facilitators of domestic enemies.
Our government’s role is to protect our citizens and not silently let lawlessness reign. We should follow the example of other countries that protect their citizens from gun violence by outlawing military weapons among civilians.
Judith Lynne Hanna, Bethesda