Limiting guns in Baltimore and beyond: Sun readers sound off on buyback, other programs

Second Amendment

After reading about all the mass shootings of children, and loved ones and all the gun crimes that seem to never stop, it seems to me the logical way to get anything done is in two steps (”Dan Rodricks: Baltimore and the nation need a sustained gun buyback and campaign against violence,” July 6).

First, have a zero tolerance for gun crimes in Baltimore. If anybody’s caught carrying a gun illegally, they get thrown in jail immediately, no second chances, no matter how old they are. Then the jail time increases every time they get caught with a gun again.

Second is get the guns off the street. Find the people who bring these guns into Baltimore and keep putting them in kids’ hands. Those are the ones who are doing the most damage to Baltimore, and they’re the ones who need to be put in jail for a minimum of 20 years for each offense or five years for each gun that they sold.

Change the mindset of these people who regularly carry guns every day from thinking this gun gives me power to, this gun can throw me in prison for a lot of years. Until they feel that a gun is going to hurt them more than help them, they’re always going to look for one to carry and use.

It seems to me we’re not going to take care of the shortage of police until the guns are gone. With all the gun crimes and mass shootings would you want to be a police officer in Baltimore?

— Jeff Rew, Columbia

Kudos to Dan Rodricks for writing about this issue. I am just flabbergasted as to why there isn’t a wider media campaign, like there was with smoking and cigarettes, on reducing gun violence. It is just outrageous that there are places in this country, where one can walk around with a firearm with no controls, licensing or training. No other country in the world has this kind of callousness to loss of human beings and, most notably, of children. I will not set foot in a state like Texas or Florida, lest there are those who will advocate for “Second Amendment rights.”

I quote U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves of Mississippi, who takes issue with the Supreme Court’s intertpretation of the Second Amendment: “Many of our Nation’s finest moments came when we rejected the public meaning of a constitutional provision.” I daresay the framers had no notion of AR-15s, not even for a well-regulated militia. I would volunteer to join or start any public effort to limit guns anywhere.

— Janan Broadbent, Baltimore

The political class is not going to tackle our gun violence epidemic unless forced to do so. Republicans will continue to cater to the NRA, and Democrats will continue to “helplessly” deflect blame to the Republicans.

The only way for change to become possible is for each of us individual citizens to send the politicians a loud and clear message that we will no longer accept or tolerate their inaction. I urge the prominent gun control advocacy groups, together with like-minded religious groups, to launch a campaign demanding that U.S. flags be flown at half-mast every day that a mass shooting occurs. This would be a powerful way to say that the lives of gun violence victims matter to us. Once this campaign of public pressure attracts a high level of attention, it will be possible to demand daily roll call votes on gun control legislation.

— Mel Marcus, Columbia

I read Dan Rodricks column suggesting having another gun buyback program. The idea sounds good, and it would make inroads to getting guns off the street.

The reason for not doing so would be that … well, you could turn in your gun and get $300. Or you could keep it and get whatever you want.

Just sayin’.

— Patrick Francis, Baltimore

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