Hannah Levintova‘s breathlessly-alarmist article begins:
“This past spring, strangely similar pieces of mail started arriving at the offices of city attorneys in 28 Maryland communities. The tersely worded letters, many dated March 26, warned each town that some of its firearms laws were illegal and needed to be repealed immediately. Takoma Park‘s letter claimed that ordinances against carrying unlocked guns and possessing or selling guns in public places “grossly” exceeded state law and should be taken off the books, “out of respect for the rule of law.” All of the letters warned that failure to comply would put the towns “at risk for a lawsuit.”
This reflects the wishes of the community, as well as the concerns of gun-rights advocacy groups. What do the actual residents of Newton prefer? In Newtown, Gun Permits Surge After Shooting. Residents Cite Desire for Protection, a Rush to Buy Before Tighter Rules Kicked In. And not just in Newton. Thanks in part to these ‘activist gun groups”, more citizens in the U.S. have taken gun-saftey classes–and primarily, more women–than ever before.
If “strangely similar pieces of mail” warn Newton city attorneys against violating laws, that suggests that the activist opposition to activist gun-grabbers is well organized. Perhaps Mother Jones would prefer that Newton violate those laws, and that Newton residents should be even more restricted from protecting themselves.
“Once in a blue moon we get these kinds of letters from activist organizations,” says Ryan Spiegel, vice president of the Montgomery County chapter of the Maryland Municipal League and a member of the Gaithersburg city council. What felt different this time, he says, was the coordination—and the timing: Just a month earlier, the Maryland Senate had passed some of the country’s toughest gun control measures in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
Yes, the timing is relevant. The Maryland Senate‘s bowing to pressure from anti-gun groups, and exploiting Newton’s tragedy, does not sit well with many of the residents of Newton, who have to live with decisions made in haste by misguided or cowardly lawmakers.
Note: the “toughest” gun-control measures are firmly in place in the American cities that suffer from highest rates of crime, murder, and violence. While regions with less-restrictive gun laws, and higher numbers of legally-armed citizens, benefit from lower crime, murder, and violence in their communities. Even the U.N. confirms it. This is not only true in the U.S., it’s true worldwide.