The Post used a flawed argument when its editorial {Oct. 8} said that D.C.'s gun ban is thwarted by "sophisticated weaponry {that} can be quickly obtained and smuggled in from surrounding jurisdictions."

If the argument were valid, the surrounding jurisdictions would have a crime rate rivaling the murder capital's. Obviously, no such crime rates exist in Maryland or Virginia. There are some factors that more likely explain these differences.

The surrounding jurisdictions have less poverty, and, especially in Virginia, the death penalty is applied to killers. To ban the firearms The Post wants to ban, it would need to amend the provision of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms." As the Supreme Court recently held in Verdugo v. Urquidez, the phrase "the people" applies to individuals, not a National Guard that did not exist in 1789.

Congress cannot by a majority vote amend the Constitution. If The Post pushes for an amendment to the Second Amendment, the same could easily follow with the First and then your goose is cooked.

If guns are banned, and the press is stifled, how then will we ever control the politicians?

LAWRENCE D. PRATT Executive Director Gun Owners of America Washington