I'm sorry to hear that D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams and Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey think that Congress's effort to overturn the D.C. handgun ban is a "slap in the face" ["Gun Ban Opposition Called 'Slap in the Face'; Williams, Ramsey Assail Lawmakers," Metro, June 29].

Ignoring the constitutional concerns, about which the District is in the wrong, this situation is best viewed in light of a ruling handed down by the Supreme Court on June 27 in Castle Rock v. Gonzales. In that case, the court reaffirmed that the government does not have an affirmative duty to protect its citizens.

It's one thing to be reminded that you aren't due any protection and that the police can legally ignore 911 calls. It's another to be simultaneously told that you cannot have the means in your own hands to effectively defend yourself.

I only hope that the worst that will ever happen to me while walking the D.C. streets is a slap in the face.

WILLIAM SPIELER

Washington

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Despite my disagreement with the District's gun ban and other laws, I choose to live in Washington, and I will abide by what the majority of D.C. residents have chosen.

If I want the version of government that Rep. Mark Edward Souder (R-Ind.) espouses, I'll move to Indiana.

Since Mr. Souder believes that he does know what the District's residents would like, I urge him to run in the upcoming mayoral elections, where we can choose his version instead of being forced to capitulate to congressional amendments targeting 550,000 D.C. residents.

JIM LAPIDES

Washington