The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion There was heroism to be found in Uvalde

A police officer visits a memorial at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Tex., on June 9. (Eric Gay/AP)
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In her June 8 news commentary, “After Tex. school shooting, a search for heroism in the face of failures,” Robin Givhan looked in vain for heroism connected with the Uvalde, Tex., school shooting. She castigated police officers who failed to do their jobs and portrayed law enforcement in Uvalde as fumbling and hesitant. While mistakes were undoubtedly made, she did not do justice to the courageous officers who eventually did storm the classroom where the shooter was hiding. At least one was reportedly wounded in the attack. Some accounts say the officers acted contrary to orders from the on-scene commander to hold back. Along with blame, we ought to be handing out some medals here.

Martin McLean, Bethesda

Members of Congress who refuse to take action on gun violence in our society are not cowards, as the media insists on calling them. They have nothing to fear or lose except for their position in Congress. To place that as a priority over the lives of Americans and the freedom for us to live in peace is nothing but greed for power and money. Greed.

Kathy D. Fisher, Harrisonburg

No other modern democracy suffers this epidemic — they have strict gun-control laws. Yet, they remain democracies. The National Firearms Act of 1934 successfully eliminated the Thompson submachine gun, a big problem during Prohibition. Later amended by the Crime Control Act of 1968, it also banned other military arms. It worked, it was constitutional, and we remained a democracy.

Later, the assault weapons ban of 1994 was passed after multiple shootings in California. It worked, it was constitutional and the United States remained a democracy. But a Republican-led Congress let it lapse in 2004. Sales of such weapons skyrocketed along with mass shootings. So, more guns did not make us safer, but the numbers of deaths and mass shootings did increase. Blood is clearly on Republicans hands.

No one is “coming for people’s guns.” That’s an empty distraction. Reinstituting a ban on assault-style weapons does not infringe on one’s Second Amendment rights because there are many other “arms” that can be owned. In fact, the “originalist” definition of “arms” meant swords and muskets. Those can certainly be legalized, if necessary.

If guns guaranteed a democracy, then Sierra Leone would be a model democracy and Canada would be a tyranny. It’s not pop guns stopping tanks from rolling over our houses. It’s separation of powers, the rule of law, a free press and free speech, free and fair elections, government transparency and one’s oath of office — all things Republicans are openly assaulting and undermining.

Jeff K. Smith, Jessup