In her Jan. 28 Metro column, “The losses mount: Lives, innocence and freedoms,” Petula Dvorak suggested that the shooting at the Mall in Columbia and similar shootings may be “what brings about the death of our public spaces.”

Our apathy will be what brings about the death of our public spaces. If we are considering giving up our integral social spaces for fear of being murdered, something is going terribly wrong with our government and our society.

I remind those who are fearful of public shootings, who are frustrated with our public officials or who are just tired of senseless violence that, in our Constitution, the right to peaceful public assembly comes before the right to bear arms. We have to make our government hear that.

Amanda Lee Darby, Rockville