Regarding the Jan. 20 Outlook article “Obama embodies King’s dream — if you forget most of it”:

The fact that President Obama’s second inauguration was held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day is ripe with symbolism. But our nation’s first black president has done too little to champion the social equality at the core of King’s message. We remain a wealthy nation marred by poverty and violence, which disproportionately affect the black community. Mr. Obama’s recent gun proposals, hailed by many as a bold move, once again skirt the real problems we face. The president was galvanized into action by a massacre in a white, middle-class, suburban community. In reality, more than half of gun homicide victims in 2010 were black, while blacks compose just 13 percent of our population. Four U.S. cities rank among the top 50 worldwide in murder rates.

Newtown; Aurora, Colo.; Virginia Tech — we need to keep assault weapons out of the hands of lunatics. But where the victims really add up is in black inner-city communities trapped between poor education and stagnant incomes. The president need venture no further than the District to realize that. Gun laws may treat the symptom; dealing with poverty and schools will address the cause.

Iacob Koch-Weser, Washington