Guns in storage at the D.C. Department of Forensic Sciences on Sept. 24. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

Imagine two moms, two toddlers and a sandbox. Mom No. 1 invites Mom No. 2 to bring her toddler over so the two toddlers can play together in Mom No. 1’s sandbox. Mom No. 2 brings her toddler over along with a small shovel and pail. The kids play for a short time until the shovel ends up in the hands of Mom No. 1’s child, who proceeds to use the shovel to throw sand in the eyes of the visitor and beat him over the head. Mom No. 1 blames Mom No. 2 for supplying the shovel.

That’s close to the argument used by Petula Dvorak in her Oct. 8 Metro column, “Va. voters can help make D.C. safer,” in which she blamed Virginia for gun violence in the District. She’s Mom No. 1 in this analogy. The real problem — the people committing the violence in the District — is ignored; someone else has to be blamed.

It’s the violent people, not the hardware.

James Sherry, Winchester, Va.

Read more letters to the editor.