To the editor: On June 29, I received a letter from Congressman Andy Harris reasserting his stance on gun rights: "While I am committed to preventing gun violence, I remain a strong advocate for our Second Amendment rights. I agree with Samuel Adams, who once said, 'The Constitution shall be never construed to authorize Congress…to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.'"

He wrote that: "Unfortunately, many of my liberal colleagues support a ban on 'assault weapons,' despite millions of Americans owning these popular semi-automatic rifles."

In retrospect: Congressman Harris must be thinking that he chose a lousy week to write to me defending his commitment to Americans' right to own assault-style weapons.

So I’m writing Congressman Harris to ask whether events in Dayton and El Paso — just 13 hours apart! — have caused him to call into question his most rigid stance on the matter.

Does he still really believe that the Second Amendment guarantees Americans the right to own the kind of weapons that have killed so many of our children and other innocent citizens?

Could it be that his acceptance of however many dollars — career total — in campaign donations from the gun lobbies have dictated his position?

To Congressman Harris: How many mass murders in a 24-hour period will it take to make you see that we have a national crisis here? Three? Ten? A hundred? You’re on the wrong side of this issue — and on the wrong side of history here, mon Rep.

Here’s a challenge to Congressman Harris: If he will personally write back, answering my questions with honesty, wisdom and sincerity, I pledge that this avowed Democrat and Viet Nam vet will change my party affiliation from D to R.

What do you say?

Johnson Fortenbaugh

Chestertown

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