Here is Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr.'s official response to my Jan. 30 column, in which I referred to him as mealy-mouthed and weaselly for his gun-control efforts, the likes of which left my son unarmed when robbed of his jacket at gunpoint.
"Dear Mr. Kane,
I am writing this letter in response to your column. ... Before I respond, however, it is my hope that your son was not physically harmed during the robbery and that he is recovering emotionally from the incident. I can understand your frustration and fear, as gun violence has touched my family very closely in recent years. In 1976, my father [J. Joseph Curran Sr.] was the victim of a gun attack inside City Hall that left one City Councilman [Dominic M. Leone] dead, one City Councilman [Carroll J. Fitzgerald] seriously wounded, and my father, who was shot at, suffering from a heart attack that would eventually kill him. More recently, in 1990, my daughter was carjacked at gunpoint; thankfully she escaped with her life.
"While I disagree with your premise (ask yourself what would have happened if your son had been carrying a gun), I am writing only to take issue with the way you depicted me as jumping on some kind of gun violence bandwagon."
Curran then quoted a portion of my column that read, "His act has been called courageous, but it's nothing more than a mealy-mouthed, weaselly ploy to cash in on the anti-gun mania running rampant in the country since the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado."
The attorney general, who had triggered my literary wrath after he issued a report last year calling for making handgunsillegal, continued:
"The American Heritage Dictionary defines a mealy-mouthed person as someone who is unwilling to state facts or opinions simply and direct. Furthermore, it defines a weaselly person as someone who is treacherous or sneaky. I take issue with you on both counts and great offense to your choice of words. My report, `A Farewell to Arms,' is based entirely on facts. Facts are what make the report so easy to defend and explain. While the tragedy of Columbine was a factor in my decision to release the report, it wasn't the motivating force. The lack of a response by Congress to the 35,000 yearly gun-related deaths and the series of mass murders last year, in addition to the staggering homicide rate in Baltimore City, led me to my final decision to release it. When Congress couldn't even pass a bill that would require background checks at gun shows, my decision became very easy."
Curran then detailed his gun-control activities over the years and concluded:
"While you may not agree with my report or the timing of its release, I would appreciate it if, in the future, you would contact my Public Information Officer for background when writing about me or activities generated from my office. Furthermore, I urge you, in the interest of kindness and accuracy, to stick to writing facts and resist the temptation to use ugly mean-spirited comments that are both unfair and unprofessional."
My Dear Mr. Curran:
I don't use nice words to talk about nasty situations. My son has been stuck up not once, not twice, but at least 10 times now. He's 25. The robberies have been going on since he was 13. He's not alone. Many of the law-abiding young men of his community have experienced the same fate. Do you really believe they give a tinker's damn because your feelings are hurt by being called mealy-mouthed and weaselly?
And while I'm on those terms, the dictionary definition does apply to you. You act in your letter as if you and I have never talked about your report, as if I'd never asked you about it. But you remember distinctly that I asked you, over the airwaves of WEAA radio, if you believed that folks who live in inner-city, high-crime areas have legitimate security needs that might require them to own a handgun. It was a yes or no question. If you had said yes, then your entire report would have been invalid. If you had said no, then it would have shown you were either lying or misinformed. Instead, you answered with something to the effect that you hoped no one would feel the need to own a handgun.
Maybe I shouldn't have used terms like "mealy-mouthed" and "weaselly" to describe you. Maybe I should have written that Maryland's liberal Democrats have tucked their tails between their legs and bolted in absolute terror from the concept of liberty. That's what the Second Amendment is about, you see: liberty. Those of us who adhere to it believe that a free people should have the choice to carry firearms for their own protection. Liberal Democrats understand choice when it comes to abortion, but the concept escapes them when it comes to self-defense.
And perhaps I should have written this: any elected official who proposes disarming the people on a scale proposed by J. Joseph Curran Jr. should be impeached and removed from office.