Commentary: The gun violence in Maryland festers America’s dark side

Commentary: The gun violence in Maryland  festers America’s dark side
July 04
01:30 2018

By James B. Ewers Jr.

Like an abrasion, gun violence in the United States of America continues to fester and to get worse.

Our nation is known for great things. Our country is revered for its beautiful terrain, its cities both large and small and its major attractions. Our arts, our food and our quality of life make our country the perfect location to live, to work and to raise a family. We honor and value our diverse cultures and our system of education.

America is seen as a world leader. Other countries look to us for ideas, innovations and leadership. We have held this position for many decades and while challenged on many fronts, we still hold it today. However, some would argue that our status in the world is slipping. Recent and pending legislation on tariffs and immigration are viewed as detrimental to our position.

The battle going on with immigration in this country is getting worse by the day. Lawmakers are at a crossroads when it comes to charting a course that will be humane and long lasting. The world is waiting to see what we will do.

Another problem that America is facing is what to do about gun violence. It is literally ripping our country apart. Gun proponents don’t see anything wrong with the current gun statutes. However, those on the other side say that it is much too easy to get a gun in this country.

On last Thursday [June 28], gun violence erupted at the Capital Gazette Newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland. Jarrod W. Ramos is accused of having a long gun and killing five people and injuring two people in a shooting spree. Multiple questions in my opinion come up about Ramos. First and foremost is, how did Jarrod Ramos get a gun into the building? It could have been that the building didn’t have security or metal devices, which could detect a weapon.

Second, how did Ramos get his hands on this gun? Early reports said that he already had  three peace orders against him. That should have raised a red flag suggesting that something was wrong. He had also been on Twitter making vile and threatening comments about the newspaper and one of its employees, Rob Hiaasen. He said that he would like to see Hiaasen “cease breathing.” Rob Hiaasen was one of the victims killed by Jarrod Ramos on Thursday.

On Friday, June 29, 2018, the opinion page for the Capital Gazette newspaper was without opinions. It simply said, “We Are Speechless.”

Tom Marquardt, a retired publisher and editor for the Gazette, said that Ramos was simply a trouble-maker for the newspaper. “I was seriously concerned he would threaten us with physical violence,” Marquardt said.

Jarrod Ramos is now in custody and could spend the rest of his life in prison. We are sitting on a ticking time bomb called gun violence in this country. Right now, there is no end in sight. I believe that reasonable lawmakers must lead the effort toward reasonable solutions. Those legislators and lobbyists who have hard line positions regarding this issue are, in my opinion, part of the problem. Unfortunately, at this moment in time, someone in our community is planning the next shooting. That is a sad but true reality.

Gun violence has become a part of America’s dark side.

James B. Ewers  Jr. Ed.D. is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University, where he was all-conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator.  He can be reached at

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