If ever one man had reason to weep, to cry out in anger against the drugs and guns that are shattering so many families, surely James Bias of Landover, Md., does.
Four and a half years ago James and wife Lonise saw their world crushed when their world-class basketball-playing son Len died in a celebrated drug overdose. Now the Biases have made another heart-wrenching trip to the mortuary to identify the body of their 20-year-old son Jay, who was gunned down in cold blood last week by a young man who thought he was flirting with a jewelry store clerk who happened to be the gunman's wife.
Even in profound grief, James Bias knows that guns are so commonplace, so easy to get in America that the most timid, careful American can be shot to death on any day or night, in a contest over a parking space, while answering his or her doorbell, or just lying in bed in an area where hoodlums shoot it out. So this father cries out above his grief for Congress to pass a law to curb the proliferation of handguns, shotguns, semi-automatic weapons and machine guns that are in the hands of so many raging teen-agers and deranged people of every race and class.
How tragic that the prayers of James Bias will go unanswered, primarily because, where gun legislation is the issue, the U.S. Congress listens not to the bereaved, or even God. The Congress bows at the boots of the National Rifle Association (NRA), which expects you and me to believe that people tote 16-shot Glock automatics just in case they spot a deer or a buffalo outside a ghetto honkytonk.
I am sure James Bias knows that if Congress didn't pass a meaningful national gun control law -- and only a national law can make a difference -- when a mentally disturbed man shot President Reagan and wounded for life his press secretary James Brady, our cowardly lawmakers aren't going to clamp down on guns just because the drug peddlers killed Len Bias and the gun peddlers made it possible for Jerry Samuel Tyler to shoot Jay Bias in the back.
The truth is that American attitudes aw
toward crime, drugs, rapes and everything else abominable are affected by the racial polarization that appears to be ineradicable. Congress cares mostly about black crimes against whites. The criminal justice system is circumscribed by the same mindset. Only the victims like James Bias and the people of the ghettos really care about blacks killing, raping and mugging other blacks.
What I wrote in 1956 is still true: white prosecutors and judges regard blacks as veritable children, so when one stabs another to death at a Saturday night party, the white judge would declare the killer to be "just a good old boy, having a little fun." How incredible that some black judges now operate with the same permissive, stupid and sometimes passive protections of black criminals!
The District of Columbia gun law is a grotesque joke that leaves the people of this city naked to the intentions of those who bring thousands of guns out of Virginia and Maryland. We'll have more fine young men and women shot down like dogs until Congress gets the guts to disarm those who have let rage, jealousy, greed or whatever rob them of any respect for human life.