An Open Letter to Professor Steven P. Grossman

TO: Steven P. Grossman (
SUBJECT: An Open Letter to Professor Steven P. Grossman


Regarding your opinion column:

The right to bear arms is not absolute

You should be ashamed of yourself. Deliberate false equivalence in a professor should be grounds for a university investigation of whether your anti-rights position has colored your actions as dean.

Do you think it is permissible to yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater in order to create a panic? How about whether it is legal to speak to a crowd and tell them to go out and shoot the first police officer they see, or homeless person or teacher?
While virtually everyone accepts such a common sense limitation on the First Amendment, there are those who argue that anyone who proposes limitations on the possession of guns is an opponent of the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.

I see what you did there. When an ignorant layman does that, I’m willing to consider the possibility that it is attributable to mere… ignorance. When a law professor equates MISUSE/ABUSE of a right to simple, lawful, and harmless exercise of right, I know it’s purely malicious.

You pretend that lying and threatening are the First Amendment equivalents of the Second Amendment right to POSSESS a tool.

Before you wrote that despicable screed did you fill out a federal form and ask permission from the government to buy the computer on which you composed the column? Did you undergo a prior restraint background to prove your innocence before even obtaining the inanimate tool you used to exercise your First Amendment right to voice that opinion? Did you use a 1980s Intel 80286 computer limited to 768K RAM, because only the military needs a high speed, high capacity Pentium with 8 GB?

Did you get a license to possess your mouth, just in case you might lie to a student — or Baltimore Sun readers? Did you undergo a background check to possess your typing fingers?

Do University of Baltimore School of Law students undergo background checks before purchasing textbooks, or writing class papers?

Yes; threats, lies, incitement to violence are abuses of free speech rights, and we punish people for that. Likewise, assault and murder using firearms are abuses of the right to keep and bear arms. As a law professor I would expect you to know that those are also unlawful and we punish those offenders.

Buying and possessing a firearm differs not from buying and possessing a computer, telephone, megaphone, pen, or pencil. The ABUSE that must be controlled is not the same thing as possessing a tool with the potential to be abused.

Reasonable laws limiting the possession and sale of certain guns are clearly not violative of the Second Amendment. Such laws include but are not limited to those banning weapons, such as the AR-15 designed for combat…

If you believe that modern AR-pattern semiautomatic rifles were designed as military weapons (despite the fact that no nation on the planet generally issues semiautomatic rifles to its regular troops), then how do you square banning them with the precedent of U.S. vs. Miller, 1939, in which the Supreme Court found that short-barrel shotguns could be regulated because they had not been shown to be a weapon used by the military? The Court specifically said that the Second Amendment does protect the possession of military arms. An honest law professor would know and admit that.

Your disdain for basic, constitutionally protected human rights disgusts me.


Carl “Bear” Bussjaeger

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