Steny Hoyer: Now is not the time for government to sit on the sidelines

When a gunman entered the Capital Gazette offices on June 28 and murdered five individuals, he did not act alone. He was aided and abetted by a flawed system in this country: one that allows those with a history of perpetrating domestic violence, a history of serious mental illness, and even individuals on the terror watch list to purchase dangerous firearms without question. The current Republican-led Congress has had ample opportunity to fix our nation’s gun safety laws and prevent shootings like the one that occurred at the Capital Gazette. Tragically, it has failed to act. That’s why I’m running for Congress. Because 5th District residents deserve a Congress that works for them, not ignores the toughest challenges we face. (Capital)

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Brian Frosh: State has taken steps to curb gun violence; Congress needs to do more

The horror and uncertainty we feel in the wake of the attack in the Capital Gazette newsroom has gripped our state, and, like all Marylanders, I share in the grief. Words of elected leaders will never bring back Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters, but our work in state government to address the scourge of gun violence should be focused on honoring their memory through action. I thank the editors of The Capital for their request of me to highlight our efforts on this vital issue. (Capital)

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Brian Griffiths: Voters deserve live debates, not tape-delayed substitutes from local TV

Monday, Gov. Larry Hogan and Ben Jealous will step to the podium for their first and only debate of this election year. There was talk about how many gubernatorial debates there would be. The Hogan campaign accepted an invitation to two debates. The Jealous campaign insisted on five debates but then, oddly, as negotiations really began showed that the campaign really only wanted one debate all along. There are other debates in statewide races forthcoming as well. Attorney General Brian Frosh finally agreed to debate challenger Craig Wolf only after being approached by Wolf about the need to debate, though Frosh currently refuses to debate Wolf in a televised debate. (Capital)

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Jack Reilly: Baltimore rental inspections: good idea gone wrong

The Baltimore City Council's mandate that residential rental properties must pass a basic health and safety inspection is a case study of a good idea gone wrong. The ordinance, passed in March of this year, requires that private licensed home inspectors carry out inspections of approximately 25,000 to 30,000 one- or two-family rental dwellings by Jan. 1, 2019. Multifamily dwellings are already licensed but will need similar inspections once their licenses expire. Getting these scattered houses inspected in nine months might have been possible. But Baltimore Housing waited until Aug. 1 to announce its initial inspection protocol. This checklist has now been rewritten four times, with the most recent version released on Sept. 10 — less than four months before the deadline. (Balt. Sun)

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Alice Cain: I promise to work on these four ways to combat gun violence

At a recent matinee with my kids, my son leaned over as the movie was starting and whispered, “Mom, don’t forget to look for the exits, just in case there’s a shooter and we have to escape.” I froze as I realized that seeking an escape route in public places is “normal” for kids today. The only world they have ever known is one where mass shootings can happen anytime, anywhere – in a movie theater, at school, at church, at a concert, walking down the street, or – as Annapolis knows all too well – in a newsroom. One of the reasons I decided to run for office is so I can help build a safer community for all of our children. (Capital)

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Steven P. Grossman: Kavanaugh was old enough to know better — and to suffer the consequences

At the University of Baltimore School of Law, we have a clinic, the Juvenile Justice Project, in which students work with faculty to seek the release of people sentenced to life in prison for crimes committed before they were 18. The clinic does not argue that the crimes of its clients are not considered serious or that there should not be punishment for them, only that, in accordance with recent Supreme Court decisions, their clients’ youth should be considered before sentencing them to life in prison. They still pay a price, as they should, for their crimes, some of which were committed when they were as young as 14. (Balt. Sun)

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Jimmy DeButts: Maryland should combat wrong-way drivers with 21st-century strategies

Texas installed high-tech signs in January 2017 to help thwart the carnage often associated with wrong-way drivers. The new wrong-way signs’ red LED lights flash when sensors identify vehicles going the wrong way. The system also notifies the department of transportation, whose employees can post alerts on highway message boards to warn drivers. It also alerts police. That real-time information can save lives. (Capital)

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Adam Pagnucco: MoCo’s pathetic Republicans

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is riding sky-high approval ratings and monster fundraising against underdog Democratic nominee Ben Jealous. In MoCo, voters have been voting against progressive positions on ballot questions for a decade and recently approved term limits by 40 points. Economic development emerged as a real issue in June's Democratic primary for the first time in—well, ever— and a self-funding businessman who had never held office came within 77 votes of being the next county executive. And then there is the voters' toxic reaction to the roughly 9 percent property tax hike in 2016, which could someday lead to another anti-tax charter amendment. You would figure that Montgomery County's Republican Party could take advantage of all this and resurrect itself from irrelevancy, right? (Bethesda)

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