Latest senseless killing should stir action

This is a sad, sad day for Baltimore. Your story about the utterly senseless, tragic killing of Peter Marvit ("Scientist gunned down in street," Sept. 19) brings us face to face with a reality we are often able to ignore. That reality is that there actually are human beings who are capable of killing an unarmed, completely innocent, and in this case highly-accomplished and lovable person such as Peter Marvit. And for what reason? A robbery? A gang initiation? In the end, does the motive for such a murder matter? In fact, I think it takes us off-course and contributes to our false sense of security.

Every few years, we wake from our comfortable slumber to the horrid reality that another superbly talented, always innocent, always unarmed citizen has had his or her life taken in a violent, inhumane way. Zach Sowers, beaten and kicked into a coma, left to die on the street near his home. Stephen Pitcairn, stabbed to death while talking on his cell phone to his mother. And now Peter Marvit, shot to death as he was returning home from a rehearsal. What these victims have in common is their commitment to humanity, their dedication to our city, their limitless potential, their lives cut short.

How can we hold this painful reality? And yet that is exactly what is needed, for each of us, each and every one of us, to hold the images of these men, of their lives, of their violent deaths, of their bereaved loved ones — to hold these images and all the raw pain that comes with it until we act as one body, one community dedicated to prevention of the unthinkable.

Myra MacCuaig, Towson