Florida gun vote sends a strong messageThe voters of...

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December 03, 1990

Florida gun vote sends a strong message

The voters of Florida recently added a strong voice to the ongoing debate of whether gun control and crime control go hand-in-hand.

The voters answer was a resounding "yes!" Eighty-four percent of the voters approved a proposition mandating a three-day waiting period for the purchase of guns in the state. These people ignored the pleadings of the NRA, which outspent the bill's supporters by 4 to 1.

Evidently the fact that Florida has the highest crime rate and the sixth highest homicide rate in the country weighed heavily in the vote.

Florida police have been quoted as saying they believed "a cooling off period would discourage the quick purchase and the ensuing crime of passion that causes so many needless deaths."

I hope this vote will send a message to Congress as they pTC prepare to vote on a national seven day waiting period (the "Brady bill") early in the next session.

Fred Davis

The writer is corresponding secretary of Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse.

Postal rates

Your editorial "A 43-cent stamp" (Nov. 27) must have people all over the United States gnashing their teeth in anger and frustration.

Why should we, the consumers, subsidize the business and industry of the country by paying higher postal rates so they can send unsolicited mail to our homes on a cheap, government "bulk-rate" franchise?

If the postal workers need a raise, let them get it from the businesses that use them for pack mules to deliver the offensive matter we neither solicit nor appreciate.

If I may use myself as an example, it all goes directly from the front porch mail box to the back yard trash can. All this work to get it to us is just more government waste, at our expense again.

lanche K. Coda

Baltimore

Gas facts

The state of ignorance in science and technology is well-advanced in this country, as illustrated in a recent letter by William E. Fromm regarding leaded vs. "pure" gasoline and the oil companies. This letter is correct only in the fact that oil refiners do (or did) add the tetra ethyl lead to gasoline.

The refiner did this to raise the anti-knock number of the fuel so that it would give more power and not severely damage car engines by premature explosions in the cylinders.

Therefore, when the use of TEL is prohibited, the refiner must spend large sums of money to raise the anti-knock value by other means -- super refining or use of other permitted additives. There is no such thing as "pure" gasoline; it is a mixture of many different hydrocarbon chemicals. Do you want your motor to break down after 5,000 miles? It is not a case of gouging the public or an industrial and bureaucratic boondoggle. It is a case of high technology furnishing a satisfactory product to the public.

The writer is a retired chemist.

Lawrence E. Strow

Elk Ridge

War on the poor

"Saddam Hussein will cost you your job," is the latest cry from George Bush to incite Americans to war. Threaten my job? Hussein, you've done it now! To stop you from taking my job, I'm prepared to send (fill in the number) of my fellow citizens to their death!

Does anyone care that those who have least to fight for will yet again die in the greatest numbers in a war while the better-off are safe in college or the workplace? With a volunteer army, the body bags will bring back the black and the poor in disproportionate numbers.

With one in four black males 18 to 24 in the criminal justice system -- either in jail, out on bail or on probation -- we cannot afford mass slaughter among the 75 percent who escaped it. Many, unable to go to college, chose the military as a way to get an education. Now we're asking them to give their lives to protect our jobs, when not being able to find work is what drove many of them into the military in the first place.

If George Bush is insane enough to sacrifice American lives for oil in foreign lands, have him activate the draft and send a balanced cross-section of Americans -- rich and poor -- off to die! Mr. President, let us at least make the slaughter fair.

Tal F. Smith

Baltimore

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