Stop the ShootingEditor: Can nothing be done about...


December 15, 1990

Stop the Shooting

Editor: Can nothing be done about hunting? As things now stand the residents of Baltimore and other suburban counties must spend the week after Thanksgiving dodging bullets in their back yards while being unwilling witness to the slaughter of one of nature's most beautiful animals.

Although people have complained repeatedly, in these and other pages, about some of the horrors they have experienced -- this year, for example, I was treated to the spectacle of hunters dragging two bloody deer carcasses across my front lawn -- politicians seem unwilling to listen. Informal discussions with my neighbors led me to believe that there are plenty of us who would willingly see the complete end of hunting in Maryland.

The argument that the hunting lobby uses to support its so-called sport, that the deer population would get too big and deer would starve, simply won't wash. If deer need to be killed to control the population, what is the sense of unleashing an estimated 150,000 amateurs to do the job? Clearly, trained, responsible members of the Department of Natural Resources should do it.

Second, if people would stop shooting at them, and the woods would become safe again, I and my neighbors would gladly feed the few deer that survive. We already feed birds and squirrels, and just imagine the delight of parents who would have then the opportunity to teach their children about nature while learning to care for these magnificent animals. Everyone would gain by this kind of approach. Everybody, except, of course, those few whose pleasure it is to kill the deer.

It's time for politicians to realize there is a constituency here that wants a safer and more beautiful county in the week following Thanksgiving and the rest of the year.

James R. Conrad. Sparks. Editor: Like most Americans, I strongly oppose the invasion by Iraq of Kuwait and equally strongly support the embargo against Iraq, including the international naval force to enforce the embargo, and the economic sanctions against Iraq.

I have serious problems and questions, however, about other aspects of President Bush's policy, including the deployment of U.S. military forces in Saudi Arabia. The invasion of Iraq is an extremely serious international issue and an extremely serious Arab issue. It is unclear to me why it has become essentially an American issue and particularly an apparent personal issue between George Bush and Saddam Hussein.

The United Nations has a vital interest in this issue; the Arab League has a vital interest in this issue; Japan and Europe have critical oil interests in Iraq and Kuwait; but the United States only derives a small fraction of its oil from those two countries.

Any serious energy policy, which the Reagan/Bush administrations have avoided developing for 10 years, could easily overcome our shortfall from that source. Indeed, other oil-producing nations have already made up the loss. Nonetheless, the issue has become essentially a Bush vs. Saddam issue with American military poised to risk their lives. Why? We don't hear of a Mitterrand vs. Saddam issue, or a Kohl vs. Saddam issue, or a Gorbachev vs. Saddam issue, or Japan vs. Saddam.

Today Americans are being asked to die to make the world safe for the absolute monarchy of Saudi Arabia and the hereditary aristocracy of Kuwait, two countries whose treatment of their subjects and opposition to democracy, freedom, and the ideals of America is appalling. While the record of Saddam Hussein is deplorable, Iraq is far more progressive than Saudi Arabia. Why are Americans being asked to die for George Bush's personal war against Saddam Hussein?

David H. Pardoe.


Dollars for Dakota

Editor: James J. Kilpatrick (Oct. 31) tells your readers how Sen. Quentin Burdick of North Dakota benevolently wrote into the agricultural appropriations bill the sum of $500,000 in order to restore the boyhood home of the band leader Lawrence Welk and build a museum at the site.

People in America are going hungry. Many are without medical help. Our country is bankrupt.

I have written Senator Burdick to express my extreme displeasure with his pork barrel use of my tax dollars and to suggest that he go home to North Dakota and stay there.

&Katharine S. Lenfestey. Baltimore.

Good Kids

Editor: I am responding to the criticism I often hear concerning my generation. Children my age spend time working on homework. We are not always glued to the television.

I'm 11 years old and go to Hereford Middle School. My parents and I get along well. They help me with my homework when I need help. At home I have a lot of chores to do, such as cleaning up after the rabbit and the bird. I also clean my room and the living room. I have to vacuum the house once a week and cut the grass. I like to play soccer a lot, mostly indoor.

When I get home from school, the first thing I do is my homework. I spend about one and a half hours on homework each day.

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