Once again, open season on guns
It is apparent from your editorials, and editorial cartoons, that the time of year for "gun control" has arrived. Legislatures and Congress are convening. The news media have now started to bombard us with anti-gun propaganda, using their "First Amendment rights" in an attempt to destroy the Second Amendment. I wonder what they would do if the First Amendment required that only the truth could be printed.
. D. Baker Jr.
Thank you for your revealing editorial advocating "laws which virtually ban handguns altogether and which place the most stringent restrictions on the ownership of any kind of firearm," (Jan. 4). It demonstrates that your claims of fairness, reasonability and concern for the rights of honest citizens are nothing but lies.
We will reprint many copies of this editorial and use them to raise funds, increase our membership and strengthen our resolve to resist compromise and vigorously oppose the passage of any new anti-gun legislation.
The writer is the official spokesman of the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association.
In your editorial "Teens and guns" (Jan. 2), you state, "The only sure way to keep handguns out of the hands of teens is to ban their sale and possession altogether."
Following the same logic, we should ban the sale and possession of other murder weapons. This would be a long list: baseball bats (Evening Sun, Jan. 2), power saws (Evening Sun, Dec. 26), knives and motor vehicles.
A better response would be for a prison term of life with no parole for anyone convicted of murder. Until this change is made, no ban can stop murders and assaults.
Gregory Kane's list of Chutzpah Awards (Other Voices, Jan. 5) began with a burst of wit and insight only to end, as he announced the winner, with a discomforting thud. It is hard to take seriously his claim of a flattered black community as it listened to the New York Times editors labeling as racist its picketing of Asian stores. His rationale of the boycott holds up under scrutiny only if he assents to a quid pro quo and allows the Asians, themselves a minority group, to respond in kind.
Yet no one is demanding, nor does it seem to make any sense to insist, that members of the African-American community must hire their share of Asian workers. With regard to his statement about products being less expensive in the larger chain stores than in the Asians' stores, that is an economic issue and hardly one for which the Asians or any small business owners should be punished. Inner-city black entrepreneurs, like their Asian counterparts, are themselves compelled to charge more for goods because both their purchasing and operating costs are significantly higher than those of larger chains.
Kane justified the boycott of the Asian stores because it was done under the guise of "just plain good economic sense." In truth, the boycott has had no economic value and has yielded no winners. Rather, it has been an undertaking as ugly as it has been vicious. It has preyed on fears and hatreds while scapegoating a few struggling members of an immigrant minority. It is hard to understand how anyone of goodwill, and certainly Mr. Kane falls into that category, could on any grounds defend such action regardless of who the players might be.
The NRA's big lie
The National Rifle Association has successfully brainwashed the American electorate and many legislators into believing that the Constitution guarantees each individual the right to have guns. This is nonsense. The NRA's big-lie technique of repeating its claim loudly and often can't change the facts.
The Second Amendment says: "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The Founding Fathers were clearly and solely concerned about the right of a state to protect itself by raising and arming a militia. Saturday Night Specials, sawed-off shotguns, machine guns and other arms involved in the mayhem on our streets have nothing to do with a "well-regulated militia."
It requires courage to stand up to rich and powerful special interests like the NRA but the Congress can and should limit the acquisition of these deadly weapons.
Roger C. Kostmayer
Baker to Baghdad
As "Deadline January 15" approaches, it appears that Secretary of State James Baker will not meet the Iraqis in Baghdad.
My own feeling, however, is, that Mr. Baker will to go Baghdad in the not-too-distant future to represent the United States at the inauguration of a new head of state.