Toting GunsEditor: Gun control has been viewed as a...


April 04, 1991

Toting Guns

Editor: Gun control has been viewed as a panacea for the thousands upon thousands of people shot in our land every year.

Gun control or no gun control, the criminals who commit these acts will always be able to find a weapon to use.

I looked in the entertainment section of the March 22 paper to do an informal survey on what that day's movies had to offer. Here's what I found:

''If Looks Could Kill'' pictures a young man with a big smile on his face sitting on the hood of a car with an automatic weapon in his lap. ''The Hard Way'' is advertised with two men both holding pistols.

''The Perfect Weapon'' has an actor wielding a billy club and the statement: ''No Gun. No Knife. No Equal.'' ''New Jack City'' depicts a young man holding a .45 caliber revolver.

How can we as a society think that gun control is a serious response to our problems with gun-related violence?

The problem is not only with the guns that shoot the bullets but perhaps even more with what we ourselves condone and approve of in our own entertainment.

As long as we, as a people, accept violence as a form of entertainment we should not complain that people are being maimed and killed on our streets by the very type of acting out that we are permitting in our movie theaters and on television.

Brice G. Dowell.


Council Districts

Editor: I was overcome with joy and adulation -- as well as sadness and disheartenment -- at the City Council Judiciary Committee meeting, where the public was given an opportunity to testify on the merits of a bill to redraw councilmanic districts for the next decade.

I applaud and congratulate the 12 brave, bold and fair-minded black and white elected officials who worked hard in hammering out a bill that will give much-needed and deserved increased representation to the majority population in Baltimore City.

The name of the game in the City Council since its inception has been 10 votes, a simple majority. The supporters of C.C. 1233 did their homework well and had 10 votes.

These council members were subjected to a vitriolic and thinly veiled racist attack on their motives and intentions by dissatisfied colleagues and residents of some of the areas slated to be moved. Their biggest fear was that they may be represented in City Council by African-Americans.

If I did not know where I was, I would have thought that the hearing was being held in the Confederacy of the 1860s, South Africa or Nazi Germany.

Threats of secession from the city, wholesale abandonment of ++ homes and property, pervaded the entire session. It was truly disgusting.

I know in my heart of hearts that those speakers against the bill don't represent the majority of those fine citizens who will be affected by the change.

African-American elected officials in this city, past and present, have distinguished themselves on being fair in representing all people who live in their districts.

It is an affront to think that ''intelligent'' white people in Baltimore in 1991 have this paralyzing fear being of represented by blacks.

On balance, the African-American council members, past and present, have the educational background, professional credentials and community respect that equals, and in most cases exceeds, their colleagues.

Our white council members have always said that they represent ''everyone.''

Now some of the ''everyone'' will represent them.

Nathaniel McFadden.


PD The writer is a former city councilman from the Second District.


Editor: If citizens do not want to trouble their conscience with judging the ethics of gerrymandering, which rigs voting results as effectively as stuffing ballot boxes, then perhaps they will consider the legality of it all.

Article III, section 7 (a) of our Baltimore City Charter reads: ''The criteria in redistricting shall be equality of population, contiguous territory, compactness, natural boundaries, existing councilmanic district lines and the standards established by the Supreme Court of the United States.''

Compare the original map with the infamous Stokes plan. Can any honest person consider the silly, sphinx-shaped First, the meat-cleavered and shamelessly distorted Third, and the further elongated and boomerang-like Fifth as respectful of compactness and existing councilmanic district lines?

Surely a good attorney will relish arguing a case to uphold true-blue legality and, incidentally, common decency.

$ Vaughn Paul Deckret.


No Woman's Land

Editor: The subject of women in combat keeps surfacing, and as a World War II combat vet I say women don't deserve to go through the mental and physical ordeal.

The latest effort to advance the cause of women in combat took place recently at a ''packed house'' at Anne Arundel Community College by a would-be advocate, Prof. Rita Gomez.

Those who advocate a role for women in front-line combat are unable to clearly define combat and the standard to measure up to.

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