Anti-gun laws are no panaceaThe editorial, "An avoidable...

the Forum

May 06, 1991

Anti-gun laws are no panacea

The editorial, "An avoidable tragedy," decrying the lack of worthless gun laws has The Evening Sun (April 25, 1991) not onl barking up the wrong tree but out of sight of the forest.

Until a way is found to legislate against stupidity, poor parenting, absentee parents and children's care-givers who just don't give a damn, 13-year-olds will find and misuse firearms. So far, no one has found a way to mandate common sense.

How much publicity has been given to firearms safety by the press? Instead of constantly bellowing about anti-gun laws, which in truth solve nothing, why can't the media help with some non-prejudiced information which might have a positive effect?

The bottom line is that "registration schemes" and liability laws regarding foolish people who allow easy access to their weapons will have no effect on those who are now in violation of good judgment.

Despite his obvious axiom, the press could lead the way in a working education that just might save lives.

Ronald L. Dowling

Baltimore

Bottle tax boggle

If the citizens of Baltimore city believe they are going to benefit from the elimination of the bottle tax, I suggest they look at what happened in Baltimore County.

When the county bottle tax was set at 3 cents per container, the price went up 5 cents per can in the vending machines. The county got 3 cents, the vendors got 2 cents.

When the container tax was eliminated on Jan. 1, there was no reduction in the selling price. The result of the on-and-off tax was an increased cost to the consumer and an increased profit to the vendor.

The city was collecting the 4 cents, which it needed desperately. Consumers had gotten used to paying the tax. And the threatened flight of consumers to the county never materialized.

Most important, now that the council has eliminated the tax, there is no guarantee that the consumer will benefit in any way.

Charles D. Connelly

Baltimore

Injustice done

My heart went out to the parents whose imaginative 5-year-old son was placed in foster care for more than six months, on the erroneous suspicion of sex abuse (Evening Sun, April 19).

To me, the boy's behavior - imitating a playmate whom he'd seen applying ointment - fell well within the range of normal childhood behavior.

It's frightening that the boy's grandmother, who did not get along with her daughter, was able to convince the Department of Social Services to remove the couple's children so quickly and summarily.

Doing battle in court against a foot-dragging DSS must have been an emotional as well as financial drain for this falsely accused couple. While the court acted wisely in throwing the case out, justice won't fully be served until DSS is required to destroy all records of its mistake.

Gina Wiggen

Ft. Washington

'PC' on gender bias

Columnist Jim Castelli comments that George Mason University's dean of student services, Kenneth Bumgarner, suspended a sorority and a fraternity for not being "politically correct" (April 29).

But, because George Mason has a "women's center," the Department of Education has been asked to investigate the university for violating Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which bans gender discrimination.

It's about time their "politically correct" agenda is coming back to haunt them.

Kauko H. Kokkonen

Towson

Confused ruling

Some jurists probe the hidden recesses of the semantic labyrinth in order to produce and rationalize the shock value of their decisions ` for example, the recent decision negating the conviction of a drug dealer because the search warrant did not specifically mention a suitcase in which the illegal drugs were stored.

I am sure that that decision produced consternation among other jurists and evoked gratification among the cocaine barons of the United States, Colombia and around the world.

August A. Conomos

Towson

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