Stricter gun control laws neededI would like to respond to...

the Forum

May 08, 1991

Stricter gun control laws needed

I would like to respond to the column by Abraham N. Tennenbaum (Other Voices, May 2). To the extent that Mr. Tennenbaum sees the problem of police brutality as a reaction to a larger problem, I agree. However, I believe Mr. Tennenbaum's analysis goes beyond the logical conclusion. He believes that by addressing the wider societal problems that influence crime, we can reduce the number of crimes and, therefore, the contacts between criminals and police and the instances of police violence. Since programs aimed at eliminating crime have had little success since the creation of the criminal justice system, it does seem that controlling police violence against citizens through elimination of even larger unnamed social ills is a quixotic prospect at best. Fortunately, Mr. Tennenbaum hints at a more immediate solution to the problem of police violence and violent crime.

I agree that incidents of "justifiable" police homicide occur because officers are afraid of being injured or killed and frustrated about their inability to control "risky situations." Though he does not define the term, I assume that a "risky situation" is one in which a police officer is, or believes himself to be, in serious jeopardy. Any situation involving a firearm or the threat of one would probably constitute a "risky situation" for Mr. Tennenbaum.

Since Mr. Tennenbaum writes that most instances of police violence take place in risky situations, does it not make sense to reduce the number of such situations in which police officers find themselves? One way to accomplish this would be to support the efforts of the police departments and those of Governor Schaefer to reduce the number of firearms available by enacting stricter gun control laws.

Sabrina Willis

Baltimore

McMillen's motive

One of the more amusing results of our brief war with Iraq is Congressman Tom McMillen's wrapping himself in the American flag. To his credit, McMillian was one of the few Democrats in Congress who spurned his party's leadership on the vote authorizing President Bush to go to war. Yet while McMillen was eager to commit our troops to combat, he was not so eager to properly equip them for combat.

Since he entered Congress in 1986, the only weapon systems McMillen has supported have been those manufactured in his district. He voted against the B-2 bomber, which we may need in the high-tech wars of tomorrow. He voted against the Strategic Defense Initiative. He voted for defense cuts beyond what President Bush has requested.

If in the next two years McMillen votes against the weapons that will save the lives of our soldiers in the wars of the 21st century, then we will know he has no deep commitment to our country's security, and that his vote for war was pure political opportunism. We should watch his actions in Congress carefully.

Patty Andrews

Glen Burnie

Society's children

Jared Taylor's article in the April 24 Evening Sun, regardin the forced use of contraceptives for welfare recipients, was thought-provoking. Besides the accusations of "genocide" from some Afro-American community leaders, there are also the Catholic Church and the more radical fringe of the "pro-life" movement.

None of the above, of course, accepts any responsibility for the unwanted, often-abused children born as a result of the lack of birth control. Make no mistake, however; this is not just a problem in the Afro-American community. It is a problem in poor white and even middle-class white areas, too.

Young women who have been born with Downs syndrome or other mental disabilities have the "right" to have children and become a burden to society. "Pro-life" groups teach young women how to get on welfare so they don't have to have an abortion. I haven't heard of these same groups teaching them about birth control.

So the result is an upcoming generation of fatherless children whose mothers struggle to keep a family going. They're not getting an education; they're not getting ahead. They're just getting pregnant. Again.

I have seen a number of success stories, but generally these young women have had plenty of family help - emotional and financial. Poor people can't help - they can barely support themselves.

Jared Taylor's answer is probably the best one, though it is unpalatable.

Nobody wants to deny anyone's right to have children. However, society must come to grips with the facts of life. The individual's "rights" must not overrule the rights of all of society's children.

Lorraine Formica

Abingdon

A better answer

Any amount of funds used in education is great, but what caused me to debate the judgment of buying 25,000 calculators is that it's fairly simple to learn how to use one: Push the right button, get the right answer (Evening Sun, May 3).

Don't you think we should be teaching the kids how to actually do the problem? The only "tool" I remember taking a test was my brain.

Mike Stockman

Orchard Beach

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