Yes, people with guns kill people
Many letters have been published from persons who decry the decision not to execute Eric Tirado. Not one of those writers acknowledged the fact that we do not know whether it was he or the other defendant who pulled the trigger.
Surely among those persons who favor retention of the death penalty, there must be some who would accept the jury's decision in a situation where it is either not known who pulled the trigger or it is known that the defendant in question did not pull the trigger.
The death penalty resolves nothing except perhaps the blood-lust of a victim or society in general. What we need is a ban on guns and rifles such as they have in Great Britain, Japan, etc. In those countries, the murder rates are almost nil. Of course, people are still allowed to go hunting after picking up their rifles at special locations. It seems as though the diehards who oppose gun laws or bans do not care about the astronomical murder rates in the U.S. They simply sit back when challenged and repeat the gem of wisdom which says, "Guns don't kill people; people kill people." In fact, people with guns kill people!
Judge Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee should provide an opportunity for the American public, black and White, to see whether he favors a more inclusive and just America or whether his known ideological perspectives on race and gender have ossified.
It would have been comforting to a wide spectrum of black Americans if President Bush had shown the moral courage, on the basis of superior legal ability, to have nominated black jurists in the mold of Derrick Bell of the Harvard Law School. President Bush's deep affinity for a conservative Supreme Court and not one of legal diversity precluded this possibility.
In spite of the ambivalence that blacks have expressed toward Thomas, I believe he will be confirmed after the sound and fury of the hearings.
But if Thomas is confirmed, hope springs eternal. One hopes he will remember, within the independence and insularity of a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, the worsening economic status of a disproportionate number of his black brothers and sisters who still wade in deep waters, waiting for justice and equality of opportunity in their native land.
amuel L. Banks
For two other views of Thomas, see articles below.
Anne Arundel County must have a surplus of police officers when it can afford to spare two of the force to "peep" in massage parlors. With holdups reported daily, you wouldn't think it possible to spare two men for that duty.
The politicians should grab this one quick, for it will be responsible for headlines and give them an opportunity to qualify for a local judgeship or a better state job. Anything to divert the public's mind from the tax issue.
Maybe some of the county's senior citizens could qualify for this duty, and save the police for the dangerous jobs.
George L. Greenwood
Comic strip offends
I am disturbed by the content of recent Mark Trail comic strips. There was an episode in which people (especially children) were encouraged to pick up wild animals which are sick or injured. This is dangerous, especially when the animal is a raccoon, as it was in the strip. Even a tame animal will bite a stranger when it is sick or injured, and with wild animals rabies must always be considered.
We are also treated to a man who essentially abandons his blind dog in the woods for hours. The danger to the dog is considerable attack, rabies, injury ... the list is long. Next, we see dogs allowed, even encouraged, to run loose in a forest for hours. True, dangers were depicted this time wild dogs, a leg trap but the practice is portrayed as acceptable. Finally, we have Mark Trail assaulting a man based on nothing but suspicion that he was doing something wrong.
Mark Trail either viewed with approval or participated in all these incidents. Mark Trail is not a humorous strip; it is a serious story, meant to be a lesson (witness the somewhat didactic Sunday panels). These are not lessons I want my children to learn.
Karen M. Davis
Power of the vote
Recent surveys show 70 percent of those who are eligible do not vote because they feel it makes no difference. They are wrong. You should vote for the lesser of the two evils.
A materialistic society breeds insatiable avarice; this prevents us from enjoying a utopian form of government.
The forgotten vets
I am a Korea veteran. I was a combat medic in this war. It was called a conflict; it was called a police action. Now it is called the FTC Forgotten War. My most treasured possession is my combat medic badge (CMB).
When I came home from Korea, the Army flew me from Seattle to Friendship Airport on a rented commercial plane, a two-engine plane. I had box lunches and three stops between Seattle and Friendship.
There were no parades, no one to greet us, no TV cameras, just an old beat-up Army bus waiting to take us to Fort Meade.
I was 19 when I went to Korea. I was 21 when I got home. I am 61 years old now, and there are very few, if any, relatives or friends left who remember how I got home.
The Army gave me $1.40 to get from Fort Meade to Baltimore on the bus. We left the bus at the old Camden Street station. From there I caught a No. 19 street car home.
How can a war be forgotten? Are Korean veterans heroes?