It's Greed, Not Pet Health
Editor: I am writing in reference to the Sept. 11 article, ''Veterinarians Fear Misuse of Over-the-Counter Vaccines, Syringes.''
The Safeway chain is to be applauded for its decision to offer over-the-counter medicines for animals to the public. I think this will result in many pets and domestic animals getting vaccinated, which weren't before.
I found the comments of Ray Thompson, executive director of the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association, on this tempest in a teapot to be particularly smug, misleading and self-serving. Mr. Thompson notes that he's had 200 calls from his organization's members (veterinarians) protesting Safeway's move. But let's face it: these vets aren't worried about the health of pets. What prompted them to pick up their phones and raise objections was greed: the possibility that the exorbitant fees that they now charge for vaccinating animals might be undercut.
All the various (far-fetched) objections Mr. Thompson makes notwithstanding, that's what it all boils down to.
The fact is, particularly in these hard economic times, that many people with pets don't get them vaccinated, because as I've found out myself, it's gotten to where it often costs more to take a cat or dog to a veterinarian than it does to take your son or daughter to the dentist or doctor.
Veterinarians have, quite simply, priced themselves out of the range of many Americans. And now they're complaining because the public is being offered a chance provide health care to their pets at more realistic and affordable prices.
Editor: I fully agree with Art Kutcher's Sept. 8 letter, "Closing of Downtown Window.'' The new IBM high rise is a very dismal sight. However, since it is not finished, perhaps they have a surprise in store for the people of Maryland. My wife and I visit Harborplace several time a week, and we are watching the progress of this building.
We note that on top of this building there is a patch-work of inter-mingling steel beams. We assume that these beams are going to support something of real beauty to offset the ugliness of the structure below.
I'm sure the architect would not risk his reputation by designing a building that looks as though it has been left unfinished. They don't give awards for that.
Walter E. Boyd Jr.
Editor: I was saddened to see Michael Olesker (Sept. 17) use the foul murder of Charles "Eddie" Scheuerman to continue his attacks on the Second Amendment. His insinuation that Mr. Scheuerman reaped what he sowed was inexcusable.
The growing and persistent unemployment and failure of society to provide a meaningful existence to an increasing number of its citizens will provide the basis for violent crime long after the common citizens are stripped of their firearms.
Mr. Olesker quotes a federal agent stating that the 9mm semiautomatic handgun is favored among criminals. It is also favored among homeowners and police due to its superior stopping power, easy re-load and accuracy. Citizens in this country have the right to bear arms. Criminals will get guns in a criminal fashion regardless of laws which deprive citizens of their constitutional rights. Maryland's hand-gun control bill passed two years ago didn't do anything but make guns more valuable to criminals.
Mr. Olesker's concern is transparent when one realizes he is only interested in taking guns from the average citizen. He never criticizes the U.S. government (the largest gun runner in the world) or the Israeli government (which makes the Uzi that Olesker whines about).
Where is Mr. Olesker's crusade against automobiles? They kill far more than guns. When has he called for a prohibition against alcohol, which is much more a causal agent in violent and criminal behavior than firearms?
Has Mr. Olesker ever called 911 on a Saturday night? I have and have been told that unless it is a gun- or knife-related incident to call back later. If Mr. Olesker has his way, the honest citizen will be the only one without a gun.
Editor: In his article fantasizing Israel as the 51st state (Sept. 16), scattering questionable statistics and misleading assumptions like land-mines, it is interesting that Richard Reeves compares Israel to Louisiana, a state with comparable-size population.
A few differences between Israel and Louisiana should be noted.
Israel is not a place where a former Ku Klux Klan chief could amass enough votes to come close to election as senator.
Louisiana is not a state surrounded by several hundred million enemies sworn to destroy it, most of whom are still technically at war against it and refusing to end their wars as a condition for negotiating differences.
Louisiana has not been murderously attacked by these enemies in five wars and many terrorist raids in the past 43 years.