Gun ControlEditor: Now that the Maryland General Assembly...


January 14, 1992

Gun Control

Editor: Now that the Maryland General Assembly has begun the 1992 session, there is more talk about ''gun control.''

First it was Gov. William Donald Schaefer banning ''Saturday Night Specials'' and that (of course) turned out to be a joke. Now it's banning ''assault weapons'' and that, too, will prove to be a joke.

Why don't our elected officials stop punishing the law-abiding citizens with all these bans?

Raymond Tabak.


County Schools

Editor: On Dec. 18, contract negotiations between Local 434 of AFSCME and the Baltimore County Board of Education were broken off.

It was truly an education in futility and a sad day for over 2,200 dedicated blue-collar workers in this system.

As a negotiating team, we brought to the bargaining table many critical issues which have gone unheeded for too long. We were dealt with in a less than professional manner, which seems all too familiar in a bloated bureaucracy.

In today's hard-pressed economy, new ideas for growth, safety and a cost-effective working condition are needed, now more than ever. We tried repeatedly to point out creative alternatives to many areas of waste and inefficiency, only to be met with a flat negative response.

The children of Baltimore County deserve nothing less than a first-rate education encompassed in a clean, healthy and safe environment. All the employees of this system owe their allegiance to this end. These goals cannot be met by a management that wears blinders.

At the top, I liken the Board of Education to the roof on our schools. Its foundation is made up of the custodial and maintenance personnel, the groundsmen, bus drivers and attendants and school bus mechanics who support this structure.

If the roof of a building will not weather the storm, the elements will penetrate to erode its foundation. Unfortunately,its occupants will be left out in the cold.

This may seem like a bleak scenario. Unfortunately, it is harsh reality.

P. W. Schruefer.


The writer is a school bus mechanic and executive board member of AFSCME Local 434.

Air Campaign

Editor: Air University's Col. Dennis Drew and other proponents of the air power doctrine are doing the military a disservice by saying the Desert Storm air campaign was clearly decisive.

In his Jan. 3 letter to the editor (''Air War In the Gulf,'') Colonel Drew stated: ''Was the modern incarnation of air power effective? How else does one explain a ground war in which the principle activity was accepting surrender of the Iraqi army? The 43-day air campaign was clearly decisive.''

These sorts of snobbish statements make me mad. Why doesn't Colonel Drew just say the Air Force won the war? I'm sure that's what he means when he says the ground forces' only contribution to victory was processing Iraqi POWs.

If Colonel Drew would see beyond the ivy defilade of Maxwell Air Base, he would understand that such statements create animosity and jealousy among the services -- something unneeded in our military where joint operations are critical for success.

The term decisive is a poor choice of words to use when discussing Air Force contributions to the Desert Storm victory. Decisive means having the power to decide or being conclusive. Air power was not conclusive.

It could be argued that the air campaign was reaching a point of diminishing returns, without Saddam Hussein's capitulation, when the ground campaign began.

Bragging, as Colonel Drew seems to be doing, that air power was decisive, cheapens the contributions of others, some of whom gave their lives.

The point is that air, naval and ground force operations, along with political success in the domestic and international arenas, resulted in the Gulf war victory. Say that air power played a key role. Say it played the most important role, but don't tell me it was decisive.

The Air Force and air power doctrine made me proud during Desert Storm. The air arm of our military is the best in the world. There is no need to justify the existence of air forces.

The U.S. Air Force will continue to serve our national security needs and will be successful if called to fight, but until it can occupy and hold ground it will never be decisive in war.

Maj. Michael J. Gaffney.


The writer, U.S. Army, is on the joint staff at the Pentagon.

Hoover and FDR

Editor: Nathan Miller's accolades for Franklin D. Roosevelt and denigration of Herbert Hoover brings back memories of the moods of those times. Roosevelt and some of his supporters were hardly modest.

However, when Mr. Miller credits all the action to overcome that depression to the accomplishments of Roosevelt, he omits mention of the Federal Farm Board, Emergency Relief Act, Federal Home Loan Bank and Reconstruction Finance Corporation.

These were created during Hoover's time in office. These organizations aided and abetted any recovery the United States experienced prior to the emergence of World War II.

John Zeidler.


Helmets Do Not Prevent Accidents

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