ScapegoatingEditor: I am dismayed that the Schaefer...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 08, 1992

Scapegoating

Editor: I am dismayed that the Schaefer administration has decided once again to make a ban on assault rifles part of its legislative package.

There seems to be a feeling that banning certain firearms will reduce crime. The facts from the 1990 Federal Bureau of Investigation crime reports refute this.

The FBI reports that rifles were involved in only 3.7 percent of homicides in 1990, the lowest percentage in the last ten years. The peak year of rifle-related murders was 1980. The number of such crimes has been declining ever since.

So why do we hear so much from the governor and the media on the so called assault rifles when their contribution to society's ills is so miniscule? Could it be that pictures of assault rifles sell more air time and newspapers than the less spectacular efforts to address the causes of crime?

Do we need a tangible scapegoat for the broad spectrum of society's failings? Does the governor need something to distract us from his unusual behavior and his administration's ineptitude?

If we are sincere in our commitment to reduce crime, we must face squarely the factors leading to crime, not its symptoms alone. Legislators must have the courage to focus on programs that address the causes of crime and not the ineffective, headline-grabbing efforts favored by Gov. Schaefer.

Gordon Shelton.

Towson.

Wake Up to Sex

Editor: America's obsession with the sexual activities of public figures, especially political figures, is ridiculous, to say the least. Now it's Bill Clinton.

Since time began man and women all over the world have been engaging in all sorts of sexual affairs. Quite a few were great leaders. Especially in today's world where sex is such a casual thing, what's the big deal? Does having an extra-marital affair at sometime in their life make a person less qualified to do their job? I think not!

I'm getting tired of hearing about all these extra-marital affairs. Don't the people who are so interested in them have a sexual life of their own? Must they live through someone else's?

If more people steered their interest toward the qualifications the candidate has for the job, instead of the candidate's former sexual activities, no doubt we would have more responsible Leaders.

Our aspiring and elected politicians eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, and as we found out so recently, vomit just the same as everyone else. Why should their sexual life be any different.

If a person is qualified to help in any way, our problems with crime, unemployment, environmental issues, etc. I don't care when, how often or who they have or have had sex with. Time spent on Bill Clinton's sexual affairs would be better spent on finding out about this man's ideas and plans should he be elected.

Wake up America! You're acting like a child that has just found out that its parents actually had sex!

Janet Paul.

Pasadena.

Tabloid Garbage

Editor: If a garbage truck drives by no one need ask "What does it contain?" They can smell and identify it. So it is with supermarket tabloids. I will not dignify them by calling them journals.

If Gov. Bill Clinton has or has not made a marital mistake, he and his highly educated wife have shown an example of maturity and human understanding by dealing successfully with their problem. Good to know that a potential president can deal with problems in a wise manner! We have had those who do not know how to tackle problems.

No one looked, but we assume Nixon was a faithful husband. Better the country had had a fair and honest president.

The tragic side of these stories is that the public gives ear and even credibility to the Rice-Bowman-HahnFlowers type woman who is so obviously out for free publicity, money and maybe a shot at a (usually in show biz) job that she didn't have the talent to get on her own. In the process she will soil her own reputation, but that is obviously of little concern to her.

In a more innocent age Americans denied themselves the leadership of divorced Adlai Stevenson. It never came up in Ronald Reagan's campaign. Our world is so full of problems, let us give credit to those who are able to recognize and deal with their own.

Sylvia B. Mandy.

Baltimore.

Terrorist Tactics

Editor: It is ironic that just before the opening of the powerful Maryland Institute symposium and exhibit on terrorism, The Sun should run an editorial on the late police commissioner, Donald Pomerleau, praising his rejuvenation of the department but dismissing his routine violations of civil liberties by saying he was ''a product of his times.''

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