Adults blamed for minors' getting gunsMany minors are...

the Forum

May 07, 1992

Adults blamed for minors' getting guns

Many minors are carrying guns on the streets and sometimes into the schools. Too often they shoot children and adults accidentally or intentionally. Where are these minors getting guns? Why aren't their parents being held responsible for shootings that occur?

Adults are charged with an offense if they give or sell alcoholic beverages to minors. If a minor takes a parent's car without permission and does damage with it, the parent is held responsible.

If a gun is legally registered to a parent and the minor takes it without permission, there is definitely a problem of some sort in the home. Besides being held responsible for what the minor does with the gun, the parent's privilege of owning a gun should be withdrawn until that problem is solved.

If the gun wasn't registered to a parent, then where did it come from? There had to be an adult involved somewhere. Yet I have never seen a case of an adult being prosecuted for enabling a minor to posses a gun. Why?

Janet Paul


No interest

How long are our politicians going to continue to cater to professional sports? First the governor and the state built the new stadium, and now Baltimore's Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke wants to forgo collecting the interest due from the Orioles on last year's rent at Memorial Stadium.

How many businesses in the city are allowed to not only be late in paying their taxes but also are able to abstain from paying the interest due on the taxes?

How many extra hours could Enoch Pratt library branches remain open on just the interest alone?

Wayne Spangler


Bad recipe

Take a change of venue to an all-white middle-class community, which results in 12 non-black jurors, add an outstandingly inept and botched prosecution, stir in a brilliant defense by competent defense attorneys, top off with an eight-page charge by the judge to tell the jurors to look at the case through the eyes of the defendants, thus limiting their ability to separate the charges.

No wonder the verdicts in the Rodney King case were not guilty.

Now take 10 seconds of an 81-second tape and show it hundreds of times on TV with terse comments by every major broadcaster, but don't report on the actual context of the trial. Finally, add self-fulfilling prophecies by leaders who should have known that "the cities would burn if the verdict wasn't 'guilty,'" and you've got the perfect recipe for chaos.

Who's to blame? There's enough blame for this travesty to go around, but the biggest mistake would be to blame the jurors.

James G. Watson


'Women's issues'

Anna Quindlen and I are pretty much on the same side of the gender gap and we believe Bill Clinton is with us. But Ms. Quindlen shouts Mr. Clinton is not vocal enough on "women's issues." Do it, Bill, and die a quick, perhaps more painful political death than already appears possible.

Ms. Quindlen comes from the scorched earth school of feminist politics. If she thinks that "half the voters" follow that path she just doesn't get it. She thinks Anita Hill will do for American politics what the policies and practices of the Reagan-Bush team didn't, mainly galvanize large groups of angry, disaffected women.

She is not just wrong, she's blind. Polls show most of the American electorate still doesn't believe Anita Hill -- though I do -- and a good chunk of them are black women at that. Another large voting block believes Ms. Hill, but forgives Judge Thomas his youthful indiscretions. A third, even bigger block just doesn't care.

David Paulson


The writer is a talk show host on WBAL Radio.

Too late

Baltimore County's growth problems are the result of 40 years of neglect -- neglect of Baltimore City. For 40 years Baltimore County has spurned the outstretched hands of Baltimore City. Wise men and women have pleaded constantly that we in Maryland are one body and that a diseased limb, left untreated, will sooner or later infect the whole.

Now the county needs the city. We will show you how to cope with overcrowded classrooms, an aging population, racially changing neighborhoods, old tired buildings, outdated commercial strips, congested roads and pollution. You will soon learn what it means to have too many needs and too few resources, and no one to sympathize with your plight.

Harford, Carroll, Frederick, Anne Arundel and Howard, are you listening? It is too late for Baltimore County, but maybe not for you. When will you understand that the solution to your growth problems is the rebirth of Baltimore City?

Vincent P. Quayle


Praise for police

I have been working as a volunteer with the Maryland state police at the Glen Burnie barracks for approximately four months.

It is both an honor and a privilege to be working with these people. Everyone with whom I have been in contact at the barracks has great concern for the public's welfare, and all are very proficient in their jobs.

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