Lethal WeaponsThe cover of the "Maryland Live" section...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 21, 1992

Lethal Weapons

The cover of the "Maryland Live" section published on May 15 trumpets the latest in the "Lethal Weapon" series in red two-inch letters. Inside, film critic Stephen Hunter trashes the movie, calling it "slapstick with automatic weapons" and asking, "When is Hollywood go [sic] to learn that kids want guns because they see them in movies? The first two 'Lethal Weapons' probably sold more Berettas than all the ads in Guns and Ammo combined."

It's no secret that our culture exults in crime, in fact and fantasy, and craves it as a staple of popular entertainment. But the next time I notice a Sun editorial deploring violence, homicide rates and gun proliferation, I will recall that you also celebrate them, promote them, and make a good advertising buck out of it all.

Hal Riedl

Baltimore

Ice Age Show

Once again, my husband and I have searched in vain in your entertainment columns for a review of a significant cultural event in Baltimore. Our most recent disappointment is the failure of The Sun to cover the presentation on April 3 of The Next Ice Age, one of the premier ice dance companies in the world.

To the credit of our city, this is a Baltimore-based company. It is inconceivable to us that our own local paper would choose to ignore the efforts of what has been proclaimed as long ago as 1988 to be the "best Baltimore dance news" (Baltimore Magazine).

Certainly to its countless fans, The Next Ice Age offers some of the most moving and exciting artistic experience available. We are dismayed to have to turn to The Washington Post to find a review of the company's latest performance.

When Dorothy Hamill respects The Next Ice Age enough to frequently join their performances and she, too, is ignored by The Sun, one can only ask, "Why?"

Having recently retired to Baltimore from New York, we were drawn here by the architectural beauty and exciting cultural life of the area.

While still subscribing to The New York Times -- a lifelong addiction -- we have been so delighted by the quality of The Sun that it, too, has become a daily habit.

Please do not force us to turn to The Washington Post, instead, to get coverage of the very events that we moved to Baltimore to enjoy.

Rebekab Kennedy

Baltimore

Safety Belts

If a plane crash at BWI Airport killed 114 people today, the American public would be upset, fearful and insistent on knowing why it happened. Yet few people notice when 114 people die and thousands are seriously injured on U.S. roadways every day.

It's time to put a national - and local - spotlight on this carnage and on the primary tool for reducing it: the safety belt.

While safety belt use in Maryland is better than the national average of 51 percent, nearly three in 10 Marylanders still don't buckle up.

Some 700 people die in motor vehicle crashes in the state each year. We must push to increase safety belt use to 100 percent if we are to significantly reduce this tragic loss of life.

Each Marylander can help. How? Buckle your safety belt every time you get in the car and insist that your passengers do the same. Assure that young children are secured in child safety seats during every ride.

And if you should stop in traffic next to someone who's not belted, catch his or her eye and give the "seat belt salute," an obvious tug at your own belt, as a reminder to buckle up.

Safety belt use is a habit Marylanders can live with, and it's the law.

David Schindler

Washington

B4

The writer is regional vice president of GEICO.

Shoot Straight

Matthew Fenton's recent letter to The Sun is another attempt by gun-control advocates to distort facts.

The real fact of the matter regarding the recent riots in Los Angeles is that most of the violence was perpetrated by a criminal element that scoffs at law and order. These criminals do not obey any gun laws, any more than they obey any other kind of law.

A recent Sun article indicated that gun stores in the area of the riots reported a tremendous increase in legal handgun purchases. This indicates that many people who have lived through a riot situation are going to make sure they have a means of defending themselves, since the police failed to provide protection.

If Matthew Fenton has his way, these law-abiding citizens will no longer be able to exercise their right to protect themselves. I would interpret that to mean that more restrictive gun laws would actually increase deaths in a riot situation.

Gun-control laws have never, nor will they ever curb crime. The criminal element will always be there, and denying a citizen the right to defend himself or herself is a breach of responsible government.

Michael Horst

Essex

Crown Cork

I think it's great that Crown Cork & Seal is going to keep its machinery plant in Canton. It's great that the company is going to put $4 million into plant renovations and the city is going to improve the roads around the plant.

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