Who will rid of us of the guns?Ross Perot made it as clear...

the Forum

December 07, 1992

Who will rid of us of the guns?

Ross Perot made it as clear as possible that the citizens of this country are personally responsible for making things happen.

As a Maryland citizen for over 50 years, I don't want guns on the streets.

Our history in the western United States in the late 19th century provides ample precedent for citizens joining together to rid the streets of guns.

In famous towns such as Dodge City, Abilene, Wichita, Tombstone and Ellsworth and throughout the Indian and Oklahoma territories, such men as Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Wild Bill Hickok, Tom Smith, Chris Madsen and Bill Tilghman were hired as sheriff or marshal by the people for the purpose of keeping guns off the streets.

These actions were taken even though there were only 45 gun-related homicides in the five chief cattle towns between 1870 and 1885. Even though there were only an average of three deaths per year in the five towns, the people took action. We currently have over 300 gun deaths in Baltimore City alone, yet I see no action being taken by the authorities.

The people of Maryland do not want guns on our streets or assault weapons in our state. Guns at home are acceptable. Guns for hunting are acceptable. Unlicensed guns on the streets are absolutely not acceptable.

Our fantasy past had Tom Mix, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Red Ryder, Zorro, the Lone Ranger and other heroes who provided law and order. Unfortunately, they are not here to make the streets safe. So the people of Maryland must work together to implement a strategy to rid our streets of guns.

I don't know of any elected or appointed official or organization that has a comprehensive program to reduce the number of guns on our streets in 1993. Creative ideas and funding are necessary to accomplish these goals.

Neil Ambach

Glen Burnie

Packwood's Senate days are numbered

The Senate Ethics Committee will investigate sexual harassment allegations against Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., as well it should. He is entitled to a hearing. But in the end the senator will have to resign.

Sexual harassment of female staff has become a sensitive sore spot on Capitol Hill. Since Prof. Anita Hill's charges against Judge Clarence Thomas were written off by the all-male Senate Judiciary Committee, all eyes have been focused on what Congress will do now to resolve these new charges satisfactorily.

Senator Packwood also has to deal with an American public that is anti-incumbent and generally disenchanted with elected officials.

The way that alcoholism excused Wilbur Mills' behavior in the '70s won't work in the '90s. Because of heightened awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace and the scant tolerance for drunk senators, elected officials are being held more accountable for their behavior.

Senator Packwood won't renew his oath of office in January because his female colleagues will have sent a message that they are a force to deal with in Congress. Sexual harassment is an issue that won't be hushed up or laughed off.

The manner in which Senator Packwood behaved was wrong -- unprofessional, chauvinistic and undemocratic. He took advantage of his official standing, and that is no longer acceptable or electable.

Ruth M. Fleishman


Just don't tell

It is time for clarity. Very few in the military object to having gays and lesbians included. If this were not so, there would be a witch hunt putting Joe McCarthy to shame and demolishing any semblance of order within that organization.

The reality is many thousand homosexual personnel of all ranks serve at least as well as their heterosexual counterparts.

What the military does object to is knowing who, in particular, among them are gays and lesbians.

I have, therefore, a modest proposal. The newly sworn President Clinton should not only allow homosexuals free access to military careers, but should also forbid any member of the military to reveal by word or deed while on duty his or her sexual orientation.

This would accomplish two things. It would relieve those who believe themselves endangered by gays' propositions, and it would protect those, mostly women, who are in fact endangered by the well-documented abuses of their oversexed straight brethren.

Stanley L. Rodbell


The real power

For over 60 years Americans have been led by the media to believe that we have a two-party system.

But in regard to the most important issue in every election, the economy, both parties have been committed to maintaining the power to coin and regulate money in the hands of the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank -- the international bankers.

In regard to the only issue that will determine whether we will live or die, we have a one-party system.

In future elections, we should forget about party loyalty and elect only those candidates who are committed to putting the power to coin and regulate money back in the hands of Congress.

This is what the Constitution demands and what our government officials have been violating forever.

Cornelius U. Morgan


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