Warning ShotThe National Rifle Association has waged...


January 19, 1993

Warning Shot

The National Rifle Association has waged campaigns against gun control, gun registration and limits on the types of firepower that may be purchased.

The NRA has stressed the importance of citizens having arms and of giving long jail terms to those who use their weapons illegally. The NRA has also warned us about the danger of foreign powers coming in and disarming law-abiding citizens.

Where is the NRA now? Why are they quiet? In Somalia, law-abiding citizens had the perfect world. Anyone with the cash could buy any kind of firepower. There was no registration, no background check, no waiting period and no convoluted laws about the limited ways in which property owners could defend their property. Anyone could go out and immediately purchase anything they could afford.

Suddenly, a foreign power, the United Nations, has appeared on the scene. The forces of the U.N. are now engaged in disarming the citizens of Somalia.

No serious attempt seems to be being made to sentence the law breakers to long jail terms and to let the law-abiding citizens continue to hold their guns. Yet, as gun people say, "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns."

I had expected the NRA to express outrage over what is being done to disarm the law-abiding citizens of Somalia. Actually I had expected many members of the NRA to be living in Somalia. Before the U.N. invasion, Somalia would have seemed to be the NRA definition of heaven.

In fact, since the United States seems to be moving further and further away from NRA ideals, I would encourage all NRA members to move to Somalia as quickly as possible. After all, the U.N. will leave, and then things there can return to normal.

Russell F. Williams


Drugs and Guns

Your Jan. 3 article about the crime problem facing the citizens of Baltimore was interesting and thought-provoking.

I empathize with those few courageous people who are trying to fight back at this scourge. When you look at the core of all this misery, it always leads to drugs and guns. Everything else is a spin-off.

Our elected officials at all levels of government are inept in doing nothing to alleviate the drug and gun problem. The unimpeded )) flow of drugs into this country is a national disgrace for a country which boasts to the world of being a superpower.

We are filling up the prisons with small-time dealers and everyone wonders why the drug flow hasn't ebbed. You never hear of any of the high-level financiers being arrested or imprisoned.

Whenever we can get these elected officials to summon up some courage to fight the drug and gun problems, then the people in neighborhoods have a fighting chance to take back their community.

John Matthews


Montgomery's Plea for Mercy

I was disappointed to read your Jan. 5 editorial which undermines regional cooperation by urging Howard County to "ignore Montgomery's pleas for mercy" on the development planned along the Route 29 corridor.

The challenges to government to provide adequate infrastructure to responsibly support growth begs for the highest level of regional cooperation. I have devoted considerable effort to working for such cooperation between Montgomery County and those counties which are within our development region.

Your remarks critical of Montgomery's planning are off the mark.

Route 29 is a state highway. It is the state that deserves the credit or criticism for its condition and not the county which it traverses. Howard County is fortunate to have a more improved Route 29 than Montgomery County. Montgomery has been seeking comparable help in our area.

Montgomery County has concentrated efforts on improvements in this corridor because we must consider the impact of this traffic on the bottom of the corridor as well as along the way. The "freeway" you propose for Route 29 in Montgomery County cannot be implemented through Silver Spring without destroying Also, the Clean Air Act demands that we emphasize transit to mitigate the environmental impact of the ever-increasing use of the automobile.

The Route 29 corridor in Montgomery County has been in a development moratorium for the better part of a decade because of inadequate transportation capacity. To allow private development to proceed where public infrastructure is inadequate ignores the basic responsibility of government to protect the welfare of its citizens.

Neal Potter


The writer is Montgomery County Executive.

Goucher on Merit

The Sun certainly provided a valuable service to Marylanders in the article on scholarship funding available to students that appeared in the Education Supplement on Jan. 7 ("Found Money").

Author Andrew Todd Reimer did not mention, however, the largest college merit award program in the state: that of Goucher College.

Although Goucher has long had merit awards, three years ago the board of trustees committed considerable additional funding expand the awards in an effort to reward and encourage our brightest, most talented students.

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