Why we are drowning in gun crimesI am writing to you to...

the Forum

April 08, 1993

Why we are drowning in gun crimes

I am writing to you to let you know how I and many others feel about the crime rate and gun control.

With the crime rate at an all-time high, I would not feel safe without a gun. Law enforcement is doing a good job, but it can only do so much with the conditions that prevail today. The truth is, the law enforcement community is drowning in the ocean of crime.

A nun is killed in a sanctuary by an ex-convict recently released from jail. Heinous crimes are committed by repeat offenders time and again. Dontay Carter is another prime example.

I am opposed to gun control, with the exception of waiting periods, preventive education and the prohibition of gun ownership by criminals and the insane. Law-abiding citizens should have the right to protect themselves from the type of person who would torture and kill a nun.

The first thing I read in your paper after this murder occurred was a not so original statement that we need gun control. This is a facade that will never, ever work.

There are already laws prohibiting murder, after all. Yet it is obvious these laws have had no preventive effect on the murder rate.

What we need is a judicial system that works by keeping criminals confined or eliminating the ones who can't conform.

The death penalty law in this state is a joke, and the criminals know it.

Instead of raising false hopes through laws that won't do anything to prevent crime, endorse something that works. Then help enforce the laws we have.

Paul Martin

Catonsville

____________

The overall cost of firearms injury in the United States is more than $4 billion a year. It would cost roughly $4 billion to buy every gun in the U.S.

Some 100,000 handguns are carried into the schools each day.

We are paying the cost of that $4 billion as taxpayers, and it has escalated beyond belief.

These figures are not mine. They come from a bill introduced into the Senate by Republican Sen. John H. Chaffee.

The Public Health and Safety Act of 1992 would prohibit the possession, sale or manufacturer of handguns.

It has not come out of committee for debate in the Senate. It behooves all of us to write our senators and congressmen to correct this.

Either the guns are stopped or we will have a Somalia syndrome on our hands. We are already well on our way.

Myra Sunn Jans

Baltimore

Want and need

We are living in a trying society. We are being robbed every day and the perpetrators are not using a gun to do it. They are overcharging us for the services we receive, and you know them all.

We do not help our cause by failing to observe the difference between the two most important words in the dictionary: "want" and "need." Those two words can mean the difference between having a bank balance and being in debt.

My advice is: shop for price, think about those two words "want" and "need" -- and try making it easier for yourself.

William H. Pearson Jr.

Bulter

Delegate Rawlings defamed by Columnist Hall

We write to take serious exception to the snide and shallow commentary about Del. Howard "Pete" Rawlings recently authored by your columnist, Wiley A. Hall.

Mr. Hall cannot be personally acquainted with Delegate Rawlings or his work to have written such an insulting and inaccurate piece. We are surprised that you permitted such character assassination on the pages of your newspaper.

For the record, Delegate Rawlings is currently the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. He is the first person of African-American ancestry to hold this very important position. We who serve with him from the city are extremely grateful that he has this position because, as chairman, Delegate Rawlings passes on budget appropriations of over $12.7 billion and capital expenditures in excess of $350 million for FY 1994 alone.

Further, in his position as chairman, Delegate Rawlings is automatically an integral part of the House and Senate leadership and an adviser to the governor and his cabinet. The chairman also works with the Maryland congressional delegation to help keep the state's agenda focused.

In his role as a delegate from Baltimore City, Pete Rawlings has sponsored a wide range of bills to benefit the city and its people. The topics range from low income housing, minority employment, homelessness, hunger and malnutrition, legal services for the poor, and, of course, education.

Me. Rawlings has consistently demonstrated his support for public education. He has worked hard for APEX, higher education support and reform, and teacher education. Pete is known as the education person of the city's delegation.

In this session of the General Assembly, Delegate Rawlings supported a budget initiative that would have temporarily withheld 2 percent of the funds budgeted for education to Baltimore City, pending the implementation of some recommendations of the Cresap Report on management practices in the city schools.

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