Expensive GoodsYour March 22 editorial about Starter...


April 27, 1993

Expensive Goods

Your March 22 editorial about Starter jackets being stolen from teens bothered me, when you questioned why any child should wear a $300 item.

First of all, the jackets do go on sale, so it's not the cost of the item that catches a thief's eye. But most importantly, does this mean that as an adult, I should not wear a two-carat diamond if I am so inclined?

Or that I should not drive an expensive sports car? Maybe I should live in a one-room shack so my possessions are less enticing to criminals?

Camile Nuebecker


Guns, Upbringing

Paul Blackman, research coordinator for the National Rifle Association, offered a simplistic view (letter, March 24) about the statistics showing that guns are killing youths at record rates in this country.

Mr. Blackman said "those children that do their homework, go to church on Sunday, and have proper family upbringing aren't being shot in any particular numbers." He adds, "the dramatic rise over the past five years has been among those who are up to no good being killed by others who are up to no good."

Other research disputes Mr. Blackman's quotes. The General Accounting Office and Harper's Research found that 138,400 people were shot at by children under six years old in the U.S. in the last decade.

FBI statistics show that a family member is 43 times more likely to be shot at in the home and seven of them killed by a gun for every intruder killed.

No one disputes the large amounts of deaths among teen-agers involved in drug trafficking and other criminal activity.

However, the GAO and FBI statistics show that the mere presence of a gun in the home causes many injuries and deaths. In those cases, family upbringing or church attendance are non-factors.

The NRA is a staunch defender of a gun in the home for protection, so the GAO and FBI research are facts that it and Mr. Blackman choose to ignore.

Fred Davis


Blacks in Groups

The article regarding the ''teen crowd'' at the Harbor on Easter Sunday smacked of hysteria to me!

Isn't it enough that the media exploited the civil rights trial of the police officers on trial in L.A.? Don't believe the hype! Has this country gone completely mad!!

So what if there was a crowd of youthful blacks at the predominantly white Inner Harbor? Have we provided an outlet or any place that these kids can go to socialize with their friends without being scrutinized or harassed?

It goes back to the saying that blacks are accepted as one but not accepted when their numbers grow. For some unknown reason white America continue to fear blacks in groups!

I am left to ponder if these kids were white -- which happens consistently -- would it be newsworthy?

If black kids overturn garbage cans, get rambunctious and do kid things, they are labeled criminals. The same acts committed by white kids are considered pranks. Yet white America continues to wonder why black youth is angry.

Wake up America, your prejudices are showing again!

Georgia Brooks


Answers Needed

I would like to respond to the letter by Donald I. Mohler III, principal of Catonsville High School (April 10). I agree that the parents of Baltimore County must fully understand the facts and carefully analyze them.

This is what many of us tried to do. Our attempts to question Baltimore County school board members Rosalie Hellman and Calvin Disney were met with rebukes and abrupt rhetoric. The description of the operations for selecting our superintendent sound, on the surface, fair. However, I have not yet seen an actual profile from which the superintendent was selected.

Mrs. Hellman told me there were special questions and words no one except the board knew. Our present superintendent, she said, knew all the right words. Mrs. Hellman has also expressed her philosophy that controversy is the way to change.

The vision statement of the Board of Education does not fit Mr. Berger's capabilities or present performance. Hiring him does seem, however, to fulfill her own philosophy.

Questions help clarify the facts. What I would like are answers in print that are clear evidence of good planning. I want evidence of studies that support these innovative ideas.

When the board decided to change the starting date of our schools to August, it acted in haste without planning and without parental input. This is proven by the fact the board had to change it back to the original day after Labor Day.

The superintendent totally ignored our State Fair and focused only on Ocean City. Is this Mrs. Hellman's idea of the ideal superintendent, one who doesn't know or think of the communities he serves?

I want a superintendent with proven leadership qualities. I want a superintendent who is willing to put in print what he promises so his performance can be judged accurately. I want fair and honest guidance.

Shirley Giberson

Upper Falls

The writer is organizer of Parents' Rights in Developing Education (PRIDE).

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