Parental DutyI'll try to be brief, but considering the...


June 15, 1993

Parental Duty

I'll try to be brief, but considering the scope of the problem it won't be easy.

Why do the parents, some of the public and certain groups continue to blame anyone in authority for the injuries, deaths and unfair treatment of their children?

We know that everyone who wants a gun today can get one in a heartbeat. How can a police officer, homeowner, shopkeeper or student for that matter, give someone the benefit of the doubt today? It may be your last cognitive poor choice to do so.

The real question is what is a 12- to 16-year-old doing out late at night, hanging out with people who are dealing drugs, doing burglaries, robbing people or stealing cars?

There are 6-year-olds out at 10 o'clock in my area running around. Where are the people in their lives that care so much about them before the harm has been done?

Yes, there are heavy-handed police. Yes, there are not enough jobs for everyone. Yes, there are not enough positive things for young people of any race to do in this city. And yes, there are parents who take the easy way out, the path of least resistance, then grieve when the kids pay the price.

The time to picket, to cry and to get group support is before our children are dead. We as parents must take responsibility for our own, rather than blame someone else for having to step in. They are our responsibility from birth to age of majority. No one should have to fear a walk to the store or church from our kids.

We need to know where they are, with whom and what they're doing. If we aren't willing to do this we have no right to criticize those who do. It's called "loving" in its purest form.

M. Diane Wilson



It was extremely disappointing to discover that the Clinton administration appears ready to betray a campaign promise to support a comprehensive test ban on nuclear weapons.

During the campaign, Bill Clinton stated that "the biggest threat in the future [is] the proliferation of nuclear technology . . . [and] to contain that, we ought to get out there and join the parade on working toward a comprehensive test ban."

The American Friends Service Committee has long been aware of the devastating effects of the nuclear arms race and has advocated the abolition of weapons of mass destruction.

To allow low-level nuclear testing under the cover of "experiment" and present this as a comprehensive test ban would be disingenuous and would suggest to other nations a lack of seriousness regarding nuclear proliferation.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl still haunt us today, and unless our government acts to curtail nuclear proliferation, nuclear disasters will continue.

As a first step toward nuclear disarmament, President Clinton should cease all testing of nuclear weapons. This would be an indication that the administration is ready to do its utmost to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Any continuation of nuclear testing would be a betrayal to those who supported the Clinton campaign promise and to future generations.

Gary W. Gillespie


The writer represents the American Friends Service Committee.

The Solution

The Health Care article concerning long-term care, June 2, presented examples that reminded this reader about two of the women who came to Dr. Jack Kevorkian for assistance in dying.

One woman was becoming helpless from multiple sclerosis, and she knew where the disease was taking her. The other woman realized she was sinking into Alzheimer's disease.

Both made the rational decision that their disease outcomes were unacceptable to them.

What would happen if doctor-assisted suicide were readily available? Would more men and women decide not to put themselves and their families through the miseries associated with long-term care?

Quite possibly, that kind of decision could slow the growth of the need for long-term care.

Carleton W. Brown


Nature's Keepers

My letter published April 15 in The Sun concerning the fatal trapping of the beaver in the Gunpowder Falls State Park has sparked extensive media interest, including the well-researched article June 1 in The Sun. There are just a few points which I would like to bring to your readers' attention.

It seems that very soon we will have to decide whether we want a nature park or a managed zoo or other type of playground.

If we want the latter, then wildlife management should continue to introduce species not indigenous to the area, such as the rainbow trout, and then try to protect them by eradicating native animals such as the beaver.

We will have to decide whether we want a natural wildness or a man-made recreation area. Our public officials apparently have made up their minds that we want the latter.

Already, we have to thank them for having destroyed acres of mature forest canopy in Western Maryland to promote the wild turkey, deer and exotic pheasant population for hunting at the expense of many other species, including migratory songbirds whose numbers are rapidly dwindling.

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