Pro-Criminal SunI read with great interest your editoorial...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 07, 1994

Pro-Criminal Sun

I read with great interest your editoorial (Dec. 26) opposing the proposed victims' rights amendment. Although reasonable people can certainly disagree, I found your position irresponsible and arrogant.

I found it unbelievable that The Sun shows more concern and regard for the rights of convicted criminals than the rights of victims. You were concerned about "excessive advocacy of victims' rights." I am concerned about putting violent criminals behind bars and keeping them there.

Your foremost objection to the amendment was that more than 30 victims' rights laws are already on the books.

You did not find the Brady Bill objectionable, even though there are already over 6,000 laws on the books concerning gun control. If you will be taken literally at your word, I look forward to The Sun opposing every new law that covers an already existing criminal offense.

You say the "system works," and "why bother at all?" Ask your readers if the system works. The same people who are terrified to leave their homes or answer the door at night.

I think that if we are going to bother, we should bother on the side of the victim. The Sun can bother with the criminal element in our society.

The members of the press will always have a forum to express their views. Our Constitution guarantees the freedom of the press, but one has to own a printing press.

Victims of crime also want a guarantee to a forum. At least Del. Gerry Brewster, D-Baltimore County, is trying to provide a guaranteed forum. It is unfortunate that The Sun has joined "the pro-criminal lobby" and is willing to silence the victims of an increasingly violent society.

Mary Beth Holmes

Baltimore

New Gun Law

The Dec. 14 Sun articles on the murder situation in Baltimore make two facts perfectly clear.

The first is that the murder situation involves almost entirely (95 percent) young Baltimore City black males shooting, stabbing, strangling or bludgeoning to death other members of their own race.

The second is that, judging by the motives shown in the chart, these murderers are either criminals, mental defectives or members of some dysfunctional sort of domestic arrangement.

The Sun, anti-gun zealots such as Vinny DeMarco and the usual suspects among high-level police bureaucrats will doubtless use the raw data in the article to push for new, more restrictive gun laws in the upcoming Maryland legislative session.

I hope, probably in vain, that before they take to the field they will consider the wisdom of punishing the hundreds of thousands of law-abiding gun owners for the actions of a tiny group of people in one locality who are either unable or unwilling to obey the already strict gun laws in this state.

If a new gun law is passed by the legislature, it should allow ordinary honest citizens to carry firearms to defend themselves . . . .

Richard Lyons

Chase

Irish Solution

British colonialism in the six northeastern counties of Ireland is a massive crime against humanity and violence-producing.

It must be ended in a truly democratic fashion that acknowledges the moral, natural and legal rights of the indigenous people of that entire island nation to full freedom and justice.

For over 73 years, the nationalists (mostly Catholics), trapped in that artificial state known as "Northern Ireland," have endured lives of quiet desperation.

British wrongs in that beleaguered police state have been documented by respected human rights organizations like Amnesty International.

London has attempted every solution to the Irish question save one: permitting the Irish people to rule themselves free of any outside interference.

Your editorial (Dec. 20) was wrong to praise the Anglo-Irish Pact and to blame the resistance movement in the occupied six counties for this ongoing tragedy.

It is an axiomatic principle, needing no citation of legal authority, that the Irish people have the right of self-determination. This immemorial and natural right existed prior to the Magna Carta and is incidental to the sovereignty of the people.

The Anglo-Irish Declaration can only acknowledge these unshakable facts. It is beyond its pale to bestow, alter, distort or further define them.

The Unionists (Protestants) in the north of Ireland constitute less than 18 percent of the population of the island of Ireland; and they are also less than 1 percent of the population of the entire United Kingdom.

Ireland was partitioned in 1920 to maintain their arbitrary supremacy.

It would be the height of folly to again institutionalize the wrong of partition by giving the minority Unionist community a permanent veto over any possible settlement of the Irish question.

President Clinton can contribute to the growing movement for peace in Ireland by keeping two of his campaign promises; granting a visa for Gerry Adams, the president of Sinn Fein; and by appointing a peace envoy; and by also supporting the peace initiative proposed jointly by Gerry Adams and John Hume, a leader of the Social Democratic Labor Party (SDLP).

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