Whipping post recommended for criminalsEach day, we read...

the Forum

February 03, 1994

Whipping post recommended for criminals

Each day, we read about the intolerable and almost unbelievable stories of violent crime and suggested cures. The most mentioned are more prisons, longer mandatory sentences and gun control.

These would punish taxpayers. It costs from $25,000 to $30,000 a year to keep a criminal in prison. Gun control means taking guns from law-abiding citizens who need them more and more for personal protection.

We should encourage the keeping of weapons by our citizens. Criminals will always be able to get guns. If they are undeterred by potential punishment for violent crimes and capital crimes, they will not be deterred by the lesser punishment for violating a gun law.

In fact, an absence of guns will increase crime because criminals will know that people will not have a weapon to defend their property and themselves.

The District of Columbia and New York have the toughest gun control laws in the nation -- and have the highest crime rates in the nation.

The solution is relatively simple. Encourage the teaching of morals and civic responsibility in the home and make it mandatory in the schools. Bring back the whipping post. It is cheaper than jail and more effective.

Cruel and unusual punishment?

Vote out the politicians who appoint judges who rule in such a way. A whipping post is a far less cruel act than the crimes we read about and the ones for which it should be used.

The real heinous crimes could be punished by long prison terms with a whipping each year on the anniversary of the crime.

It will slow up crime. There is nothing glamorous or manly about being whipped publicly.

Malcolm S. Barlow


Gun control

During a visit to New York City Jan. 12, I noted the tote board counting gun deaths in the country went from 1,093 to 1,116 in just six hours.

Every 14 minutes a person is killed, and every 5.5 seconds a new gun is made. I was saddened and outraged by the violence represented by 1,116 gun deaths in less than 12 days. However, recent comments by State Sen. Walter Baker (D-Cecil) concerning guns and crime outraged me even more.

Mr. Baker says, "Banning guns has nothing to do with crime," and "The moment we let them get their foot in the door they will try to push the door open and absolutely ban everything."

Such comments are an insult to honest people who see thnecessity of controls on guns but who are opposed to an outright ban. This viewpoint constitutes the vast majority of gun control proponents, who are the "them" and "they" of Mr. Baker's derisive reference.

Senator Baker obviously believes that guns are not part of the problem of the 1,116 gun deaths. Even given multiple shootings, those deaths do not represent criminals killing people. They include suicides, accidents, domestic arguments and, sadly, arguments of a trivial nature that are now settled by guns.

The proliferation and easy accessibility of guns combined with the philosophy of guns as problem solvers contributes greatly to the expedience of gun violence in this country.

Crime is one of the major issues of this year's legislature session. If Senator Baker is allowed to use the power he wields over his committee to thwart a full Senate vote on gun control legislation, that will be a crime perpetrated on Maryland voters.

Fred Davis


Little Loretta

Please allow me, a teacher in Baltimore City, to publicly tell one little youngster that she is a precious, valuable student I will never forget.

This was the snow day in Baltimore City that will be remembered by the professionals who reported to teach while much of the state celebrated Dr. King's birthday.

I was in my building preparing for the students by 7:20 a.m. As the weather worsened, I, like many colleagues, longed for early dismissal to return home safely. There was no announcement. We apprehensively remained the full time.

At the end of the day and while dressing for the outside, young Loretta Douglas approached me and asked if I had far to go in this bad weather. I told her that I had a good 12-mile drive and that I was really feeling pretty unsafe.

Loretta put her arms around me and said, "Oh, please Mrs. Akehurst. Take care of yourself for me. Do be careful while driving, I care about you."

That little girl got me home. As I slipped and slid out Perring Parkway, across Joppa and out Route 1, I continuously told myself to drive carefully for "Little Loretta."

Youngsters such as Loretta make teaching worthwhile. Thank you, Loretta, for really caring.

Lois E. Akehurst


Storm problem

I called 911 at 3:55 p.m. Jan. 20 and asked for a ride to St. Agnes Hospital. I was told they didn't do that.

If I had committed a felony they would have been too happy to give me a ride.

I called Diamond Cab Co. and was told they would not send cabs to Edmondson Village.

I needed to go to the hospital to have a chemotherapy pump disconnected from my Port-a-Cath. I was asked if I wanted an ambulance, was I sick; I said no to both questions.

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