Help police win the battle for the streetsHeartfelt...

the Forum

March 31, 1994

Help police win the battle for the streets

Heartfelt congratulations to city police Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier, a very in-touch Judge Andre Davis and our front-line troops, the police officers.

It is so healing to see a police chief who supports his men and a mayor and judge who openly support them.

The Greenmount Avenue-East 20th Street area has been a parent's worst nightmare for years. I lived there as a child, so I know first-hand the decline of the area.

Hooray and God bless the community people who have showed great character and guts in becoming involved, as opposed to having seen nothing when terrible things happen to their own.

The police have the "manpower," but we in our neighborhoods really have the "power" to stop the brutality and turn things around.

We now have people who will work with us to stop the degradation of our streets.

Let all judges take note of Judge Davis' action. Keep Mr. Frazier informed, and tell Mayor Kurt Schmoke we appreciate his support in saving our neighborhoods.

Local police officers deserve our admiration and respect.

Yes, on occasion they don't show the judgment we feel they should. But if we were under fire all day, every day, as they are, what would we do?

The incidents of possible over-reaction, when measured by the histories on the rap sheets of the criminals they must deal with, if not justified are definitely understandable.

They must not only get us home safely to our families, they'd like to get home to theirs, after working a shift in an armed camp.

We must stop being Us and Them. We need to become Ours. We're all fighting the same battle. Fighting it together will give us strength in unity.

Merlyn D. Wilson

Baltimore

Off target

On March 13 I read absolutely the most foolish words which I've ever seen committed to paper, in Scott Shane's article "Once-legal guns fill killers' arsenals."

After describing, in sickening, excruciating detail, the execution of a Baltimore inner-city crack dealer by another crack dealer named Warren Stuckey, and after telling the reader that Warren Stuckey has been charged in two other murders and suspected by police of committing three more, Scott Shane tells us that "the inescapable fact is that America's two gun cultures, the legal and the illegal, combined to kill Larry Erickson [the murder victim]".

Hold it! If that's the case, then the killer, Warren Stuckey, who has been convicted of one murder and is in the process of being convicted of five more, should go free.

What's he doing in jail, if it's those evil, inanimate pieces of steel who are actually at fault for killing all of those people.

And that's just what Scott Shane tells us by saying that it's the "legal gun culture" which killed those people.

What about individual responsibility? What about a person being held responsible for his actions? What about laws which prohibit murder and, for that matter, carrying a gun, unlicensed, on the street?

Why blame a piece of steel for the actions of an evil human being? Or don't you believe that some people are evil? Probably not, as it's so much easier for you to blame a gun for society's troubles.

No, Mr. Shane is foolish to present such an illogical argument. The common man sees through anti-gun dogma. Firearms did not corrupt the convicted murderer Warren Stuckey.

If criminals didn't have firearms, they would murder each other with knives, clubs, or their bare hands.

Or don't you read your own paper? Didn't you read about the tragic stabbing at Morgan State? Or do you believe in cutlery control, too?

If you are true to your logic, you will blame knives, cars, or any inanimate object for evil crimes committed by people, with those objects.

What's sad is the fact that with our corrupt criminal justice system, in which criminals receive a pat on the wrist for the most heinous crimes, the convicted murder Warren Stuckey will probably be out walking the streets and preying on society in 10 years.

Punishing criminals for breaking existing laws will reduce crime, not futilely attempting to regulate firearms more strictly.

William Banks

Ft. Meade

Deserved immunity

Amid the Whitewater media frenzy and Republican witch-hunting of late, I find myself examining the level of legal and judicial privilege that is and should be allotted to the presidency.

The inevitable conclusion is that the chief executive deserves and requires a measure of immunity far exceeding that given him today.

This goes for any president, no matter what the party affiliation.

In order to function, the executive branch must have the attention of the Congress on political issues, and the freedom to maneuver without being shadowed by special investigators, a scavenger press and opposition muckrakers.

The presidency also demands a better respect from the nation, as the closest thing to an incarnation of government and the republic we have in this country.

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