Time to Get Tough with CriminalsAs the victim of a violent...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 15, 1994

Time to Get Tough with Criminals

As the victim of a violent crime, which found me looking down the wrong end of a sawed-off shotgun at a York Road restaurant, I feel well qualified to comment on the ever-increasing crime problems in the metropolitan area.

I am probably better qualified than many of the ultra-liberal Sun reporters who write so eloquently about gun control and capital punishment.

Recent front page articles make it quite clear that The Sun is promoting a public policy to eliminate capital punishment and disarm the law-abiding public.

This policy is leading us toward a society in which only the police and criminals will have guns, leaving the defenseless taxpayer hopelessly caught in the cross-fire of anarchy.

If the judicial branch fails to take a strong anti-crime (anti- criminal) position, anarchy will continue to increase in epidemic proportions, largely as the result of those like The Sun promoting this ill-conceived public policy.

The Sun of June 5 implies that Baltimore County State's Attorney Sandra O'Connor is too tough on criminals, always seeking the death penalty for violent ones.

Three cheers for Sandra O'Connor for protecting the welfare of her constituents.

She lets thugs from the city know that getting caught in Baltimore County will result in a tough sentence. (My friend with the sawed-off shotgun is serving 25 years without parole.)

Baltimore City State's Attorney Stuart Simms could learn a valuable lesson and do the same for the people of Baltimore City.

We need to (1) execute violent criminals, (2) make all serving timefor crimes against the person serve the full term without possibility of parole, (3) significantly increase the police presence on our streets, or (4) arm the populace to protect

themselves.

Even if we merely arm the law-abiding populace with Mace canisters, the good guys will have a fighting chance.

Instead of editorializing on the front page, I would like to see The Sun do some good investigative reporting and tell us exactly how much of our tax money is being paid to public defenders to appeal death sentences for the likes of John Thanos.

Perhaps we should cut the budget of the public defender's office and use that money to build additional jail cells.

Robert G. Vaughan

Lutherville

Confederate Flag

In his June 7 column entitled "D-Day Baloney," Carl Rowan tells us, "Not many of the men who stormed the beaches of Normandy thought they were fighting for an integrated Army, or for voting rights and the other fruits of full citizenship for black Americans."

This is no doubt true, and it also has unintended implications.

Mr. Rowan has long championed a black leadership that manifests utter contempt for the Confederate flag, deriding it as a symbol of an ignoble people whose sole object was the enslavement of their race.

How can anyone maintain that military personnel of these United States -- or its general population -- were more enlightened about race in 1861 than they were in 1944?

And, given a lesser degree of enlightenment in 1861, how can anyone assert that the Confederacy waged a war over the slavery issue -- as to which apathy among Americans elsewhere would have left in the Old South without an adversary?

Mr. Rowan is an educated man who understands the various ways in which federal tariff policy of the antebellum period deliberately subordinated the economic interests of the South to those of the North.

He owes his readers an acknowledgment that the Confederacy really went to war in defense of its sacred right to self-government.

The South's Confederate forebears were at the same place on the racial learning curve as that then occupied by other Americans.

Encouraged to see this by those of Mr. Rowan's profession, perhaps our redneck element will begin to recognize that suppressing blacks is not a means by which to keep faith with those forebears.

Mr. Rowan should counsel black citizens to award to the Confederate flag the respect to which it is entitled by the true character of the cause that it symbolizes.

By exhibiting an appreciation for valid causes other than their own, perhaps black Americans can engender more of the respect that they themselves are due.

Dennis G. Saunders

Columbia

Catechism

There was a fascinating and ironic juxtaposition in the May 21 sidebar containing excerpts from the new Roman Catholic catechism.

The second article ran as follows: "Only a baptized man validly receives sacred ordination . . . the ordination of women is not possible."

The next article read: "Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language or religion must be curbed and eradicated . . ."

It is a shame that there is not a clause in the catechism abhorring hypocrisy.

Patricia B. Pineau

Glyndon

Anti-Catholic Bias

As a Roman Catholic reader of The Baltimore Sun, I take offense to the anti-Catholic bias that continues to permeate The Sun.

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