Wrong InformationSince I am just by nature someone who...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 02, 1994

Wrong Information

Since I am just by nature someone who cries foul when others are in error, I feel compelled to apologize to The Sun and to its readers about an error that appeared in my Opinion * Commentary piece July 15.

My opinion remains the same, of course: that the Cloisters is what it is because of where it is. Moving it downtown will not enhance its value and, in all probability, will denigrate it.

But one of the facts I used to support that opinion was wrong. I wrote that the Cloisters was a free museum. It is not.

I can only say that it has been true, it used to be true, it was true the last time I went.

A lot of things have changed since then. The museum is now a private entity no longer owned by the city, though the building still is.

Lynda Case Lambert

Baltimore

Roots of Violence

Richard Seid's commentary makes several assertions regarding gun violence (Opinion * Commentary, July 26).

As proof for his arguments, he cites a political assassination and the killing of a police chief. He admits that Tijuana is "crime-ridden," yet he does not link these unfortunate murders to anything except the proximity of evil, gun-toting gringos.

In truth, there has never been a credible linking of criminal behavior to legal gun ownership.

On the contrary, many communities in the United States have enacted tough, restrictive gun legislation to no avail. Gun violence seems to be most prevalent in areas with the most stringent regulations.

Criminal intent must be present to commit any crime. The police chief was murdered by criminals, not by a firearm. Had another method been employed -- for example, a car bomb -- this murder would not have been mentioned by Mr. Seid.

Political assassinations are another matter entirely. Political figures are targets of attacks by many different methods, not just handguns.

Luis Donaldo Colosio's assassin surely broke several laws by taking a pistol purchased in San Francisco across an international border. He also had to have criminal intent to commit such a heinous act.

Mr. Seid also attempts to implicate the National Rifle Association in the gun violence in Mexico. While I am not a spokesman for this organization, it does not endorse or support criminal activity or illegal use of firearms.

Gun ownership by law-abiding citizens is not "permissiveness" as Mr. Seid suggests, but rather an exercise of inalienable rights recognized in the Second Amendment.

To suggest that criminal activity in a bordering country is ancillary to gun ownership here is absurd and unrealistic.

Michael Horst

Baltimore

Separate Kingdoms

This is in response to two separate commentaries on the same day (July 18), namely those of Roger Simon and Mike Littwin.

Both writers in their columns in The Sun, following the newspaper's seemingly constant editorial bashing of Dan Quayle, refer to his pledge of allegiance to the Christian flag, prior to his address in Fort Lauderdale back in January.

My thanks to Mr. Simon for at least quoting the pledge in its entirety. I would encourage both columnists to pay careful attention to the words of the pledge itself.

The allegiance is to the kingdom of God, which, as Jesus himself taught, "is not of this world."

Rather, it is a spiritual kingdom, and not to be confused with the kingdoms of this world, including America.

Speaking of America, let us not forget the context in which the promise of life and liberty was stated in our Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness . . ."

That was the promise, and the Constitution was the effort of our forefathers to fulfill that promise. The life and liberty, as well as the pursuit, referred to therein are temporal.

The promise of life and liberty referred to in the pledge of allegiance to the kingdom of God, on the other hand, is spiritual and eternal.

You might argue that, for that very reason, the two must be forever separated, and that is why we have separation of church and state in this nation (or kingdom, if you will permit the analogy).

Isn't it interesting that the more we have kept the two separated, (which principle, by the way, is nowhere to be found in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, or in the First Amendment thereto), and in fact widened that separation down through the years, all the more serious are the problems we are facing, and all the fewer answers to those problems we are able to find.

Please do not misunderstand me (or misquote me should you choose to print this letter). I strongly believe in the principle of separation of church and state, so long as you have man-made religions and/or churches, and man-made kingdoms and/or governments.

However, would you please explain to me, if you can, how it is possible to separate the creation from its Creator? Is it not perhaps time to try it his way?

Richard G. Bartholomee

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