Gun IssuesRichard Seid writes about how America is somehow...


August 05, 1994

Gun Issues

Richard Seid writes about how America is somehow responsible for crime in Mexico (Opinion * Commentary, July 26).

But his article only reinforces the notion that gun control advocates tend to be either misinformed or deliberately deceptive.

First, Mr. Seid states that "the U.S. Congress voted to ban certain types of deadly assault rifles" and therefore "their export to Mexico became a lethal certainty." As of this writing the ban has not been approved by Congress, so any floods must be anticipatory in nature.

Secondly, he refers to AK-47s "assembled from illegally imported parts" and "not . . . sold in Mexico" as somehow connected to his thesis of America as gun-runner to the Third World.

I am confused as to whether Mr. Seid is claiming that these particular weapons or parts came into Mexico from the U.S. They were not made here. It would seem plausible, if not much more likely, that they were brought in from the country of manufacture.

Mr. Seid cites the case of Luis Colosio, killed by an assailant who used a revolver "purchased in San Francisco." Does this single case prove any kind of trend?

Do any fact or statistics support the implied claim that the U.S. is the primary cause of Mexican violence?

Or is it just possible that the repressive, one-party government of Mexico has produced a society where ordinary citizens are unable to possess firearms for personal protection, and where only the criminals and terrorists are armed?

If there were no gun traffic from the U.S., would Mexico magically be gun-free?

Mr. Seid proposes "a public campaign to counter the brainwashing of the National Rifle Association," licensing (only?) collectors and sportsmen, forcibly "recalling" all other firearms and allowing only carefully controlled "deputized" citizens to possess firearms for protection.

Given his advocacy of such totalitarian policy, we can only hope that Mr. Seid's 20-year expatriation to Mexico continues.

John C. Taylor


Flower Mart Move

In response to some of the editorials and letters of recent weeks, I would like to set the record straight about the vote by the board of the Women's Civic League to change the location of the 79th Flower Mart in 1995.

It was a wrenching decision, because it was our decision to leave Mount Vernon.

Some facts that swayed this move: Revenue has been declining for the past six-to-eight years. The reference to "profit" really is to the funds raised to support the upkeep and operating expenses of the historic Thorowgood Smith House at 9 Front Street, to fund a scholarship program for students excellent in civic and other causes.

This decline is due to loss of many office and business personnel around the surrounding area. The War Memorial location can draw from the new bank and office buildings within short walking distance, as well as Harborplace and the many municipal buildings.

Let us reassure everyone that the same "tradition" of lemon peppermint sticks, crab cakes and flowers will prevail, along with our ladies in colorful flowered hats.

Also we will be giving a lot of citizens an opportunity to explore another part of our great city, the Zion Lutheran Church, St. Vincent Catholic Church, Peale Museum, City Hall and much more.

Agnes Crowley


4( The writer is Flower Mart treasurer.

Hiding History

Recently while driving past Old St. Paul's Cemetery at Redwood and Pine Streets, downtown, I noticed something that deeply troubled me.

The bronze wall plaque noting the burial location of Confederate Brig. Gen. Lewis A. Armistead, who died during Pickett's charge at Gettysburg, was missing.

I first thought the plaque may have been stolen. I later learned, however, that it had been removed after renovations to the cemetery wall. For some reason, the owner felt the plaque no longer fit the decor of the historic cemetery.

Could this be another example of Confederate-bashing? That plaque was placed on the wall to honor one of the bravest soldiers in American history.

How can we as Americans allow our history to be taken away? We must not forget the brave soldiers of both the Union and Confederate armies who served their cause.

I hope that my thinking is wrong and that the plaque will be placed back on the wall so Baltimoreans can read it, learn by it and remember our history. I respectfully ask the owners to reconsider their decision to remove the plaque, and re-attach it to the wall.

Charles J. Bury Jr.


FHA Loan Limits

I would like to respond to the column by Jane Bryant Quinn July 25 headlined, "FHA mortgages for high-income folks? Think again."

It is a mistake to claim that increased Federal Housing Administration loan limits would cut service to low- and moderate-income families. FHA insurance is not a zero-sum game.

Higher limits would strengthen FHA's insurance fund reserves, while increasing HUD's ability to serve millions who otherwise would have little hope for becoming home-owners.

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