Barry rebornI believe in redemption and forgiveness. I...

the Forum

September 21, 1994

Barry reborn

I believe in redemption and forgiveness. I believe Marion Barry has been rehabilitated.

I don't believe it is in the public interest, though, for him to serve the community as mayor.

I see him as a liability, not an asset. At the time Mr. Barry said he was set up -- check the video! -- no one was twisting his arm to make him smoke crack.

A role model for children? Respect from the community? Ultimate boss of the local police department and other uniformed personnel? None of the above -- all that was lost with the flick of a lighter.

The people of Washington have spoken and nominated Mr. Barry to be mayor again. The message they sent is that crime is OK.

What a wonderful message to send to young people: commit a felony, win a mayoral nomination.

Win or lose, I wish Mr. Barry well. My pity and sympathy are for the people of Washington.

Thomas B. Rose


Guns and crime

The recent preteen-age slayings in Chicago show the uselessness of "gun control" in preventing violent crime.

Chicago law, enacted in the days of the old Daley machine, prevents honest citizens from owning handguns. Yet three youths, ages 11-16, shot four people, killing two of them.

Illinois law prevents incarcerating juveniles, so 11-year-old Robert Sandifer was allowed to run the streets with 11 felonies on his record.

The law should provide deterrence, but because of his age the boy was out of reach of any meaningful punishment.

The law should protect the community from criminals, but he was an untouchable, free to shoot and kill as he wished.

Laws are supposed to protect society, but Illinois law didn't protect 14-year-old Shavon Dean from young Sandifer, and it ultimately failed to protect Sandifer when two of his fellow gang members silenced him.

"Gun control" limits only the law-abiding; it doesn't prevent violent crime.

We need laws that will provide swift and sure punishment for crime and, when that deterrent fails, laws that will take criminals out of society for the protection of the rest of us.

We don't need more restrictions on our ability to protect ourselves from the likes of Robert Sandifer.

Colin R. Doane

El Paso, Texas.

Pops, not cops

What we need are not more cops. What we need are fewer criminals.

Instead of a fictitious crime bill, a good start would be to fire socially incompetent judges and parole boards. Dump a crime bill that is costly and does not work. Then seriously go to work on incompetence in parenting.

William H. Waring


Give to museums

Jacques Kelly's musings Sept. 8 about finally letting go of old clothes and household items might indeed have concluded with information about local history museums that are willing not only to take the stuff but also to care for it, study it and preserve it for posterity.

At the Jewish Historical Society, we avidly collect most of the clothing labels Mr. Kelly names.

As the Peale Museum's ''Collecting Baltimore'' show and the Maryland Historical Society's recent 150th anniversary exhibit demonstrate, there is actually heavy competition out there for some of these goods.

When I was curator at the Peale, I heard from people who'd kept a newspaper clipping about what we were looking for for months before they could bring themselves to call me and turn over grandmother's sweater or that box of tools, but they sure felt better once they knew it was taken care of.

Barry Kessler


The writer is assistant director and curator of the Jewish Historical Society of Maryland.

If baseball is a business, we've been had

Fans of Major League Baseball: It's all your fault!

When baseball went to two divisions, opening up the possibility of a sub-.500 team winning the World Series, you still went to the games.

When concession costs went sky high and teams banned bringing your own food and drink, you kept going.

When owners extorted new stadiums from the taxpayers, you still went.

When salaries and ticket prices went through the roof, you went.

When pay-per-view started, you watched.

When the last strike ended, you went back.

When baseball went to three divisions, almost assuring that one day a sub-.300 team would play in the World Series -- you went.

Now there is no Major League Baseball. We see player and owner representatives, but we've forgotten the concession workers, hot dog makers, hotel employees and all the others who are really hurting.

If the fans had sent these greedy players and owners a message years ago, they would have been playing ball today.

Kent Kahler


Now that it's official there will be no more baseball this year, I'd like to raise the possibility of suing the Baltimore Orioles and the rest of Major League Baseball for monetary damages to the citizens of Maryland.

Maryland citizens spent $300 million or so of our tax money to construct Camden Yards for the sole purpose of housing a Major League Baseball team.

Yet all I have heard from players and owners is that it is no longer a game, but a business.

Well if that is the case, Major League Baseball is guilty of breach of promise.

Roads were built, infrastructure upgraded and redesigned, structures removed and citizens inconvenienced for the purpose of supporting the Baltimore Orioles.

The Orioles signed a lease to play ball in Camden Yards. Now they are not playing.

This breach of faith has damaged the city's economy and caused taxpayers to waste $300 million on an empty stadium.

If baseball is indeed a business, then the citizens of Maryland have been victims of breach of promise and the teams should held accountable in a court of law.

Let the greedy players and owners feel what it is like when the fans raid their pocketbooks for a change.

Robert J. Lake


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