National securityThe crime bill sounds like it may be a...

the Forum

September 27, 1994

National security

The crime bill sounds like it may be a great way to boost jobs and the feeling of security on America's streets.

Still, we as Americans must look upon drugs as a threat to the national security.

Arresting street level dealers will only hinder high-level drug organizations to find a quick replacement.

Drugs are taunting our children at a very young age, thus allowing the street dealers to find a child to help in the trade. The child then hungers for the great amounts of money he or she is exposed to and is sucked into the system until he or she is no longer needed.

Drug organizations have systems as complex as those in our government. Attacking the epidemic with the intent to stop sounds like the attitude America needs.

I think we all need to look at this giant problem as a threat to our nation's security. Then and only then will we see a difference in our country.

Michael Michener


Zoo animals

I read with great concern the Sept. 13 article, ''Zoo animals allegedly sold for hunting.'' The American Zoo and Aquarium Association is concerned about the article because it calls into question the professionalism and ethical practices of the zoo community, a group of dedicated, conservation-minded, caring men and women who devote their lives to saving animals from extinction.

The practice of ''canned hunts,'' in which an animal is confined in a cage in order to be easily killed, is abhorrent to the entire North American zoo community. The AZA and its 164 accredited members condemn such practices and have staunch guidelines prevent any zoo animal from being hunted.

It is important to recognize that all accredited North American zoos and aquariums are bound by a rigid code of professional ethics. Members are specifically prohibited from participating in the activities alluded to by the Humane Society of the United States. To do so would be a betrayal of the trust we hold.

We challenge the allegations made by HSUS and have already proven the inaccuracy of these charges in several local communities.

North American zoos take every precaution to prevent zoo animals from being hunted.

The AZA and its member institutions take seriously the trust bestowed on us as well as our responsibility to our animals.

Sydney J. Butler


The writer is executive director of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.

To the letter

While still in office, former President George Bush, in one of his fired-up speeches, said that by the year 2000 our student population will be the best educated in the world.

On a recent TV quiz show, a group of five contestants were asked to name five countries whose name starts with the letter S.

Now, those five contestants, very well dressed and looking rather prosperous and outspoken, gave the following answer: Spain, Sweden, and after long deliberation and, ummm, Seoul, South America and Scandinavia.

There are at least 10 more countries whose names begin with S. My question is, did George Bush mean by the year 2000 or in 2,000 years?

oseph Kryszpel


Sauerbrey's victory

There's no doubt about it: The biggest boost to the gubernatorial victory of Ellen Sauerbrey was Gov. William Donald Schaefer's endorsement of Helen Bentley.

Henry Seim


Teaching morals

Regarding Martin A. Dyer's column on Sept. 23, I have one question. Why is it OK for the city of Baltimore to tell us it is immoral for people in the suburbs ''to insulate themselves from the poor,'' while it is not OK to teach morals to students or anyone else on the subject of sex?

To me, these two problems are not very far apart. One of this country's biggest problems is illegitimacy.

It seems to me that you cannot pick and choose the morals that are, or should be, taught.

Michelle Bullock


War on crime campaigns fail to solve issue

Isn't it about time to commemorate the 20th (or is it the 25th) anniversary of the Nixon-Mitchell ''tough on crime'' campaign? Or isn't anyone willing to tote up our successes deriving from that and subsequent ''War on Crime'' initiatives?

Let us count the ways we have ''warehoused'' a million of our citizens in prisons, a dubious accomplishment exceeded in the industrialized world only by Russia. Let us count the ways we annually kill more of our citizens by gunfire than any other nation does. Let us tally up how some sectors of our population can bet the farm that 75 percent to 80 percent of their young males will experience some episode with an agent of law enforcement in their young lives.

How's that for tough on crime? Has anybody had enough yet? Does anybody realize where this tack will ultimately lead us? And then Congress has the effrontery to give prevention a bad name? Since when? Has an ounce of prevention gone out of style, too? Or is that what the $7 billion in the $30-plus-billion recent crime bill was to represent? Does anyone think this is backward or insane to devote so much of the nations' wealth to already failed and failing measures and so little to prevention?

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