Bang, BangThree cheers for Toys R Us and other retailers...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 09, 1994

Bang, Bang

Three cheers for Toys R Us and other retailers that are voluntarily removing realistic toy guns from their shelves (The Sun, Oct. 15).

As the holidays loom and the childish yet bloodthirsty cries for more fire power are heard in shopping malls across America, it is comforting to know that fewer guns will be sold. And perhaps fewer people will be killed in accidental shootings.

It is also comforting to know that children may now have the opportunity to recapture their imaginations, long lost among the proliferation of "realistic" toys.

And in reclaiming their imaginations, they might learn the difference between what is real and what is pretend.

Picture the young and impressionable child with his first toy gun, a real-looking revolver, confidently brandishing his toy at his playmates, his dog, passing cars. Bang, bang!

Now picture the same child as he discovers Daddy's real revolver. Bang, bang?

Dare we trust this child to know the difference? Or to know that there is a difference?

Toy guns need not be outlawed. The toys simply must not be allowed to mimic the real thing.

Children experience too much reality in their neighborhoods and their schools. They don't need to experience it in their playtime.

Desiree Godchaux

Towson

Racing Questions

With regard to the proposed plan to take approximately 110 days of horse racing from the state of Maryland and move them to Virginia, I need someone to explain a few things to me, and how this benefits Maryland.

What replaces the revenue currently put into the state coffers by the tracks if this plan works? Who will pay the union and concession employees laid off for three months -- the state's unemployment insurance?

What incentive is there for horsemen to ship their stock three-plus hours south for smaller purses when they can ship north for larger ones?

What happens to the riders and other essential track personnel who cannot afford to pack up their families for the three-month meet?

How confident can these athletes be putting their lives in the hands of newly-trained assistant starters?

Most curious, if Joe DeFrancis cannot manage the Pimlico and Laurel tracks well, what makes him think he can take on a third one successfully?

Deborah F. Springer

Gambrills

Things Change

Signs of the times:

April 15, 1912: The White Star liner Titanic sinks in the North Atlantic; 711 women and children are saved in the lifeboats; 1,513 men go down singing "Nearer My God to Thee."

September 28, 1994: The ferry Estonia sinks in the Baltic Sea; 137 young men survive by trampling over 912 women, children and elderly, who die.

Dan M. Bowers

Randallstown

School Bus Policy

I hope you will be able to help clear up some misperceptions that have followed your publishing of my letter on Oct. 17.

In that letter, I referenced a fatal accident that occurred in Howard County, and apparently many of your readers have assumed that the student involved was a public school student.

In fact, my reference to Howard County was a geographic reference only. The student killed by the motorist who failed to stop for the red flashing lights attended a private school and rode a school bus privately contracted by that school.

The Howard County Public School System had no involvement in the incident whatever and no authority over the bus route in question.

In addition, the student who was struck and killed was attempting to cross a four-lane road.

Neither the Howard County Public School System nor the Baltimore County Public School System allows students to cross four-lane roadways. Students are provided residence-side service.

I regret if my letter caused any misunderstanding and hope that you will assist me in clarifying this issue.

Rita Fromm

Towson

The writer is manager of transportation for the Baltimore County Public Schools.

Limbaugh: Master Salesman (of Snake Oil?)

I was astonished to see "The Torch Has Been Passed to Me" by Rush Limbaugh -- and located on a prominent page at that (Opinion * Commentary, Oct. 26).

After my amazement I was suspicion as to The Sun's turnabout concerning giving Mr. Limbaugh a fair share of positive press.

Rush Limbaugh has his faults -- as do all prominent media news and entertainment persons -- but he is very good at what he does, and whether or not you like his show business shtick of boastfulness and clearly naming his opponents -- he sells his ideas well -- and even those listeners who do not agree with him are forced to defend their beliefs to a degree not normally challenged.

Being the master salesman that he is, Mr. Limbaugh's goal in writing the piece appears to have been to entice non-listeners to tune him in to hear what he's all about.

However, the real message was in the article's title. Rush Limbaugh has returned millions of Americans' interest to national politics and an appreciation of capitalism which hasn't existed since the era of Ayn Rand.

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