Cops and GunsMichael A. Pretl's letter May 28 indicates...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 04, 1995

Cops and Guns

Michael A. Pretl's letter May 28 indicates that Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse's pending comprehensive gun control legislation has widespread support from the police in Maryland. It refers to ''Maryland police organizations'' as supporting MAHA's agenda and is not specific.

The Fraternal Order of Police should not be counted among the groups in support of new gun control legislation.

In March 1994 the board of directors for the National Fraternal Order of Police, meeting in Las Vegas, passed a resolution directing its national legislative committee to oppose any legislation that would require the licensing or registration of handguns.

Its reasoning is that further identification of handgun purchasers is not necessary to prevent violent crime and could lead to a

potential invasion of privacy of citizens.

In August 1994, the Maryland State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police held its convention at Deep Creek. I introduced a resolution, which passed without opposition, directing the Maryland legislative committee to oppose any further legislation that would infringe on the ownership of firearms by the law-abiding citizens of this state.

Rank and file police are not encouraged to speak out on the issue of gun control. When given a chance to voice their feelings on the issue, it is clear that gun control is not as popular with cops as some would like you to think.

Ken Ziegler

Baltimore

The writer is chairman of the executive board of directors of FOP Lodge 4.

Armies and Wars

Sara Engram's column on the armed forces, May 28, made some good points. Unfortunately, they were overshadowed by her erroneous opening line, saying the U.S. Army fled Vietnam in 1975.

For the record, U.S. forces left Vietnam in 1973, after a cease-fire agreement in which the North Vietnamese promised to cease their attacks on the South. Until we left, we had done all an Army can do. We had won most of the battles and all the campaigns. Ms. Engram can correctly claim the U.S. lost the war, but not that the U.S. Army lost it.

More important than her factual misstatement, Ms. Engram misses the one clear lesson of Vietnam. That is -- please take note, for this will appear again on those pop quizzes the school of life loves to spring on us -- armies neither win nor lose wars.

Armies win battles and campaigns, but only a nation's leaders win or lose a war. It is possible, as we did in Vietnam and in the Persian Gulf, to win almost all the battles and campaigns, and not win the war.

Indeed, it may be in the best interests of a country to settle for less than total victory. Had we destroyed Iraq in the Gulf War, we would have had to occupy Iraq for the indefinite future, or risk Iran seizing the Iraqi oil fields.

The U.S. Army need make no apologies for its achievements in Vietnam. The credit for ending the conflict, and the consequences thereof, rests as it should with the civilian leadership.

Lawrence Foster

Linthicum

Good Article

The article by Joan Jacobson and Melody Simmons about Govans (May 10) was a wonderful case of positive reporting that brought about focus on a problem for an old neighbor of mine (from the 1950s). Whereas many people remain on Rossiter Avenue in Govans from the 1950s, there have been many ups and downs, and this type of reporting helps the community.

This kind of story is what helps make The Sun shine in Baltimore again! Nancy Crawford told me today when I called to ask how

she is doing, that everything worked out fine.

Mary Ellen Graybill

White Hall

The Evening Sun

I have the Baltimore blues.

6* I hate to see The Evening Sun go down.

Mildred G. Blum

Pikesville

Prejudiced

Not only did The Sun choose a non-photographer to write a review of the Mapplethorpe biography (May 21), but you indicate a prejudice against his work by using a reviewer from the staff of the conservative monthly, National Review.

James Gardner's review seems more concerned with Mapplethorpe's work than with the book. His overall assessment would seem to be that, as a body of work, it cannot escape mediocrity. This, despite the fact that it has been seen in major exhibitions throughout the country.

The Baltimore Museum of Art show which was reviewed by John Dorsey (May 21) pairs his work with that of Edward Weston, certainly one of the giants of this century. Also, one only has to tTC browse the shelves of the BMA Gift Shop to find books of Mapplethorpe's work well represented.

Mr. Dorsey's review of the current show is a thoughtful one and one which recognizes the beauty and courage of this artist's contributions without failing to acknowledge the inevitable public reaction to some of his more controversial images. The insights of museum personnel included in the review add further interest and understanding of the man and his work.

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