Shed Some LightThank you for throwing the light of day on...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 22, 1995

Shed Some Light

Thank you for throwing the light of day on U.S. complicity with inhumane policies and behavior in Honduras, which was justified by the Reagan administration as a necessary means of fighting "communism` in Latin America.

Human rights abuses in Honduras, with apparent U.S. complicity, were already well documented as early as 1983, as I learned in briefings when I became part of a delegation of 150 church women leaders, Catholic and Protestant, who were concerned about the U. S.-Honduran alliance in reported preparations for an invasion of Nicaragua from Honduran military bases.

The 150 women, who had gathered in Miami and in New Orleans, were not permitted to land on Honduran soil to carry out our intention of praying for peace at churches in Tegucigalpa and U.S. military bases.

U.S. helicopters hovered over our plane at the end of the runway in Tegucigalpa while armed Honduran officials came on board to tell us we would have to fly back to the United States.

I heartily agree with Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., that our foreign policy, including CIA policy, should reflect our democratic values.

In our recent history, the goal of fighting communism has been used to justify U.S. policy and actions that, put to a referendum, the people of this country would surely repudiate.

I hope your story about Honduras will motivate the Congress to mount a full-scale investigation.

Frances C. Nyce

Westminster

Not Protesters

I'm writing in response to your June 5 story about the Second Amendment rally in Washington D.C. Your describing the rally's participants as "protesters" was inaccurate and insulting.

I attended the rally not as a protester but as an American in support of the Constitution and our way of life. As a housewife and mother of three, I went to Washington to demonstrate my support not only for our right to own firearms, but all our rights, including free speech and free assembly.

The Baltimore Sun's consistent characterization of pro-gun conservatives as people who are somehow out of sync with what liberals consider "normal" society may be a contributing factor in the paper's loss of readership.

If The Baltimore Sun had any real understanding of guns and gun owners, it would realize that no group of citizens is more concerned with guaranteeing our rights as a free people.

Raye C. Jones

Chestertown

Thank God

A quote was made by Capt. Scott O'Grady in the June 10 article concerning his ordeal in Bosnia that was refreshing and uplifting to me.

His fight to survive for six days and the rescue mission that followed were truly miracles of God. And Captain O'Grady didn't mince words when he expressed his gratitude.

He thanked God first because, as Capt. O'Grady put it: "If it wasn't for God's love for me and my love for God, I would never have gotten through it. He's the one who delivered me here, and I know that in my heart."

Thank Captain O'Grady for that glorious affirmation that God is not dead, that he is a person (not an invisible force), and that He is in control.

Linda Haynes

Cockeysville

Should Use Bases

The high incidence of crime and its relationship to drug abuse has long been recognized.

Our ability to separate these persons from law-abiding citizens is precluded by lack of space in our prison system. The high cost of building an adequate number of facilities to accomplish this goal is prohibitive.

At this time we are also downsizing our military, which will result in the closing of many bases. In Maryland, Fort Meade (and possibly others) is considered a likely candidate for closure.

They are constructed for the housing of thousands. Should not the state of Maryland consider taking over closed facilities for use in the lodging and treatment of addicts and other less violent criminals?

The existing prisons could then be reserved for the more dangerous violators. The additional space could make it possible for them to actually serve the full terms to which they were sentenced and thus the communities could be protected from both groups.

Maintaining such suggested bases would require some additional funding, but only a fraction of what would be needed for the usual prisons. These resources would be more than compensated for by the savings they would produce.

The average drug users, in order to feed their habits, must break in to many cars and homes regularly. What they steal is sold for a fraction of the value.

With these persons off the streets, insurance rates would be lowered significantly, replacement costs would be eliminated, neighborhoods would become safer, businesses and their potential employees would return to the cities, housing values would improve and the broader tax base could actually lower the rates.

To accomplish this goal, I urge everyone to contact his or her representatives (city, state and federal) and request that they actively support this effort before these bases are dismantled and sold off to developers at a fraction of their actual value. The life you save could be your own.

Marion Friedman

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