Jimeno, Vallario right to criticize gun commissionI'd like...

LETTERS

November 26, 1995

Jimeno, Vallario right to criticize gun commission

I'd like to thank state Sen. Phil Jimeno, and his colleague, Del. Joseph Vallario Jr., for adding the voice of reason and sanity to the Governor's Commission on Gun Violence. The commission, with the exception of Sen. Jimeno and Del. Vallario, was hand-picked by Gov. Parris Glendening. Many of the governor's appointees are directly involved or indirectly associated with Handgun Control, Inc. and Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse. Vinnie DeMarco, one of the three co-chairs, is a paid lobbyist of HCI.

The minority opinion, offered by Mr. Jimeno and Mr. Vallario, states, "based on the simple belief that the most effective constructive recommendations for putting a halt to the rampant violence in this state must be those that focus on the criminal and not the law-abiding persons of this state."

Unbelievable! Criminals are responsible for violent acts committed in Maryland. How did the rest of the commission miss this glaring fact?

Mr. Jimeno also points out, "the commission failed to take into account the fiscal ramification. . . The majority's proposals will be costly and ineffective in reducing violent crime, the stated purpose behind the proposals." Several other observations were noted by Mr. Jimeno:

* 80 percent of all speakers before the committee strongly objected to any further restrictions on law-abiding citizens.

* Criminals. . . benefit from gun control measures whose effect is to hamper the law-abiding, leaving the criminal to prey on those most inclined to obey the law.

* Virtually everything bad involving children and guns is already against the law.

* Straw. . . purchases are already proscribed under federal law and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is clued to their occurrence by the federal law requiring multiple gun sales to be reported to BATF.

Mr. Jimeno concluded by saying, "The results of the commission's study were predetermined by the appointment of a membership largely having an anti-gun bias. Overwhelmingly, the interested citizens of this state told the commission that additional restructions on guns were not the answer to the state's crime problem. The commission chose to ignore this. Instead, it has relied on faulty data and flawed assumptions to make many recommendations that will be both costly and impractical. It is the law-abiding persons of this state who will be the victims if the legisation proposed by the commission is enacted into law."

I personally believe that any elected official dumb enough to believe that criminals will obey gun control laws is too dumb to be representing me in the legislature. I consider myself fortunate to have Phil Jimeno, a man of intelligence and integrity, as my representative in the state Senate and would like to thank him again for looking out for my rights as a law-abiding citizen.

Anthony Rogalski

Pasadena

Vendetta against Naval Academy?

Could the liberal Baltimore Sun possibly have a vendetta against the conservative Naval Academy? Just thought I'd ask.

Ron D'Anna

Catonsville

The writer is a parent of a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman.

Casinos a disaster for Atlantic City

In all the hoopla over the question of allowing casino gambling in Maryland, all we hear are "claims" by the pro and con forces.

Well, now a definitive study of the effects of casino gambling on Atlantic City, N.J., has just been published called "The Luck Business" by Robert Goodman. It should be required reading for all Maryland legislators.

It seems that lobbyists for the gambling interests are all wrong when they claim casinos will bring thousands of jobs and mega-bucks in tax revenues.

The facts presented in "The Luck Business" show that, in Atlantic City, over 30 percent of the city's retail businesses closed down in the first four years after the casinos opened for business.

By 1993, the city's unemployment rate was actually double the ** state average, 25 percent of the city's population had moved out and the number of independent restaurants had dropped from 243 to 146. This is prosperity?

Even more disturbing are statistics showing well over 40 percent of the Atlantic City gamblers are New Jersey residents.

This means the money these Jersey residents would ordinarily spend on consumer goods and services in their state are being dumped on the tables and slot machines in Atlantic City.

Not only that, but the number of compulsive gamblers in New Jersey calling the help-line increased from 1,200 calls per year to 32,000 calls per year.

Maryland already has 50,000 compulsive gamblers without casinos, so why have casinos here?

C. H. Eley

Annapolis

Baltimore Browns doesn't ring true

A new name for the incoming Baltimore National Football League team is a must.

No question, the Baltimore Browns is a wonderful name. However, the Baltimore Browns will always be the Cleveland Browns, just as the Indianapolis Colts will always be the Baltimore Colts.

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