TCNRA involved in gun safetyYour Dec. 24 editorial...

LETTERS

January 07, 1996

TC

NRA involved in gun safety

Your Dec. 24 editorial, "Taking aim at handgun sales," chides the National Rifle Association and gun lovers for not being in the forefront of firearm safety training.

The fact is that the NRA, as far back as 1910, established a small arms training school at Camp Perry to teach basic marksmanship with such things as a gun safety program for the children, hunter safety courses and a personal safety education for women.

Since 1993, NRA-certified instructors have taught over 750,000 Americans firearm use, safety, responsibility and marksmanship. Additionally, independent sportsmen's clubs have conducted countless hours of hunter safety courses and dedicated range time for members and guests.

Edward C. Straley

Street

Too many children are not protected

An alarming trend is sweeping America, and it is causing Americans and the government to forget those who are truly lacking the support they desperately need.

This ignored group is abused young children, many of whom are suffering as prisoners of a system that has become over-burdened and does not receive essential funds.

Elisa Izquierdo, the six-year-old who was killed by her mother a few weeks ago in New York after years of abuse, is one in a growing number of victims of the failing child-protection system in this country.

Despite an attempt to increase awareness and prevention of child abuse, the figures are staggering. There was a 25 percent increase in cases of neglect and abuse in America between 1988 and 1993.

However, the system has not grown with the numbers.

There are simply not enough foster homes to accommodate children who have been removed from dangerous parents and homes, and case workers are overwhelmed with reports and have been rendered incapable of responding to all of them.

Paradoxically, Congress is considering a bill to cut an additional $2.9 million from child-protective services.

Big government is an unpopular notion today. Nevertheless, Americans must agree that protecting children is a top priority and that the government has to step in to ensure the safety of children in abusive situations.

If the nation continues to ignore the problem, many more Elisa Izquierdos will be buried, alone and forgotten.

As a civilized society of citizens, lawmakers and human beings, we have an obligation to better our country by nurturing those who are unable to help themselves.

Marian Morton

Forest Hill

Eastern H.S. building is worth saving

My thanks to the heads at Johns Hopkins University who determined that the former Eastern High School building can be recycled. This decision is unquestionably in the best interest of the community and most courageous in these days of tear-it-down mentality.

Williams

Randallstown

City threat endangers golf course success

The city's threat to terminate its contract with the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corp. should leave chairman Henry Miller perplexed. We should all be baffled.

BMGC provides the region with reasonably priced, well maintained public golf facilities staffed by dedicated individuals. Very few municipally owned recreational facilities can offer such a level of service without burdening the tax rolls.

BMGC's nonprofit operation is nationally recognized and an excellent example of Baltimore's long-term privatization efforts.

Any move to increase the city's stake in revenues generated at the five courses will most likely have a negligible impact on the general fund while effectively negating a public sector success story.

Robert Winchester

Abingdon

Citizens pay for governor's largess

Your Dec. 29 editorial regarding the governor's plan to lure businesses to Maryland through grants begs the question: Who is going to pay for that?

Well, we all know that in Maryland it's the taxpayers. This state is not going anywhere business-wise until it lowers its tax rate.

The after-profit ratio in this state is pitiful. Taxes, taxes, taxes. That's what it's all about, not a give-away plan that the governor endorses.

Joseph H. Cutchin Jr.

Salisbury

FBI crime lab may be finest in whole world

In his Dec. 17 Perspective page article, "Bomb for the FBI," Jeff Stein takes an Oliver Stone approach to journalism: Don't confuse the reader with the facts, just give them your conclusions.

I find it regrettable that newspapers and journalists are using a sensational headline and hint of conspiracy to sell newspapers.

It is puzzling that Stein lumps in Waco, Ruby Ridge and racist allegations with charges of deficiencies in FBI crime laboratory examinations. He makes a special effort to discredit the FBI laboratory and implies that many of the examinations are substandard and lack integrity.

His comments have little factual basis, other than mirroring the already much-publicized allegations of FBI Special Agent Fred Whitehurst, an employee of the FBI laboratory who made allegations concerning procedural deficiencies there.

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