A teen's view on gun control and freedomAs a teen-ager in...


February 04, 1996

A teen's view on gun control and freedom

As a teen-ager in Anne Arundel County, a major problem has come to my attention -- guns. Guns in school, guns used in hunting, even guns in the mall parking lot, and the only things the government is doing about it is taking guns away from law-abiding citizens and passing unenforced and unenforceable laws.

Our government cannot come out and ban all guns for everyone, though I'm sure they would like to do that. Although there is already a federal law with a five-year minimum sentence for a convicted felon to own or possess a gun, our senators and representatives seem intent on chipping away at our Second Amendment rights.

The only way to stop this tyranny is to act now. Write to your senator and representative about repealing the gun ban and gun control laws. Act now before you lose your freedom. As George Mason, co-author of the Second Amendment, said, "To disarm the people is the best and most effective way to enslave them."

The Bill of Rights is the wall protecting us from common criminals and the tyrannical impulses of government. Each freedom and right granted in that document is a brick in the wall. If we remove even one brick from that precarious structure, the entire wall of freedom will tumble to the ground.

Charles Duvall


Teen pregnancy through teen eyes

As a student at Old Mill High School, I am very concerned about teen-age pregnancy. A recent study in 1990 shows that 10 to 15 percent of all girls ages 15 to 17 years old got pregnant. The latest update in 1994 shows that 20 to 25 percent of all girls got pregnant in Baltimore city. And the numbers keep rising.

The young teen-agers having these babies often end up out of school because they cannot take care of themselves, let alone a newborn. A study in 1994 shows that 15 percent of all teen-age girls will end up homeless.

In Baltimore last year, there were 3,356 reported teen-age births, an increase of 15 percent from 1993-94. We need to stop this problem before it is out of control.

The solution is not costly, but very time-consuming. We need to teach birth control methods in school and maybe even abstinence. We need to start distributing condoms in more public places.

Brandon Armstrong


Del. Greenip right to attack service learning

The State of Maryland seems to have few limits on the aspects of citizens' lives it seeks to control. One of the more absurd examples is the state mandate that all school systems must adopt "service learning" programs.

What that means is the state government requires students to "volunteer" for community service in order to graduate. Unquestionably, community service is a noble activity. However, why is the state telling students that they must do this? Additionally, doesn't the state understand that the surest way to turn off many students is to make something mandatory? Why is precious teaching time being taken from basic subjects such as math and reading? Why should this be a state mandate instead of a local decision?

I have heard of children being denied credit for serving food at a homeless shelter because the proper form was not filled out in advance. Others have been rejected because the activity occurred outside of school or because the sponsor was a religious organization. In contrast, some students have earned credit for watching a TV show and writing an essay about how it made them feel. Luckily, at least one member of the legislature, Del. Janet Greenip, a Republican in District 33, has the common sense to see how flawed this program is. I hope a majority of the other delegates will join in voting for the bill that Mrs. Greenip has introduced to abolish this intrusive boondoggle once and for all.

Edward L. Maddox


Sale of Camp Ilchester explained

First, let me thank The Sun for its continuing interest in Girl Scouts of Central Maryland and particularly for the fine story on our program for daughters of in- carcerated women (Dec. 17).

I would also like to comment on some points in your editorial of Dec. 21, regarding the sale of a portion of the camp land in Howard County. Girl Scouts owns camp property in Anne Arundel, Cecil and Howard counties. Our board of directors made a fiscally responsible decision to sell a portion of the Howard County land in order to help us acquire a new site for our Service Center.

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