Caught in cookie jar -- and still denialCaught with his...

LETTERS

February 18, 1996

Caught in cookie jar -- and still denial

Caught with his proverbial hand in the public cookie jar, a Howard County councilman shamelessly denies any conflict of interest in the sale of his farm to developers. Casting the pivotal vote for favorable zoning to the very principals who purchased his adjoining parcel and then routinely distancing himself from an obvious impropriety is classic chutzpah.

Amazingly, after his denial, it is revealed he seeks possible candidacy for county executive? Assuming he doesn't accede to this higher position of public trust, he may predispose himself to make application to the Rose Law Firm, for which he has proven to be more eminently qualified.

Joseph L. Bishop

Monkton

Gun-control bill offers sensible step

I am writing to express my approval of Gov. Parris Glendening's handgun licensing proposals. And, yes, I am a rifle owner myself, but I do believe the proliferation of handguns should be checked.

The National Rifle Association is fearful that any limitation on handguns is a prelude to nation wide disarming of all citizens. There are just too many guns of all types for this to happen.

Sportsmen and hunters are not at risk here. It's the handgun crowd that's being limited. And if you have a real need to own a handgun, you can buy one and you must demonstrate that you know how to handle it.

Oh, yes, the NRA will say that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Of course! That's a truism. Outlaw anything and anyone with the contraband is automatically an outlaw. If handguns are licensed and their owners are required to be trained in their "safe" use and proper storage, there would be far fewer accidental shootings by children.

If you have a desperate and immediate need to buy a gun, you've got a bigger problem than should be solved by that gun.

Will all this reduce the number of murders each year? I say it will. Others say that violent people will use other weapons and they probably will. But handguns are more apt to do serious injury than knives, clubs, etc. in the hands of an impulsive assailant.

Let's make the governor's proposals into law and reduce the death rate.

ohn D. Fogarty

Columbia

Blame the gun -- or the coat?

The infamous propagandists of the 20th Century must be smiling up at The Sun for the Jan. 29 article, "Guns and grief: Who'll stop the killing?"

The horror that has befallen the Marsh family shouldn't happen to anyone; nor should your exploitation of this crime. Mr. Marsh's death is used in a disguised call for more firearms regulation. The exploitation of Mr. Marsh's death is betrayed by C. Fraser Smith's opening line: "Chuckie Marsh died in a savage trade: a life for a brand-name coat."

In Mr. Smith's own words, Chuckie Marsh's death occurred because of a coat; and yet Mr. Smith, with an admirable degree of subtlety, blames the gun. Where is your indictment of a society that has come to a point where "Just do it!" is a corporate slogan? Maybe The Sun won't "do it" because, while a firearms dealer isn't acceptable for Sun advertising, a brand-name clothing dealer could be a favored client.

Is that the same reason The Sun will not take issue with the anti-social, violence-glorifying entertainment industry? Or that The Sun exhorts the state to squander 200 million taxpayer dollars on a football owner's ego, but won't call it to task for taxing and regulating away businesses that create real jobs? Or could it be that The Sun believes that some people are just that way and can't help themselves, so we need to blame an object that will never act on its own?

Fred Niziol

Columbia

A bitter day in court for amputee with dog

I finally got my day in court. This, in my opinion, was a great injustice.

I am a double amputee confined to a wheelchair since January 1991. I have a mobility assistance dog named Thyme which I received in August 1991 from Fidos For Freedom, Inc. Thyme and I were trained as a team to adapt to life with my disability. Thyme helps me with dressing/undressing, toileting, bathing, picking up objects, transferring to/from my wheelchair, opening doors and much more.

The most important task she performs is a stand and brace. This is when I have to transfer from my wheelchair to another item such as a chair or toilet. I have to rest my left leg stump on her back in order for me not to roll forward during the transfer. On Sept. 29, 1993, my daughter-in-law and I were in the ladies room in a local department store. The handicapped commode is not a raised commode but a regular commode with an added raised insert/seat. On this particular day as I was attempting to pull my clothes up, the raised toilet insert/seat shifted to the right and I fell on Thyme. She withstood my weight, although she was not positioned or braced to do so.

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