Reaction to Schmoke gun buyback programI just finished...

Letters

February 12, 1997

Reaction to Schmoke gun buyback program

I just finished reading the article about the 1,053 weapons sold to the city under Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's gun buyback program (Feb. 2, "Gun buyback exceeds goal in first day").

I doubt if even one of those weapons was turned in by a ''bad guy,'' and I certainly don't feel any safer today than I did yesterday.

Once again, our mayor gives evidence that he doesn't have a clue as to what goes on at street level and what the people of Baltimore both want and need.

arry Glassman

Baltimore

I would like to respond to Peter A. Jay's mean-spirited column, "They shall beat their guns into snowplows."

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke is attempting to find ways to address the problem of gun violence in Baltimore City. The gun buyback program is just one of many and needs to be applauded, not condemned and ridiculed as Jay has done.

The main accomplishment of the buyback program was to get guns out of the hands of those who might use them to kill themselves or others, whether on purpose or by accident.

According to a Sun article on the results of a Centers for Disease Control study, published the day after Jay's Feb. 6 column, "gun deaths are part of an overall surge in murders and suicides among the nation's youth."

The CDC study of industrialized nations also stated that of the child homicides and suicides, "86 percent of the 1,107 deaths caused by guns were among U.S. children. Twenty-two percent of all the gun deaths were unintentional."

I, for one, am happy that there are fewer guns out there because of the mayor's buyback program.

Jeanne M. Ruddock

Baltimore

It is a fact that the only gun laws in recent history that have proved effective in reducing crime are the laws that allow the carrying of concealed weapons by law-abiding citizens.

The statistics are in from many states to prove this. The bad guys apparently think twice before attacking people who might be armed.

It is also a fact that only law-abiding citizens surrender their weapons to gun buyback programs.

Therefore, the case can be made that the gun buyback, instead of improving the situation, is actually exacerbating it by disarming the law-abiding citizens and making bolder the bad guys.

John Cullom

Catonsville

Slot machines will not save horse racing

Slot machines at the race track will not save horse racing. They will save the personal fortunes of the track owners.

Racing in Maryland, Delaware and even Kentucky has been steadily declining for years. The lure of racing, after all, is primarily gambling. In recent years other forms of gambling have become increasingly available -- slot machines, casinos and lotteries. In Maryland repeated concessions from the legislature to the track owners have done nothing but subsidize a private profit-making enterprise which is continually declining. Any money flowing to the state from slot machines would be taking advantage of certain peoples' weakness for gambling.

Richard K. Eberts

Chestertown

Kane had it right about Miss Universe

How encouraging it is to hear a feminist voice in The Sun. Gregory Kane's column is always a pleasure to read. Though sometimes I don't agree with him, I must say the column, "Miss Universe officials flaunt their idiocy," was right on.

That a 5-foot 7-inch woman could be considered fat at 139 pounds is absurd. Wouldn't it have been nice if Alicia Machado had told Donald Trump and the Miss Universe pageant officials to take a hike when they told her to lose weight? Wouldn't it be even nicer if women and girls were judged on more important attributes than their appearance?

Janet Goldstein

Baltimore

Lessons well learned in improper grammar

I am a 1964 graduate of Bryn Mawr School. While we did not use a "fun" grammar book, none of the students in my class ever mistook the word "very" for a verb. Likewise, although our grammar teacher did not have the advantage of a Yale education, she was well aware that the relative pronoun that follows the noun "people" is "who," not "that" ("The more kids that (sic) use it, the more kids that (sic) will be having fun.").

It is little wonder that the use of proper English continues to decline when even grammar teachers use non-standard English in conversation.

Sophia L. Swope

Brooklandville

Art museum merits support

One of Baltimore's newest treasures -- the American Visionary Art Museum -- deserves the support and financial assistance of each of us who values freedom of expression and believes in the creative spirit of every individual.

Rebecca Hoffberger is a genius whose talents and energy are to be applauded. Without her vision and drive, AVAM would never have become a reality.

Every lover of art should applaud Ms. Hoffberger and AVAM and then sit down and write a check. We must not let this institution falter.

Julian L. Lapides

Baltimore

Doggie-bag beggars leave a bad taste

I would like to express my disappointment in the City of Baltimore.

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