More bans on guns seen as an answerPresident Clinton's...

Letters

February 28, 1997

More bans on guns seen as an answer

President Clinton's proposal for a law requiring child-proof safety catches on guns is a feeble attempt to solve the gun crisis.

Over 66 million people in the United States own guns. To what end? We lead the world overwhelmingly in gun deaths and gun injuries for adults and children.

Congress should pass a law confining gun shipments and ownership to state and federal armed forces, duly constituted police and citizens who can convince a judge they need one for self-protection.

Hunting and Olympic gun contests may be noble activities, but they are certainly not worth the lost human lives that result from inadequate restrictions on gun ownership.

Robert B. Hummel

Bethesda

Some Jewish children escaped to England

I am one of those children whose parents tried frantically to obtain an avenue of emigration from Vienna in 1938 and failed. The coveted piece of paper for the escape to England was called a ''permit,'' which the British government issued very stingily.

I have a cousin in England who escaped with one of those transports but whose sister was killed in Auschwitz. Her parents were unable to obtain a permit for her. There were many children in Vienna who could have escaped but there were no takers of Jewish children.

I don't know from where Blanche Cohen Sachs (letters, Feb. 21) obtained the information that Jewish children were ''ferried'' from Czechoslovakia and Poland.

Until 1938, Jews in Czechoslovakia enjoyed full rights in one of the most democratic governments in Europe under President Eduard Benes; in Poland, Jewish children could not be ferried since Poland and England were at war with Germany in September 1939.

Prior to 1939 in Poland and prior to 1938 in Czechoslovakia, Jewish parents would not have sent children away by themselves.

A program of saving the lives of Jewish children was organized by a Baltimorean, Henrietta Szold, who organized the ''Youth Aliyah,'' which failed, partly because England issued the White Paper in 1939 which drastically reduced the number of certificates (entry permits) to Palestine, and partly because of the onset of World War II.

Yes, many children were saved by the ''Kindertransports'' from Germany and Austria, but many more perished in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka and other death camps.

I would not call it ''England's finest hour,'' since more children could have been saved by issuing more permits and facilitating the Youth Aliyah.

Siegfried Buchwalter

Baltimore

I'm so angry I'm leaving

I have had it!

City officials wonder why residents are making a mass exodus to the suburbs. I can tell you why: They are fed up with the incompetence of the city bureaucracy.

Recently, I received a letter from the tax sale office informing me that my property would be auctioned off to settle a $2,800 water bill.

My usual quarterly bill averages $200.

Despite numerous calls and visits to the water department, they still claim that they are not in error, and that I am responsible for the bill.

Fine, but it will be the last time that I pay for any city service.

I'm outta here!

Anna Wang

Baltimore

Legal freedom and responsibility

Judge Frederic N. Smalkin protected the rights of all citizens by ruling that the Sons of Confederate Veterans can display the Confederate battle flag on their license plates.

Thank God we Americans are free to express our opinions and beliefs. That freedom, together with our rich diversity of peoples -- and of opinions and beliefs -- is no small contributor to the greatness of our nation.

But doesn't our freedom demand a price? Can we be a free and great society without individual responsibility? And when does individual responsibility extend beyond protecting one's own opinions and beliefs to respecting the opinions and beliefs of others?

My opinion is that we will not reach our potential for greatness as a nation until we go beyond freedom of speech and expression for ourselves. We must also hear, understand and care about what others are saying and expressing to us.

On the level of individual rights, the Sons of Confederate Veterans can display their battle flags. But on the level of human understanding and caring for others, I fail to understand why they would want to.

Doron Antrim

Reisterstown

Mfume has made NAACP invisible

At the risk of airing dirty laundry in public, I am compelled to respond to James Bock's Feb. 16 article, ''Mfume's NAACP agenda ambitious.''

Although the former congressman (NAACP President Kweisi Mfume) offered plausible explanations for his perceived aloofness and inaccessibility and the invisibility of the NAACP last year, they do not compensate for the repercussions that such absence causes.

One major consequence of that absence is the abandonment felt by the membership and the enlisted African-American men caught up in the U.S. Army scandal at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

The former congressman is to be applauded for his efforts in helping to strengthen the organization financially.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.