Kane column on shooting irresponsibleGregory Kane's...


September 01, 1997

Kane column on shooting irresponsible

Gregory Kane's comments on Aug. 17 left me dumbstruck. To venture that Officer Charles M. Smothers II was attempting merely to incapacitate, or wound, James Quarles is ludicrous.

To minimize Officer Smothers' previous misconduct by saying ''he shot and wounded a car'' is an atrocious message from a supposedly responsible journalist. Irresponsible, incompetent misuse of lethal weaponry is inexcusable, especially by someone with the level of training of a police officer.

To blame the citizenry for not allocating more funds for the police department is a distortion. We don't allocate the funds, we provide them. If money were truly the means to end the carnage in Baltimore, we would gladly provide more. But money is not the answer. It does not buy respect for life, the apparent lack of which is the ultimate issue.

Baltimore should get its head out of the sand of Harborplace, Camden Yard and Ravens' waste, and provide for the protection of its citizens and law enforcers. It seems that the line between villains and victims, heroes and heels, is rapidly blurring.

Joseph R. Blair


United Ireland is a British invention

I have just learned of the decision by the State Department to allow Gerry Adams of Sein Fein (the political arm of the Irish Republican Army) a visa to enter the United States to raise money for his cause.

This is the organization that recently, again, had called for a cease-fire in its terrorist activities if the British would restart the dialogue of peace.

Mr. Adams just recently suggested that a true peace could be attained if the British (troops) would leave Northern Ireland so that talks could center on ''reuniting'' Ireland.

I would like to point out that Ireland was only united under the British. In the past, Ireland was governed by small and often warring groups of leaders or kings, with no central government.

It was only after the pope, angered by the heresies of the Irish church, gave the island to the British in 1155 that the British ultimately united the country and a parliamentary form of government evolved.

So let's take the ''re'' out of united Ireland. Wake up and smell the ''Irish'' coffee.

Richard C. Patterson


Letter writer's views worsen Mideast stress

I found Cathy Myrowitz' Aug. 20 letter puzzling and disturbing.

If The Sun demonstrated any bias in its headline, ''Israeli jets hit Lebanon; synagogue is rocketed,'' it was not anti-Israeli sentiment as perceived by Ms. Myrowitz, any more than a hypothetical World War II headline, ''Tokyo bombed; U.S. light cruiser sunk,'' could be interpreted as being anti-American.

I was disturbed that although Ms. Myrowitz proclaims herself a Peace Now supporter her tit-for-tat Mideast views, unfortunately shared by far too many on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, assure that all of us will be reading similar headlines for decades to come.

J. C. Pendleton


Tinted windows called dangerous

Your Aug. 18 editions carried a story that the Maryland State Police is aggressively enforcing a law prohibiting license plate covers that mask the tags.

From a law enforcement standpoint, this makes sense. Being ignored, however, are the super-tinted windshields and windows passenger vehicles.

Because you cannot see into them, how would anyone know whether a child or pet were locked inside? If an officer pulls a car over for a traffic violation, how is he to know the operator has a gun aimed at him?

From a traffic safety standpoint, the driver has to be operating with impaired vision. Yet some even wear sun glasses.

Richard L. Lelonek


Lockdown at Jessup is not a solution

As a volunteer at the Maryland House of Correction Annex in Jessup, I am dismayed by the continuing lockdown at that facility for the past three months.

Inmates are allowed out of their cells for just one hour out of 24 hours for a shower, day room privileges or a phone call. They receive bag lunches in their cells and have restricted visiting privileges. Educational and rehabilitation programs have ceased. The heat in the cells on the top floor of these two-story, flat-roofed, non-air conditioned (except for the central guard unit) buildings is intense.

There has been violence at this maximum security facility, not only between inmates but between inmates and correctional officers. I do not have a solution for the problem of violence in our prisons. But indiscriminate or group punishment is not the answer.

A complicating factor is that the lockdown is partly the result of a job action on the part of the correctional officers attempting to win pay increases (and other demands) from the state. The officers' demands are just, but using unfair treatment of inmates to reach these goals is unjust and counterproductive. I would like see more media coverage of what is happening at the annex.

Edward Sabin

Ellicott City

Governor faulted for slow action

On Aug. 24 you printed a letter, "Good state action on Pocomoke problem," from Mike Howard.

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