Will drug traffic ever be eradicated?I read of the...

LETTERS

September 19, 1997

Will drug traffic ever be eradicated?

I read of the reduction of crime in Baltimore and how great we are doing and how much crime is being reduced. Then I look out my window and see kids selling drugs on the corner.

I barricade myself behind two locked doors, hoping that the drug wars and the gun shots do not destroy me. I go to community meetings hoping that life somehow will be restored to some normalcy.

Before I die, and before my world and Baltimore are totally destroyed, I pray that God some day will let me look out my window and not see kids selling drugs on the corner.

William H. Jones

Baltimore

Track may not draw big NASCAR races

I am a long-time NASCAR fan, having attended races at Charlotte, Rockingham, Richmond, and Dover.

I would like nothing better than to see NASCAR's Winston Cup, Busch Grand National or SuperTruck series come to the proposed Essex International Speedway. Nonetheless, I think the folks promoting the proposed speedway are sadly mistaken if they think NASCAR will give them a race in any of these series.

The reason is this: Between Pocono, Nazareth, Dover, and Richmond there are already thirteen races. NASCAR is looking to expand into markets that have no races, and it is likely some of these thirteen races will be moving to other venues. Given that, I'd say the chances of adding even more races at a new facility in Essex are very poor.

A more realistic proposal is a 3/8ths or half-mile paved oval that the local stockers could run on every Saturday night. This could prove to be very popular, especially if there is a NASCAR Winston Racing Series affiliation. These ''weekend warriors'' can every bit as exciting as the NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch Grand National, and SuperTruck series.

Emerson Champion

Pasadena

Gun availability means more deaths

John Josselyn (Letters, Sept. 10) asks for an explanation of ''exactly how gun control laws reduce crime and make us safer.'' I am happy to oblige him.

He notes that New Hampshire had only 200 murders in a seven-year period, while Maryland, with 4.3 times the population, had 23 times as many murders. He reasons that since ''Maryland has many gun control laws but New Hampshire has very few,'' gun control laws apparently have little impact on the number of murders.

Okay, let's take that same reasoning a bit further. Canada is a big country; in fact, it is larger than the United States in area and its population is more than 25 times that of New Hampshire. Mr. Josselyn implies that 200 murders is not very many, but in Canada that would be considered an outrageously high number. Canada has very strict gun control laws, and very few murders. Japan, Australia, England, Germany, Sweden, and many other wealthy countries have very severe restrictions on gun ownership, while their murder rates are a tiny fraction of the U.S. rate.

The availability of guns is what accounts for the differences in murder rates, not state gun control laws. Maryland has a lot more guns than New Hampshire, and consequently more murders as well as more suicides. New Hampshire has more guns available than all of Canada, and therefore more killings. Thanks to the NRA and people like Mr. Josselyn, criminals can easily get all the guns they want.

Criminals love the NRA. If they can't get their weapons in Maryland, they can hop over to Virginia or some other border state. Gun control is not very effective at the state or local level; only national gun control can reduce our unconscionably high U.S. murder rate.

Bruce Rollier

Ellicott City

In defense of cartoon on royal family

Mike Lane's royal family cartoon offended some of your readers. My friends and I thought it was clever.

Almost every cartoonist in the U.S.A. upsets some people with his satirical humor many times. As long as cartoons are published, many brickbats will be thrown at them.

I believe the cartoons by Mike Lane are terrific!

Joseph Lerner

Baltimore

Parking 'solution' a disaster for city

I'm mystified by the front page article of Sept. 16 advocating the building of more downtown parking lots. The entire article failed to mention that downtown is the area best served by mass transit. The subway, light rail, bus system, water taxi and MARC all cater extensively to downtown locations.

The lack of parking spaces will encourage people to take mass transit and will have the effect of making parking lots more expensive. The creation of more parking spaces will increase automobile commuting, highway construction and pollution.

There is no evidence to suggest that the quoted downtown businesses clamoring for more parking hire penurious or infirm individuals who would find mass transit a hardship. Skyscrapers full of parked cars are for horrible recently-got-up places in the Sun Belt like Atlanta. Places like New York, Washington and any European city basically price the auto commuter out of existence. Good riddance.

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