'Smart guns' proposal another impractical, far-reaching...

Letters to the Editor

October 14, 1998

'Smart guns' proposal another impractical, far-reaching measure

The left-wing anti-gun crowd in Maryland, led by Gov. Parris N. Glendening and Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, continues its effort to demagogue the gun issue. Its latest proposal is to pass a law requiring that "smart guns" be sold within three years, even though the technology doesn't exist and the cost is estimated at between $10 and $300 per gun. A previous proposal, requiring trigger locks, was just as impractical but less far-reaching.

The left always uses the "save the children" rationale for its gun-control schemes, but its statistics consider children to be as old as 19. Since many of these 18- and 19-year-olds are inner-city drug dealers and gang members, it is not unusual for them to be killed by violent means, thus driving up the numbers of gun deaths.

Meanwhile, the anti-gun groups ignore detailed national surveys proving that by allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns, more than 2 million violent crimes are prevented each year and that violent crime is reduced in every county that has enacted these laws.

Also, women benefit four times as much as men in protecting themselves from violent attacks.

It is way past time to stop blaming the gun and instead to start cracking down on the violent criminals who misuse these guns.

Ray Gordon


Sauerbrey can't recast self as environmental moderate

Thank you for your recent articles contrasting the two candidates for governor.

Your front-page article of Aug. 25 ("Sauerbrey's commitment to environment questioned") did a great job of bringing out the fact that Ellen Sauerbrey has a very poor record on the environment. In 16 years in the House of Delegates, she earned an overall score of 20 percent from the League of Conservation Voters.

She opposed legislation to clean up our air and water and to protect the Chesapeake Bay. Ms. Sauerbrey is a board member of "Frontiers of Freedom," an organization that calls itself "the antithesis of the Sierra Club."

Most voters in Maryland consider protecting the environment a good thing. So it's no surprise that Ms. Sauerbrey should try to recast herself as a moderate. That won't work.

The media and environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club will work in the remaining days of the gubernatorial campaign to inform the voters about Ms. Sauerbrey's abysmal environmental voting record.

On Nov. 3, the most important thing Marylanders can do for the environment is to vote for Gov. Parris N. Glendening. He has a far better record on the environment.

Brian Parker


The writer is political chairman of the Sierra Club's Maryland chapter.

Remove the U.S. senator who won't remove Clinton

Unfortunately for Maryland voters, Sens. Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski are not going to vote to convict this president if he is impeached.

Those who believe, as I fervently do, that William Jefferson Clinton is pathetically unfit to be president of the United States of America, should campaign vigorously to remove Ms. Mikulski from office.

As a constitutional republic, the electorate empowers elected representatives who take actions they deem proper.

The voters can do nothing about Mr. Sarbanes this year.

In just four short weeks, Ms. Mikulski will be re-empowered or voted out of office. Other business before the country pales in significance to impeachment.

Her vote in the Senate trial will be crucial, and the success or failure of the entire impeachment process could very well hinge on her vote.

I would hate to think that as the history of our country unfolds, our generation will be forever known as the one that did not have the strength or courage to remove an incredibly unworthy president.

Donald T. Walbert


Our president's actions rate lower than shock jock's

Jeffrey Goldberg's Opinion Commentary piece "Howard Stern TV show is obsolete after Starr report" (Oct. 6) opines that the Starr report on President Clinton's sexual antics in the White House has rendered the shock jock's act passe.

Indeed, the president's character has sunken below that of Mr. Stern.

Dave Reich


Consider nature of the lie before passing judgment

While I agree with your position that elevating sex between consenting adults to a crime against the state has dangerously broadened the definition of an impeachable offense, critics of your editorial ("Down a slippery slope in Congress," Oct. 9) will no doubt point out that President Clinton lied under oath and further, that the president is not above the law.

However, the nature of a lie and its consequences should be considered. Compared with lies of previous presidents -- Lyndon Johnson's lies about Vietnam and Richard Nixon's lies about Watergate and the bombing of Cambodia, Mr. Clinton's deceptions seem petty and insignificant.

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