Twisting Constitution to suit the purposes of gun rights...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 27, 1998

Twisting Constitution to suit the purposes of gun rights boosters

I am irritated and incensed that Gregory Kane is allowed to continue such a myth as he wrote on Oct. 17 ("Glendening ads attacking Sauerbrey liable to misfire"). History and the Second Amendment are not on the side of the National Rifle Association and its supporters as Mr. Kane suggested in his column.

Our federal law distinguishes between the organized militia (the National Guard) and the unorganized militia. The Second Amendment states clearly: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

The U.S. Supreme Court has addressed this many times. In every case, it has agreed that the Second Amendment only guarantees the right to bear arms in a "well-regulated militia."

Ellen Sauerbrey is supported by the gun rights advocates. She was the NRA's point woman in the state legislature. The NRA gave money to help her challenge the 1994 election results.

It is high time for the myths to end. It is high time to stop twisting the Second Amendment. According to Webster's Dictionary, militia means: "military service (1) a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency (2) the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service."

Lois W. Hess

Baltimore

Gregory Kane is to writing what Ted Williams is to hitting: The very best. In the 1946 World Series, Ted Williams batted a mere .200. Mr. Kane's equivalent of the '46 series was his recent gun-control column.

If Mr. Kane had said that gun control was ineffective, there would be room for debate. This is not so with regard to the Second Amendment.

The amendment has existed for more than 200 years. Not once has it been used to invalidate a gun law. Can Mr. Kane quote one reputable scholar of our Constitution who thinks that the amendment was intended to prevent gun-control legislation? He cannot.

I have read this paper with care over the years, and I have never seen an intelligent argument in this regard. None exists.

I defy Mr. Kane or any of the readers to advance one. I promise a prompt response.

Dennis Olver Baltimore Greg Kane is to writing what Ted Williams is to hitting: The very best. In the 1946 World Series, Ted Williams bated a mere 200. Mr. Kane's equivalent of the '46 series was his recent gun control column.

If Mr. Kane had said that gun control was ineffective, there would be room for debate. This is not so with regard to the Second Amendment.

The amendment has existed for over two hundred years. Not once has it been used to invalidate a gun law. Can Mr. Kane quote one reputable scholar of our constitution who thinks that the Amendment was intended to prevent gun control legislation? He cannot.

I have read this paper with care over the years and I have never seen an intelligent argument in this regard. None exist.

I defy Mr. Kane or any of the readers to advance one. I promise a prompt response.

Dennis Olver

Baltimore

Money goes to probe while many people suffer

I have AIDS, and I have cancer in my left leg and foot, which restricts my mobility. It is also in other parts of my body. I have a dysfunctional epiglottis, which causes difficulty eating and drinking. I am in terrible pain, both physically and emotionally.

Though I am unable to work, I volunteer two hours a week for Meals on Wheels, trying to help those even worse off than me.

I receive $837 a month in Social Security Disability Income benefits. That has been determined to be too much money to qualify for pharmaceutical assistance or food stamps, so I cannot get the medications I need or food assistance.

I have spent two years trying to work through the bureaucracy of the state of Maryland and the federal government. Could you live on $837 a month, even without health problems? Why has our government spent $45 million on the presidential "crisis," and I can't even get the basic necessities of life?

I hope a very large segment of Congress is voted out of office this November. It is the overwhelming will of the people to drop this embarrassing debacle and start running the country as it should be run. That includes adequate health care for all. Where are the priorities in Congress?

Terry S. Deem

Towson

Residents have duty to keep streets clean

The editorial in "City must clear way for cleaner streets" (Oct. 15) on the efforts of four college students who cleaned up an area on Bradford Street, was partly on target. Yes, the city needs to do more to keep streets and alleys clean.

The editorial also should have chastised the residents of the area (and elsewhere in the city) who regularly and deliberately make their neighborhoods look bad.

We taxpayers should not have to foot the bill. Impoverishment ought not be taken as an excuse for not maintaining an environment neat and clean and free of trash.

Frank Novak

Baltimore

Special ed's improvements, not miracles

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