Asking an `authority' to restrict big vehicles could limit...

Letters to the Editor

January 08, 1999

Asking an `authority' to restrict big vehicles could limit freedom

A writer complains in his letter "Something must be done about sport utility vehicles" (Dec 31) of the proliferation of sport utility vehicles. While his logic is not surprising to read in the editorial pages of The Sun, it is still disheartening to read a letter from a citizen who fears freedom.

His letter begins, "How long will it be before someone in authority stops the ever-increasing number of sport utility vehicles on your highways?" Who is the "authority" to which the writer pleads? Obviously some level of government.

The letter writer appears to prefer to drive a vehicle with that does not have "a bumper six inches higher than the cars." The implication is that in a crash between a car and an SUV, the SUV will suffer less damage than the car. His argument appears to be that someone who wishes to drive a safer vehicle should not be allowed to do so because this would put him or her at a disadvantage in a collision.

Again and again, the pages of The Sun are filled with people pleading with the government to enforce their choices on their fellow citizens. The letter writer obviously dislikes SUVs and would probably not buy one, which is his right.

However, to try to enforce his will on his fellow citizens, through the offices of "someone in authority," is an assault on the very bedrock of freedom. If we beg the government to limit the freedom of others, we destroy our own liberty.

Ted Gettinger III

Elkridge

I read with great indignation the letter to your paper regarding the use of SUVs on the highways. Has this reader lost his perspective?

As an owner and driver of a Chevrolet Suburban LT and a Jeep Cherokee, I feel safe and secure from the hundreds of tractor trailers and delivery trucks on the roads. We bought our vehicles so that we could get my husband to his chemotherapy and radiation therapy sessions in any kind of weather, so our SUVs are being used in life-saving ways.

Not all of us drive like maniacs and endanger others' lives.

Michele Popp

Baltimore

Ending year, starting year with KAL, Lane cartoons

I immensely enjoyed the cartoons by KAL Dec. 1 and Mike Lane Jan. 1. Both artists are genuinely unique and clever, and the cartoons gave me a chuckle to end and start the New Year.

Marge Griffith

Pasadena

Ohioans taking pleasure in painful Ravens season

Cleveland Brown fans everywhere let out a giggle of satisfaction watching the Ravens cap off yet another losing season with their first head coach firing. With apologies to Edgar Allan Poe, may there be many more, many more.

Jim Mollenkopf

Toledo, OH

Pointing out the problems with popular laser devices

Parents of children and adolescents who have received laser pointers as holiday presents should be reminded that these devices are not toys.

A recent report of a seventh-grader in Kansas City who suffered an injury to his retina serves as a reminder that laser pointers can be harmful, particularly when one stares at the beam for more than 10 seconds.

Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates lasers and, therefore, these devices must carry warnings indicating that the beam should not be directed at anyone's eyes. Powerful laser pointers that may be available via the Internet have not met FDA requirements and have a greater potential to damage the retina.

It is important to keep these devices away from infants and children and remind all family members regarding the importance of eye safety.

Dr. Eve J. Higginbotham

Baltimore

The writer is vice president of the Maryland Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons and chairwoman of the University of Maryland's Department of Ophthalmology.

Stop picking on smokers with tobacco tax try

I just wish that people would just leave us smokers alone. I am 43 and have been smoking for about 25 years. Some people want to raise the tax on cigarettes by $1.50 a pack so that kids can't afford to buy them. But the tax would only hurt smokers like me.

Peter Luik

Baltimore

`Baltimore's Jesse Ventura' should become its mayor

Electing a candidate from the ranks of current officeholders guarantees that Baltimore will get more of what it's been getting. Every year, more and more dollars are thrown down a bottomless hole by self-serving politicians who owe others for their employment.

We should follow the example recently set by Minnesotans. Rather than align themselves with either traditional party, a majority of the voters chose a "maverick" candidate who avoided labels and addressed the issues with new approaches. Electing Reform Party candidate Jesse Ventura gives those citizens a chance at really solving their problems.

An "activist mayor" is already here, waiting to be elected. Like Mr. Ventura, he's short of hair, and like Mr. Ventura, he's short on political "graces." He has a long record of organizing the citizenry, but is short on political debt; he's beholden to no one's organization.

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