Error noted, and a word from the gun-control nuts

May 01, 1999|By GREGORY KANE

FIRST, THE good news.

Zenia Jenkins is, indeed, as mentioned in Wednesday's column about George Washington Carver High School's Hall of Fame induction ceremony for alumni, a staff member at the school. I got her name right. Even spelled it correctly.

Now, the bad news. Jenkins is not a guidance counselor at Carver. She's an English teacher. That information comes from Carole Todd, who should know. Todd ITAL is END ITAL a Carver guidance counselor.

The columnist regrets the error, and compliments Carver on having as fine a staff and administration as any high school can get. Proof of this is that they survived my son attending Carver and still have a commitment to education.

Now I'd like to propose a posthumous induction into Carver's Hall of Fame for next year:

Barbara Ann Kane Noland of the Class of 1966, beloved daughter of Ruth Young, older sister of Carolyn, Gregory, Michael, Margaret and Tyrone Kane.

She was a longtime Social Security worker, a loving wife of 25 years to Joseph Noland Sr. and mother of Joseph Jr. and Dia. She also directed a youth choir. She died in 1996. She could also sing like an angel. Now she is one.

Hell knows no fury like that of the gun-control folks when they get pilloried for a change. For years, they've referred to the National Rifle Association and other folks who take the Second Amendment seriously as "gun nuts." Refer to them as "anti-gun nuts" and their dudgeon has no boundaries. Here's a sampling of letters from the gun-control faction of the American body politic to last Saturday's column.

Ann Gibson of Baltimore: "I hope you enjoyed your day because the NRA wrote your column for you! They repeated themselves again and again -- `the person using the gun, not the gun, etc.' I'm tired of their excuses. They get around every law, also. I understand they pay well for good publicity. Never read your column again."

Sorry to disappoint you, Ann, but the column was all my work. I'm still waiting for a gun-control advocate to answer this question: There are already millions of firearms in America. How many more laws must be added -- and how many, and whose, civil liberties must be suppressed -- so that we can have gun control that is truly effective?

More sober and thoughtful in their opinions were Gayle McAdams of Ellicott City and Mark Stokes of Towson. McAdams, an educator, wrote:

"You are right. `If you attend (work) in a school that has boys in the 14-18 age range, then you're at risk.' But carrying a handgun is NOT the answer. ELLIPSIS You also stated `there are all kinds of nuts out there.' BUT some of them are teachers. Arm teachers and, maybe, the events at Columbine High School might not have happened on Tuesday, April 20, 1999, but who knows what might happen at Dunbar High School, Sparrows Point High School, Easton High School, Long Reach High School, etc. on any given day in the future. Please reconsider your position and let us work to keep all guns out of our schools and at the same time work with our children our schools and our communities to make our schools safe for everyone."

Uh, Gayle, that observation about nutty teachers: You wouldn't be referring to teachers you've known personally over the years, would you?

Stokes wrote: "Your depiction of the opposing position held by `anti-gun nuts,' `anti-self defense fanatics,' and `gun-control nuts' hardly fosters resolution or even reasonable discussion of problems before us. Wouldn't your cause be better served by simply presenting your ideas and arguments for your readers' consideration, rather than resorting to name-calling as `nuts' and `fanatics' anyone who might have other ideas and responses to your arguments?"

Mark, I'll agree with you when I receive your letter holding to those standards the gun-control folks who've referred, for years, to the NRA and other anti-gun-control folks as "gun nuts." The standards have to apply to everybody or nobody.

Jeanne Ruddock's letter was printed on the Letters to the Editor page. But a portion of it that was edited out shows Ruddock, of Baltimore, may have unwittingly stated that the problem isn't guns, but us.

"I know that my granddaughters ELLIPSIS might even be involved in a fender bender; what do you think would happen if the person they argued with or accidentally hit with their car carried a concealed weapon and had a bad temper?"

Jeanne, the way people drive so aggressively, it's more likely your granddaughters will be killed in a multicar accident than be shot by someone with road rage. I'm more afraid of bad drivers than people with guns. There are people on our roads who are using their vehicles to vent their rage, which is every bit as real as the rage that drove Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold to go on their shooting and bombing rampage.

But you'll notice, of course, that no one blames death by a borderline certifiable driver on the "availability of cars."

Pub Date: 5/01/99

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