Governor was right to veto state's Y2K legislationThe...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 01, 1999

Governor was right to veto state's Y2K legislation

The Sun's editorial condemning Gov.nor Parris N. Glendening's veto of the private sector Year 2000 computer problem (Y2K) legislation ignores both the law and logic ("Dangerous Y2K veto," May 22).

The editorial argues that this veto leaves conscientious businesses with no protection from lawsuits. Current law, however, provides protection for any business that has acted reasonably to address its Y2K issues.

The law always judges actions in the context of reasonableness. The proposed Y2K legislation was unnecessary and dangerous because it attempted to establish new, untested standards.

The governor's veto recognizes that Maryland needs to ensure that those killed or injured as a result of Y2K problems have legal remedies.

While the New York Times and the Washington Post have urged Congress not to protect businesses that have for years ignored the well-recognized Y2K problem, The Sun has again repeated the Chamber of Commerce's mantra that this is "bad for business."

Under Governor Glendenings stewardship, Maryland's unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level in 10 years (3.7 percent) as the state has added more than 185,000 jobs.

The governor evidently knows how to support the business community and still protect those employed by businesses.

Vicki Dexter

Daniel M. Clements

Baltimore

The authors are past presidents of the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association.

Police shooting requires more serious punishment

Let me get this straight: According to the The Sun's article "Ex-city officer pleads guilty in killing of man in 1988" (May 26), an off-duty policeman, Robert W. Carre Jr., and a friend leave a bar on the Block at 2: 40 a.m., and choose an innocent citizen at random for a prank.

The citizen chooses not to take part in this prank, fights with the friend of the policeman, runs away, and gets shot in the back and dies.

Then the policeman covers it up for 11 years, confesses only after this friend turns on him, and the policeman gets a suspended sentence?

This is a travesty. It isn't as bad as the police beating of Abner Louima in New York, but it runs along the same lines.

Someone gets killed over a prank gone awry by a city policeman and no one goes to jail. Baltimore should be ashamed.

Police brutality, in any form, should be punished more severely.

Kevin R. Blackwell, Catonsville

Superpower must know when not to wage war

Surely Slobodan Milosevic must now be shaking in his boots after being indicted as a "war criminal." Now if we could only bring him up on "hate crime" charges, he'd really be in trouble.

I am glad the United States is now the only superpower, but it seems to me that the greatest responsibility of power is knowing not to use it unless our borders or a direct national interest is at stake.

This war being waged by our draft-dodging president, and supported by his lapdog mainstream media soulmates, would be laughable if not for the innocent lives it is claiming.

Dave Reich, Baltimore

It's high time we take away the guns

The Sun's headline over two letters criticizing those who recently voted against gun control in the U.S. Senate read, "How can so many senators still oppose gun control?" (May 26).

Here's the obvious answer: Of the 50 senators who voted against the recent crime bill, 48 had received contributions from the National Rifle Association.

Another letter writer complained that the gun industry was being blamed for crime, rather than blaming mental illness and drugs and alcohol ("Making gun industry the scapegoat on crime," May 26).

But in view of recent news, it's about time these gun lovers realize what the proliferation of guns is causing. And it's about time their toys were taken away from them.

Morris Grossman, Baltimore

In his recent letter, Jim Pileggi suggests that it is "headline hungry politicians" who blame the firearms industry for the reckless marketing of their deadly products ("Making gun industry the scapegoat on crime," May 26). But that's dead wrong.

More than two-thirds of the public, including more than half of gun owners, think this country needs stiffer gun control laws. It seems to be mainly Republican politicians who are having trouble understanding the people's will.

The real issue is the refusal of Republican law-makers to pass gun control laws that allow the firearms industry to be regulated like any other industry that produces dangerous products.

The automobile industry, home builders, pharmaceutical makers and even the toy industry are regulated to protect consumers. Why not the gun industry?

J. Wayne Ruddock, Baldwin

Strange paradoxes of age and rights

David Titus' letter described very well some of the paradoxes of age and rights ("Kids can join the Army, but can't buy a gun?" May 28).

At 18, you can not only die for your country, but vote, buy a rifle or shotgun, get married, enter into a contract and be tried as an adult for a crime.

At this same age, however, you can't buy a handgun, play a slot machine or blackjack at a casino.

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