Gun-lock raffle trumps 9mm

Life savers: Howard County Democrats' event takes sharp aim at the Carroll GOP .

March 24, 2000

THE DEVICE sells for $10 -- and might save a life.

It's called a child safety or trigger lock.

You could own one by finding a store that sells them -- or by winning a raffle sponsored by the Howard County Democratic Central Committee. Tickets are $1.

But, surely, the Howard group's effort has more to do with philosophy than fund raising.

The Howard event seems more like a needle directed at Republicans in neighboring Carroll County, where the GOP recently raffled off a 9mm handgun worth about $500.

FOR THE RECORD - A March 24 editorial should have said a 9mm Beretta handgun raffled by the Carroll County Republican Central Committee came with a trigger lock. The Sun regrets the error.

"We expect there will be substantial interest in this from people who support gun safety," said Neil Quinter, a Howard County Democratic official.

The Carroll group raised some $16,000 - and earned a fair amount of publicity for its county, not all of it admiring. One imagines the National Rifle Association making Carroll its county of the month.

In the interests of intercounty and nonpartisan harmony, the two groups should join forces now. The Carroll GOP could buy up as many of the Howard Democrats' tickets as possible.

If they get the winning ticket, they could send the lock to the winner of their raffle.

If they don't win, they could spend $10 of their $16,000 to buy one and send it along. Come to think of it, they should use all $16,000 for gunlocks, distributing them to every gun owner in their county. Then they could get an award from Handgun Control Inc.

If Smith & Wesson can agree to put new trigger lock technology on its new weapons, everyone who has a gun might want to take notice. The locks fit most shotguns, rifles and handguns.

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