Close look needed at Clinton record on enforcing laws...


March 26, 2000

Close look needed at Clinton record on enforcing laws

Once again columnists Jack Germond and Jules Witcover are reacting to a challenge to the president by attacking the challenger ("LaPierre attack marks new low in gun-control debate," March 17).

In this case, it is the NRA's Wayne LaPierre who suggested that President Clinton's agenda calls for a certain level of violence. Why else, Mr. LaPierre asks, would the administration utterly fail to enforce the gun laws currently on the books? Why indeed?

Instead of whining about an attack on Mr. Clinton, your erstwhile columnists should be looking into the question of why existing law hasn't been enforced by the administration.

In this regard, there may be some utility to reporting the statistical fact that this administration has the worst enforcement record in history and determining why that is so.

The issue isn't whether someone called Mr. Clinton a liar -- he is -- but why he's not doing his job.

W.C. Harsanyi


Smart guns could mean more guns in a house

The governor's "smart gun" bill sounds good, but what it means in real life is that there would have to be twice as many guns in a house as there are now.

If the smart gun will only operate for the owner, let's say the husband, then they would have to have his and hers guns in the house!

Bill Williams

Glen Burnie

Where is the census box that says `American'?

I am writing in response to the OpinionCommentary article "Fitting a melting pot into a census box" (March 20). I thought that I was the only one who found it hard to fill in this box. My Langley family came to this continent circa 1680 and settled in Virginia before there was a United States of America. I am not sure how long one's family has to be here, but I hope they can find away to add a box that will state "American."

A lot of our country's current problems stem from the fact that everyone has a prefix attached to American (i.e. African-American, Irish- American).

I have no problem with knowing your roots, but, come on, there has to be some unity in this country. Incidentally, one of the ways I was able to trace my roots was to follow my family history back through the U.S. Census returns all the way back to their inception in 1790. The census is a great resource, but my argument is the format for this year's forms.

James N. Langley III


U.S. policy on Cuba makes no sense

The haphazard and laughable follies known as United States foreign policy continue. Our government bends over backwards to hide the illegal and inhumane actions of the Chinese in trade and human rights. We want to grant the most-favored nation status. We remove sanctions from Iran even though there is no proof that it has stopped supporting terrorism. We are building nuclear power plants for North Korea even though it continues to test and sell missiles to Iraq. We overlook everything that's going on in Russia, from a totally corrupt government to military sanctioned atrocities. We have established normal relations with Vietnam. We are less confrontational with Iraq and Libya. All this is the name of corporate profits, political expediency, and good will.

But just a few short miles south of Florida, Fidel Castro and Cuba are still treated as pariahs although that government is no worse than any of those above and brought health care, education and pride to many on this island. The Cold War is dead. Cuba offers no threat. Normal relations will weaken Mr. Castro more than this continuing strife. Is the Cuban-American money in Miami that important to American politics that this hypocrisy can continue? We need a politician with common sense and guts to end this folly and normalize relationships with Cuba and its people. Compared to the sharks we embrace, Cuba is just a guppy.

Alan McAllister

Severna Park

The `annoying' requests that come from charities

The day your article on annoying requests from charities appeared ("Gifts to bait would-be givers, " March 17), I got a letter in the mail from Maryland Public Television. In red ink, "SECOND NOTICE" was stamped on the envelope. What audacious gall.

I pay bills promptly and never see those words. To have them appear on something asking for money infuriates me.

Fran G. Hyatt


A commentary that failed to enlighten

Your Perspective headline, "Papal Plea notable for vagueness," by Colman McCarthy, promised fair commentary, and I looked forward to reading on March 19. How sad! Just a recounting of the evils of war, but with no wisdom attached other than to prostrate oneself and succumb.

To decry all wars, as Mr. McCarthy does in this article, would have us bow to evil, to the wishes of Hitler.

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