Mauling of child shows city needs to control pit bulls...

January 18, 2001

Mauling of child shows city needs to control pit bulls

How many more horrendous pit bull attacks will our community tolerate before something definitive is done to prevent them once and for all ("Escaped pit bull attacks 7-year-old," Jan. 13)?

Like so many of the previous attacks, this involved an innocent child who was viciously attacked without provocation, mauled and disfigured, which may result in permanent physical and emotional scars.

The lives of her horrified family members and of the children who witnessed the attack will never be the same.

As in past attacks, neighbors had warned the authorities about the dangers of this particular dog as well as an unrepaired hole in the fence. Yet the attack occurred anyway.

It is high time for the Baltimore City Council and the state legislature to stop the madness and immediately outlaw pit bulls in our communities -- to protect innocent citizens from a breed that causes such an outrageously high rate of human death and destruction.

Iredell W. Iglehart III


I was deeply disturbed to read of yet another mauling of a child by a pit bull dog.

This time, the victim was a 7-year-old child who will undoubtedly be permanently affected by this vicious attack.

I frequently walk through the Inner Harbor area and Federal Hill and see people walking pit bulls. These dogs are known to be vicious and have been bred to fight or attack by many owners.

Why should I have to cross the street to avoid someone walking a pit bull?

In other cities, as a result of similar attacks, pit bulls have been barred from certain areas or among residents receiving housing assistance through the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Why can't such a provision be enacted by the City Council?

Michael B. Rich III


Ashcroft's critics should cast their stones with more care

In listening to John Ashcroft's confirmation hearings, I was taken back to my childhood, when both my mother and the good nuns told me, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

I am amazed that certain members of the Senate Judiciary Committee can question the suitability for office of John Ashcroft. I seem to recall that Sens. Joseph Biden and Edward Kennedy have had some integrity problems in the past.

Mr. Ashcroft should be grilled on his competence to serve, but one has to question the true motives of some of the committee members.

John F. Maas


It is my opinion that John Ashcroft is being badly served by the media.

He isn't a saint, and neither are we, but I believe him to be the right man for the job of attorney general of our great nation.

Joyce Riesett


If Clinton got second chance, why shouldn't Graziano?

The recent letter "Purge housing chief from the city's payroll" (Jan. 9) stated, "Sometimes, as a public servant, you do not deserve a second chance when your behavior is so outrageous that the damage is irreparable."

May I remind the author that, not so long ago, our president's behavior was much more outrageous, and he was given a second chance.

J.J. Norris


Restrictions on guns cause South Africa's crime epidemic

The Sun's article on the crime epidemic in South Africa did a good job of describing the plight of many law-abiding South Africans but did not mention why the country's criminal faction has such an easy time victimizing the public ("Crime runs out of control," Jan. 14).

South Africa's flawed program of gun control is possibly the greatest domestic policy disaster in modern history.

The South African government has created a nation of sheep surrounded by wolves, with shepherds too overwhelmed to do their job. The only recourse for law-abiding citizens is to turn their homes into fortresses, then wait to be victimized.

I am glad I live in a country that still allows me to protect myself with whatever means I deem necessary. I hope that citizens will make sure that it remains this way.

Robert Doetsch


Ambridge served city well; Pratt should be booted out

Gregory Kane hit the nail on the head in his column "Political feud costs Ambridge his position" (Jan. 14).

Anthony J. Ambridge served the 2nd District well when he was a city councilman. I think he was serving equally well as real estate officer.

As for city Comptroller Joan Pratt, off with her head -- and I hope she's out of that position and out of city politics after the next election.

Grace Y. Jones


Soup kitchen doesn't doom Mount Vernon

Charles Belfoure's column criticizing Mount Vernon's plans for revitalization singled out Our Daily Bread (which is on the outermost border of the district) as the "fatal blow" to any hopes of Mount Vernon turning itself around ("Rethinking plans for revitalization," Opinion

Commentary, Jan. 9).

At the same time, he mentioned that Mount Vernon has improved on its own over the past several years, while other areas in the city have declined.

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