Don't blame the guns for plague of violence on our...


January 28, 2002

Don't blame the guns for plague of violence on our city's streets

In the Jan. 19 Sun there were two anti-gun articles, one about Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy's "gun-crime unit" ("New Balto. gun-crime unit to use state, federal funds") and another an editorial, "Gun culture kills a father, city's future." Throughout these articles runs the notion that if the guns are removed, crime will go away.

I remember reading in The Sun that Baltimore is the drug capital of the country, and other articles have reported that more than 80 percent of crime in Baltimore is drug-related.

That would mean that about 240 murders a year are directly related to drugs, either resulting from robberies to support the habit or in turf battles. But I didn't detect the drug connection in either of The Sun's Jan. 19 articles.

Shouldn't Ms. Jessamy have a "drug-crime unit," and isn't there a "drug culture" in Baltimore? If the 240 annual murders blamed on drugs were eliminated, wouldn't Ms. Jessamy, Mayor Martin O'Malley, Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris and others be national heroes?

Does "drug crime" possess some sort of politically correct protection that "gun crime" does not?

John Cullom


The Sun's choice of the phrase "Gun culture" as the object of blame in a recent headline makes me wonder about your reluctance to pin the tail on the donkey of true blame: that small portion of inner-city residents who refuse to obey laws year in and year out ("Gun culture kills a father, city's future," editorial, Jan. 19).

The Sun's hesitance to blame individuals is a big part of the problem. When inanimate objects take the responsibility, people don't.

Dana Ely


Some skinheads oppose white power movement

I was most displeased with The Sun's reporting on the white power movement's gathering in York, Pa. ("25 arrested amid protests in York over racist stands," Jan. 13).

As almost always in the media, the word "skinheads" pops up alongside the white power movement. Making no distinction, The Sun, along with many other media outlets, often leads people to believe skinheads, as a whole, are racist.

This is quite contrary to the truth, as the skinhead movement itself was started as a working class movement, and had nothing to do with racism.

Indeed, the Anti-Racist Action (ARA) was founded by non-racist skins and punks in the late 1980s in response to the growing threat of racially motivated hate groups. I suggest that from now on, perhaps using the distinction "racist" before the word "skinheads" would be more appropriate.

T.J. Tumach


The writer is a member of an anti-racist punk group called the Right-wing Thugs.

Choice should be made before child is conceived

Nancy Lineman asks the question, who decides: women or politicians ("Protect reproductive rights - or lose them," Opinion * Commentary, Jan. 22)?

I agree with Ms. Lineman: Of course the answer is women. But the choice is made before the child is conceived. If two people enter into a sexual relationship and the woman becomes pregnant, the choice factor is no longer in the equation. The responsibility factor is now the only consideration.

The right thing to do is act responsibly and protect the unborn child she carries in her womb. Today's technology leaves no doubt that the child she carries is not a blob of tissue, as Ms. Lineman would like you to believe, but a living, breathing, human being - a child of God.

Destroying this child in the womb can only be described as murder, by choice.

Tom Korpela

Forest Hill

Nancy Lineman's claim that abortion deaths have declined from 5,000 to 1,000 since Roe vs. Wade is certainly good news for the women involved.

The bad news is that, in 1996, the National Center for Health Statistics reported 1,529,000 deaths for their pre-born babies. It's no stretch to imagine that number is higher today.

And the fact that after 29 years the dialogue remains as heated as ever indicates that while abortion may be legal, it is far from being a decided issue.

Marilyn R. Janus


Let those who dislike bears be the ones who relocate

The black bears were in Western Maryland first. If Barbara Reed and the people of McHenry and Western Maryland do not like the black bears living near them, then they should not have bought property in Western Maryland ("Md. ban on bear hunting targeted," Jan. 21).

Ms. Reed and other residents should move, preferably out of the state.

Joseph V. Nagle


A redistricting plan for the state's bears?

My suggestion for solving the problem of the growing number of black bears in Western Maryland is to redistrict the bears. Capture and move the bears in the same ratio as Maryland's new House of Delegates redistricting plan. If an area has three delegates, it gets three bears.

Using this method, each district that passes laws to protect the bears can enjoy the benefit of having a furry, cuddly, 300-pound omnivore in its backyard during the night.

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