Letters To The Editor


January 13, 2003

Regulating guns does very little to combat crime

There is more than irony in two front-page articles in the Jan. 1 Sun. One article highlighted Baltimore's persistently high homicide total ("Baltimore homicide total falls, but barely") while the other addressed Maryland's new law that requires internal gun locks ("New gun law caught in cross fire between dealers and supporters").

Maryland already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, but continues to struggle with one of the highest murder rates.

Isn't it ironic? Actually it is sad and disgraceful. Perhaps our legislators should look at the facts and stop imposing additional costs and encumbrances on law-abiding citizens who are expressing the constitutional "right of the people to keep and bear arms."

Restricting gun ownership for law-abiding citizens or imposing costs on these citizens does nothing to reduce crime or gun violence. Indeed, states that have "shall issue" laws that allow private citizens to carry concealed weapons have, on average, lower violent crime rates than those states that forbid concealed weapons.

Maryland legislators need to stop producing knee-jerk, headline-grabbing gun laws that do nothing but harm law-abiding citizens. I hope Gov.-elect Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. will fulfill his campaign promise to review every law on the sale of handguns.

Anthony P. Gallo


Turn the gun shops into pizza parlors

The Jan. 1 Sun reported that Sanford Abrams, gun store owner and officer of the Maryland Licensed Firearms Dealers Association, was complaining that the new state law requiring guns to have safety locks may force him to close his gun store and open a pizza parlor instead ("New gun law caught in cross fire between dealers and supporters").

Guns sold by gun stores kill tens of thousands of Americans every year, through homicides, suicides and accidents. Pizza may raise our cholesterol but otherwise is rather benign.

I would celebrate the day gun dealers close their gun shops and open pizza parlors instead.

Alan Cohen


Delegate's priorities seem to be misplaced

Baltimore is in its depressed position of high unemployment, high crime and low education test scores because of the confused priorities of some of its elected officials.

Recently, the city's school system exceeded its budget and responded by laying off teachers and teacher's aides and cutting summer school. I did not read of any organized protests by any Baltimore elected officials.

Yet, as Baltimore is listed as one of the five most violent cities in the country and had 253 murders in 2002 (a significant number of which were killings of juveniles), Del. Salima S. Marriott organized protests in Annapolis asking Gov. Parris N. Glendening to release 10 convicted murderers ("Annapolis vigil for life-term prisoners," Jan. 1).

Where was Ms. Marriott when the teachers lost their jobs?

I guess she does not understand that education is the key to success or that by providing students summer school might reduce the city's extremely high juvenile homicide rate.

Vance T. Morris

Ellicott City

Scary neighbors hurt the west side

Reading about Brenda Meier's "courage" for being an urban "pioneer" resident of Baltimore's west side ("Uncertain, but staying put," Jan. 2), I found no mention of why she should be considered courageous or why her street turns into a "ghost town" nearby. Or why she has never visited her neighborhood's "remodeled" Lexington Market.

All I know is that whenever I have to drive through this urban desolation, day or night, I make certain all my car doors are locked. And on my last visit to Lexington Market, non-shoppers hanging out there scared the heck out of me and I left.

Jack Sherwood

Severna Park

Keep Loyola project out of Woodberry

The Sun reported that a component of the feud between state Sen. Joan Carter Conway and Mayor Martin O'Malley is reports of how the mayor has neglected neighborhoods ("Key campaign ally now among mayor's most blunt critics," Jan. 3).

The mayor could prove his critics wrong by reversing his position and rejecting Loyola College's land grab in the Woodberry neighborhood.

Even more, he could accept the collective wisdom of the communities and adopt a Woodberry Comprehensive Plan, thus rejecting the disconnected, piecemeal development that his Planning Department prefers.

The Loyola project is a colossal mistake and has no place in Woodberry.

Myles Hoenig


Judge Boone finally gets some credit

As a Baltimore County lawyer who has practiced in Towson for 16 years, it is with bittersweet emotion that I see Judge A. Gordon Boone Jr. finally getting the attention he so richly deserves as his mandatory retirement approaches ("A colorful life on the bench," Jan. 6). It seems people such as Judge Boone aren't truly appreciated until they retire.

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