Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 01, 2003

Leaving kids alone with guns leads to tragedy

There is no excuse for leaving minor children home alone with no supervision with a loaded gun within their reach ("Boy, 4, fatally shoots sister, 5," Sept. 29).

The 4-year-old who did this shooting is by no means responsible for the tragedy. The parents are responsible because they should not have left innocent children in such a dangerous situation.

The father states that the 4-year-old is remorseful. Well, in my opinion this poor child need not feel responsible or guilty for what happened because he didn't know what he was doing. The parents need to feel remorseful and a whole lot of other things for making such a stupid mistake.

How anyone could leave a loaded around a child is beyond me.

The shooting and death that resulted could have easily been avoided if someone, anyone would have simply put that gun under lock and key so children couldn't get it.

Murphy Edward Smith

Baltimore

Tough action needed for Iraq to be rebuilt

As a veteran of Operation Desert Storm, I applaud and support President Bush's tough no-concessions speech before the United Nations regarding the current operation in Iraq ("Bush urges U.N. to fight terrorism, help rebuild Iraq," Sept. 24).

Had the United Nations demonstrated sufficient spine to confront the challenge of Saddam Hussein, we would not now be involved in Iraq.

This whole episode demonstrates that the United States must still be the "world's policeman" because other nations cannot - or will not - assume the responsibility of confronting such dictators.

The United Nations remains an archaic body, paralyzed by the self-interests of its member states.

Tough action, not political rhetoric, is needed to rebuild Iraq. I applaud Mr. Bush for his forceful statement of this reality.

Joe Hammell

Waynesboro, Pa.

Hold a referendum on legalizing slots

It's about time that significant coverage is given to the other side of gambling - the dark and dreary side ("Curran holds to anti-slots position," Sept. 27).

It's also refreshing to see a person of great stature lead the charge. State Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. is speaking the truth. Gambling will cost us much more in the long run than it will return.

In the business world, such an idea is termed a loser. If we allow slots, we will be the losers and the only ones who will win are the gambling interests and the politicians they support.

The future of gambling must be decided by a referendum, not by special interests. It's our state, and we need to take it back.

Gary Gamber

New Windsor

Voting machines lack checks and balances

Where are the checks and balances for these new voting machines ("Voting system found to have election risks," Sept. 25)?

They provide no paper trail to determine whether a person voted the way the machine says he or she did. And, as the Johns Hopkins University study confirms, there are no guarantees that someone cannot hack into the machine and change votes.

I, for one, would like to see better machines with greater integrity and security, along with a paper trail that would make the voting system as infallible as possible.

Olatunji Mwamba

Baltimore

KAL's right: Drug ads are making us sick

KAL's Sept. 25 editorial cartoon makes a very important observation: The overdose of pharmaceutical advertising in our legal drug culture is indeed making us sick.

To sell a product, you first have to sell a need. And too many of us are buying into the fear of disease. Indeed, doctors attribute many diseases to stress- and fear-related causes. Like illegal drugs, medications offer a quick fix, but they often carry unwanted or long-term side effects.

Until we find a more spiritual approach to health and well-being, we will not be healing the real problems.

Right on, KAL: Watching all those drug commercials may indeed by injurious to your health.

Susan P. Macfarlane

Baltimore

KAL's Sept. 25 cartoon depicted the feeling of many of us: If you are not ill, the drug commercials will make you think you are.

Finally, someone was brave enough to criticize the many pharmaceutical companies' commercials that are crowding the TV airways.

Grace Y. Jones

Baltimore

Welfare recipients should flip burgers

In his letter "Bush welfare reform perpetuates poverty" (Sept. 23), Del. Samuel I. Rosenberg chastises President Bush's welfare plan, charging that it would deny people the opportunity to earn their way up the economic ladder by depriving them of education and training. But apparently Mr. Rosenberg would have no trouble depriving the rest of us of our money, which would go to pay the extra taxes to support such training programs.

The best job-training program out there is the free public education system, where one can learn everything needed to get started on one's way up the economic ladder - reading, writing, basic math skills, showing up every day on time, following directions and completing assignments.

The second-best job-training program is an entry-level job.

So let the welfare recipients flip burgers.

Dave Reich

Perry Hall

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