Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 10, 2003

Nothing funny about remarks by Mrs. Ehrlich

Though she served as an honorary co-chair of a local domestic violence center's fund-raiser last April, recent comments by first lady Kendel Ehrlich show how little she understands about this very serious subject ("First lady's comment draws criticism," Oct. 8).

Perpetrators of domestic violence frequently rely on the same rationale Mrs. Ehrlich suggested for shooting Britney Spears - that the victim deserves mistreatment because of something he or she has done. In this case, it would seem, because Mrs. Ehrlich believes that the celebrity, Ms. Spears, is a poor role model.

Mrs. Ehrlich apparently laughed during these remarks. But according to 2002 statistics reported by the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, 68 individuals were killed as a result of domestic violence across the state. Twenty-five of them were killed by firearms.

To the families of those victims, and those who counsel survivors of domestic violence, violence is no laughing matter.

Violence is never a solution.

Trish Powers

Lutherville

Is there any way to recall Maryland's first lady? I am outraged and appalled at her insensitive remarks, which were spoken, ironically, at a domestic violence conference.

Kendel Ehrlich's staff dismisses her statement as "inadvertently quipped." Have they no clue of the impact of her remarks, not only on victims of violence, but also on the myriad of sick stalkers out there who would like nothing better than to be given an open invitation to shoot a celebrity?

As an educated woman in an important position, it is Mrs. Ehrlich's responsibility to think before she "shoots" her mouth off.

Patricia May

Bel Air

Many parents share first lady's frustration

Although she could have chosen her words more carefully, I understand what prompted Kendel Ehrlich to make her statement about wanting to shoot Britney Spears ("First lady's comment draws criticism," Oct. 8).

I wish no harm to Ms. Spears and, obviously, Maryland's first lady doesn't either. But what should be attacked is the dollar-driven popular culture that inspires our daughters to dress (and often act) like prostitutes. I'm no prude, but I have seen what passes as fashion for our young people, and it's a disgrace.

Our children are challenging us to act like adults and set standards. Of course this requires doing something else the first lady advocates that unfortunately will not get as much attention: practicing good, strong parenting.

Richard Jester Baltimore

Although Kendel Ehrlich may be chastised by some for her choice of words regarding Britney Spears, her comments reveal the level of frustration many parents feel in this state and across this country with the increasingly debased nature of pop culture our young children are exposed to.

When teen-age girls and boys begin to regard casual sexual encounters and "hooking up" as no more harmful than holding hands at the movies used to be, it doesn't take much common sense to realize that something is drastically wrong with our culture.

Mrs. Ehrlich is clearly frustrated by this, and so are a lot of other folks.

Scott Appelbaum

Catonsville

City can't afford junket to Rome

In a city that doesn't have enough money for books for all schoolchildren, how does the mayor's office justify spending almost $3,000 on City Councilwoman Agnes Welch's trip to the Vatican ("Baltimore may pick up cost of sending Welch to Vatican," Oct. 8)?

What happened to the separation of church and state?

If the mayor wants to congratulate the pope, he can send him a card - paid for with his own money.

Elaine Lapidus

Baltimore

I will be more than happy to help pay the tab for Baltimore City Councilwoman Agnes Welch to spend eight days in Rome, if in return the city government will pay for me to spend eight days in Paris.

Eleanor Billmire

Baltimore

Send the pope's gift by diplomatic pouch

Baltimore City is broke, yet City Councilwoman Agnes Welch is asking the city to pay for a trip to the Vatican to deliver a gift to His Holiness for his 25th anniversary ("Baltimore may pick up cost of sending Welch to Vatican," Oct. 8).

My advice would be for Mrs. Welsh to put the gift in a diplomatic pouch, and apologize to the people of Baltimore for even suggesting that we pay for this junket.

Myles Hoenig

Baltimore

Gun control wastes anti-crime resources

The conclusions of a "sweeping federal review" are no surprise ("CDC finds no proof gun control laws work," Oct. 3). Every sensible person has always known, both intuitively and experientially, that gun control laws do not reduce violent gun crimes.

Murderers and other predatory criminals do not obey laws that would deprive them of the instruments of their crimes. Only law-abiding citizens do. And there is an underground market for guns that is oblivious to gun control laws.

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