Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 21, 2006

Warming demands resovle from us all

Jean Marbella was right to highlight the important documentary An Inconvenient Truth, but her column "A hot topic that can send a chill through you" (July 18) fell disappointingly short.

While she does mention several important facts about global warming, Ms. Marbella undercuts the film's urgent message and perpetuates the nonchalant American notion that this is a crisis of the future, not a real concern for today.

First, Ms. Marbella trivializes the film's 90 minutes of information by comparing its real-life disappearing glaciers and dried-up rivers to the special effects in Hollywood disaster flicks.

Then, as a self-described "summer weather wimp," she concludes that she hopes to be "back in the carbon dioxide-emitting business" as soon as her air conditioner is repaired.

As a columnist, Ms. Marbella is in an enviable position to meet Al Gore's challenge to enlighten and encourage others to seriously address this massive problem we have collectively created and ignored.

For example, she could have described how she could easily remain comfortable and reduce electrical use by setting her air conditioner at 82 degrees, by keeping the shades drawn and by using low-set fans to circulate cool air throughout her house.

She could have urged others to give it a try, even acknowledging that "inconvenient" trade-offs are often necessary for vital results.

The time for feel-good quips and immature, dismissive attitudes is over.

As Mr. Gore so eloquently illustrates, personal action on this issue is a moral imperative for each of us as citizens of our endangered Earth.

Flo Kennedy-Stack

Catonsville

Schaefer's disrespect entirely intolerable

I just wanted to express my astonishment and disappointment at the behavior of Comptroller William Donald Schaefer these past few days ("Schaefer refuses to issue apology," July 19).

His comments regarding Korean immigrants, in addition to his remarks about a female Sun journalist ("Schaefer's words stir criticism," July 6), were completely out of line with what I would expect from a public official.

I am particularly offended by the language he used when referring to the aforementioned journalist: "This little girl, this little child right here, she likes to write these little stories with the little digs in them."

The reporter in question is a professional journalist, and at the very least she deserves not to be condescended to at a press conference.

Such behavior by an elected leader is absolutely unacceptable, and I applaud the reporter for remaining so composed while being degraded in such an unprofessional manner.

Perhaps it's time for Mr. Schaefer not only to apologize to all the groups he has recently offended but also to step out of the public eye, as he continues to make a spectacle of himself in the public forum.

Jennifer Caffrey

Pikesville

Another group joins list of the offended

As the Korean community joins an ever-growing list of "Offended-Americans," all I can do is wonder when this epidemic started and when we all became deserving of coerced, empty apologies ("Schaefer refuses to issue apology," July 19).

I saw something that offended me yesterday, and something else today, and I bet there'll be something tomorrow, too.

In the face of such insults, let's just suck it up, attribute it to the ignorance of the offender, enjoy the moral high ground we clearly occupy and move on, for crying out loud.

Tim Marshallsay

Baltimore

Glad gun shop lost its license

I'm pleased to see that federal officials have revoked the dealer license of the Valley Gun Shop in Parkville ("Gun shop lost license, but can sell inventory," July 13).

It's difficult to believe it took so long for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to close down a dealer who sold 14 firearms from 1993 to 1997 that were later used in homicides.

An audit of the shop in 2003 found 472 guns unaccounted for.

Now the question is how closely the 700 guns that will be sold from the shop's inventory will be watched.

The ATF has its work cut out.

David Boyd

White Hall

Gun dealer won no concessions

The Sun made a huge error in its article about the loss of my federal firearms license ("Gun shop lost license but can sell inventory," July 13). The article stated that I "won a concession from federal prosecutors that allows the sale of more than 700 guns from his store's inventory."

That is totally incorrect. I was granted no special consideration.

And because all of these firearms will be sold through a firearms dealer utilizing the National Instant Check System or state police background checks with appropriate waiting periods, I have just one question: What's the problem?

I am at a loss to understand what made this story more important than, say, the horrific accident on the Beltway that was relegated to Page 3B of that day's paper ("Man killed in Beltway pileup," July 13).

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