Letters To The Editor


October 10, 2006

Miserly pay raise insults our troops

Last week, I received a call from my 20-year-old granddaughter, who was on a bus heading for an airport in Colorado. She is in the Army and was calling to say goodbye. Her destination is Baghdad.

That night, I wondered if President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney or Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld were losing any sleep worrying about a son, daughter or grandchild who is in danger. Their decisions about the war might be different if they did.

The next morning, I looked at The Sun and discovered how much our Congress values these young people who are willing to die or be severely injured serving their country ("OK'd raise for military less than expected," Oct. 6). The Congress just voted to give them a 2.2 percent raise.

How generous.

I am thoroughly ashamed of every congressman or congresswoman who voted to give this miserly raise.

I know the rest of the country does value these young men and women. But perhaps Congress believes the men and women fighting the wars are too busy to vote.

I think there should be separate bills on military pay raises so that members of Congress couldn't hide them in large defense bills, and no one would have the courage to vote against a substantial raise.

I believe it is time for Congress to become accountable and get its priorities straight.

Irma Eastland

Linthicum Heights

Fearing voters who cherish gun rights

On Oct. 5, two letters to the editor ("Congress has failed to stand up to NRA" and "What does it take to see the danger?") and one Sun column ("Gun news is `white noise' in land of the NRA") complained that Congress will not stand up to the National Rifle Association. I would like to explain the error of this argument to all three of these writers.

Members of Congress are not afraid of the NRA; they are afraid of the voters who agree with the NRA.

Crime and violence are complicated subjects. They cannot be dealt with by simplistic approaches.

Some people think that all that is necessary is to pass more gun laws and crime will go away. Excellent proof of the folly of this would be that there are more guns in this country now then there were 10 years ago, but crime is down over the same period.

Unlike some Maryland members of Congress, many other lawmakers have to answer to voters who have a better understanding of these issues. So they vote accordingly.

David Titus

Windsor, Pa.

Focusing on the guns instead of media role

In Dan Rodricks' diatribe against guns, he tries to blame school shootings and other recent incidents on people "bearing arms," which is presumably a slap at the Second Amendment of the Constitution ("Gun news is `white noise' in land of the NRA," Oct. 5).

He is quick to trash that constitutional protection while ignoring the most obvious cause of the recent spate of shooting incidents - copycats motivated by the publicity they can win from such shootings.

So why doesn't Mr. Rodricks call for the press to self-suppress the endless coverage given to such incidents?

Phillip W. Worrall


Amish teach lesson in true compassion

The assault on the Amish schoolhouse was more than just another tragic story in which innocent people were gunned down by a crazed individual ("When Worlds Collide," Oct. 8).

Just as in other tragedies, there was shock followed by sympathy for the victims and their families.

What distinguished this story from all the others was the immediate, instinctive reaction of the victims, the Amish community. Instead of hearing raucous cries of anger from the Amish, we heard gentle voices of forgiveness and compassion.

Too often, what we call justice, closure or security (as in the call for the death penalty) is nothing more than a euphemism for vengeance.

The Amish community, in the midst of its sorrow, has shown us what moral values really are.

Mary N. Sommerfeldt


School computers need more support

It is nice to know that another troubled school is getting its prayers answered with a boatload of new technology ("New take: Focus on tech," Oct. 3). But The Sun should do a follow-up study six months from now on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Academy program to see how much of this new technology is still working.

Does Chesapeake High School have a full-time tech person to support this new program? If not, I can guarantee that the technology will be pushed to the side and never be fully incorporated into the curriculum.

When will the Baltimore County public schools realize that in order to support this truly awesome technology, we need a full-time position for tech support?

It's impossible for an overworked, full-time teacher to service 300 computers in one building.

Sue Steele


The writer is chairwoman of the science department at Stemmers Run Middle School.

Accepting blame in an empty way

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