Cheap shot at Gansler [Letter]

November 15, 2013

Susan L. Burke's letter linking Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler to the proliferation of rapes and sexual assaults in society is a cheap shot if I ever saw one ("Gansler's comments reflect 'boys will be boys' culture," Nov. 11).

Moreover, she has besmirched the reputation of the Landon School solely because convicted murderer George Huguely IV had attended it and a few morons maintained a "fantasy sex league." Because Mr. Gansler's son also attended that school, she implied he should be associated with those rotten apples.

It is outrageous that an attorney such as Ms. Burke, who understandably feels compassion toward the victims she represents and animus toward their assailants, would paint with such broad strokes on a "guilt by association" canvas.

I have viewed a video from the point during that much-publicized party when Mr. Gansler entered the room. From my perspective there was no definitive evidence of underage drinking going on; all I could determine was that a bunch of kids were dancing and having a good time. It certainly wasn't "blatant" as Ms. Burke states.

Granted, some of those present acknowledged that drinking did occur prior to Mr. Gansler's arrival. But there were at least two adult chaperons present prior to Mr. Gansler's entrance, so it would be their responsibility to exercise adult authority if such offenses occurred in front of them.

As Ms. Burke undoubtedly knows, rapists and those committing sexual assaults are bad people. Rape is a sexual form of violence. Even if they were drinking, regardless of their age, does she know that those kids were bad enough, or violent enough, to commit rape and sexual assaults? Is drinking alone responsible for these acts?

Ms. Burke is correct in that there is a "boys will be boys" culture. It is quite evident when parents of pre-teens and teens resist stronger measures that would curtail, if not eliminate, bullying in schools. As we have observed, bullying, whether in person, in social media or by text, has led to tragic consequences. Don't blame that on Mr. Gansler, too; in fact, he has made concerted efforts to stop bullying.

Steve Charing, Clarksville

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