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NEWS
April 14, 2013
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller is right that Maryland isn't "the Southern state that [it] used to be" and has become more progressive ("Session ends in a flurry of votes," April 9). Yet, for all the progress that has been made, there remains one blemish on Maryland's progressive record that legislators should act to remove as soon as they reconvene: Maryland's sodomy laws. Maryland is one of only 18 states in the nation with sodomy laws still on the books. Of those states, half are in the South (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia)
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NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr and By Leonard Pitts Jr | October 12, 2014
Last week, a federal judge told us what we already knew. Namely, that police in Ferguson, Mo., violated the rights of protesters demonstrating against the shooting death of Michael Brown. U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry struck down an ad hoc rule under which cops had said people could not stand still while peacefully protesting. Some were told they couldn't stop walking for more than five seconds; others that they had to walk faster. Again: These were not rioters. These were citizens seeking "peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances," as the First Amendment gives them the right to do. So Perry's ruling is welcome, but not particularly surprising.
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NEWS
November 11, 2011
The Sun's recent article about breweries hit the nail on the head ("Md. breweries booming," Nov. 10). As the brewers observe, "...a change in the law - like allowing micro-breweries to self-distribute - would encourage more to get into the business. " Modifying Maryland's distribution laws would ultimately benefit consumers by providing greater choice of products made in Maryland. We consumers have been deprived far too long. James Bauernschmidt, Severna Park
NEWS
October 8, 2014
Jack Mccauley's letter belittling the Firearms Safety Act fails to mention the most important parts of the new law - the requirement that handgun purchasers get a fingerprint-based license and the authority for the state police to regulate firearms dealers ( "O'Malley, Brown are kidding themselves with gun law," Oct. 7). According to Professor Daniel Webster of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and other gun violence prevention experts, laws like these in other states are working to keep guns out of the wrong hands and save lives.
NEWS
August 30, 2013
Thank you for the recent commentary explaining the dangerous precedent set by the Farm Bill amendment offered by Rep. Steve King ("On Farm Bill, don't let Congress trample Md.'s rights," Aug. 27). To paraphrase Mr. King, I'm tired of the federal government doing this crap. I'm tired of the federal government taking away states' rights and in doing so leaving our animals unprotected and our food supply at risk. Reps. King and Collin Peterson, you should be ashamed that you have used the power given to you by your constituents in this assault on states' rights and animal welfare laws!
NEWS
January 18, 2013
Like many of Gov. Martin O'Malley's constituents, I strongly urge him to withdraw any legislation to ban so-called "assault weapons" and "high capacity" magazines. He should stop any legislation that creates gun-free zones and not make laws that hurt law-abiding citizens and hinder commerce in this state. Paradoxically, gun control clears a path for violence and makes aggression more likely. Creating gun-free zones doesn't make a difference to a criminal who intends to do harm. If gun-free zones made a difference, why would the worst shootings consistently happen in gun-free zones such as schools, malls and theaters?
NEWS
March 3, 2011
The letter by Robert Greene on March 1 ("Gay marriage contradicts god's word") demonstrates several of the inherent weaknesses of the anti-same-sex marriage arguments. The most glaring is the notion that the Bible is supposed to be the basis of our state and nation's laws, despite the intended separation of church and state. It's not. But for argument's sake, say the Bible should be a source for our laws. One must then ask, why is the issue of same-sex relationships dragged into public debate when so many of the other things the Bible espouses are not?
NEWS
By Lauren Young | November 28, 2013
In the 19th and 20th centuries, cities across the country banned people with disabilities from begging in public. The laws targeted people with "physical and mental deformities," "imperfect bodies reduced by amputation" and "imbeciles. " Known as "ugly laws," their effect was to push people with disabilities out of public sight while further impoverishing them. While those laws have since been repealed, recent efforts in Baltimore city and county hearken back to them. A push to further criminalize panhandling in the city directly affects those with disabilities, because they constitute a substantial number of our city's beggars.
NEWS
March 7, 2013
Just the other night, the local news reported two stabbings. In light of all the recent knee-jerk gun legislation, where is the outrage and legislation for knife control? Knives should be banned. Knife owners need to be licensed and finger printed - so that when someone stabs someone, as happens in Maryland on a regular basis, the police know whom to go after. There should be consistent and fair legislation for such crimes. If there have to be draconian gun laws here, then judging by the news there should also be equally strict knife control laws in Maryland.
NEWS
October 10, 2013
In forcing the government to shut down, the Republicans are ignoring the fact that the Affordable Care Act has been duly passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama, as prescribed by the Constitution. How a political party can get away with undermining the Constitution boggles the mind. Frederick Knowles, Chestertown
NEWS
October 6, 2014
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown's recent commentary on Maryland's 2013 Firearms Safety Act is disingenuous and deceitful ( "Brown: I will enforce gun safety law," Oct. 2). The law does nothing to make Marylander's safer. Maryland has had strict guns laws for the last 30 years, yet we are ranked the eighth most violent state according to U.S. Justice Department statistics. Nor did the law truly ban the sale of military style assault rifles; it banned a few models, but many "sporting rifles" with "assault style" features are still legally available.
NEWS
October 3, 2014
Maryland's legislature decided to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for a few reasons. Lawmakers concluded that police and prosecutors should not be focusing their attention on what is increasingly viewed by the public as a relatively harmless vice; they expressed concern that criminal convictions related to marijuana possession were harming the employment and educational prospects of thousands of Marylanders; and they were alarmed...
NEWS
October 2, 2014
Eric H. Holder has indeed left behind an impressive legacy ( "The Holder legacy Sept. 28). As the nation's top law-enforcement officer he has refused to follow or enforce the law. Here is his legacy: He allowed the IRS to target conservative groups and ignore congressional subpoenas, then stood by when the agency "lost" emails by Lois Lerner and others to thwart the investigation. He allowed the State Department and the executive branch to ignore subpoenas in the Benghazi investigation and disallowed the interviewing of witnesses by Congress.
NEWS
By Anthony G. Brown | October 2, 2014
Editor's note: The Sun also plans to run an op-ed by Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan in the coming weeks.  This week, we marked the one-year anniversary of a lifesaving law taking effect, the Firearm Safety Act. But, Marylanders still stand at a crossroads between two very different futures for our state. In 2013, in response to the tragic Newtown school shooting and the all too common acts of gun violence on our own streets, we took real action to protect our communities by passing some of the toughest gun safety laws in the nation.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case and The Baltimore Sun | September 30, 2014
  Primetime TV often weaves high-profile, real-life events into its narratives, and on Wednesday's episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," the scandal involving former Ravens running back Ray Rice will be the latest headline to receive fictionalized treatment.  Based on the above preview, the episode, titled "American Disgrace," appears to deal with rape and a cover-up involving a celebrity pro-athlete named Shakir "The Shark"...
NEWS
September 30, 2014
Wednesday marks the anniversary of Maryland's tough new gun control law going into effect, and advocates are marking the occasion with a rally in Columbia. The law is getting some recognition in the governor's race, too, with Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, the Democrat, hammering at his opponent, Republican Larry Hogan, for opposing the state's assault weapons ban, the ban on sales of high-capacity ammunition magazines and "common sense background checks. " The claims are true in that Mr. Hogan opposed Senate Bill 281 of 2013, the gun control legislation Gov. Martin O'Malley pushed through (with some assistance from Mr. Brown)
NEWS
November 5, 2013
A family that takes a second and a third mortgage may be in danger of losing the family home. A nation raising its debt ceiling again and again is in danger of losing its future. I think that many people are willing to do something, but what can we do? I recommend a process where small groups come together all over the country to simplify and clarify our laws. Let us start with the Farm Bill. Small groups could include family farmers, ranchers, a representative of an agri-business, an agricultural extension agent, a volunteer lawyer.
NEWS
August 1, 2013
I really identify with the contributor who compared the George Zimmerman verdict to the lynchings of the past ( "The new lynching," July 27). The "Stand Your Ground" law in Florida and other states enables people carrying a gun to be the judge, jury and executioner of anyone who appears to threaten them and to do so "legally. " In the Trayvon Martin case, President Barack Obama got to the heart of the matter when he asked if Trayvon had been of age and carried a gun, would he have been able to "stand his ground" and shoot Mr. Zimmerman if he felt threatened by this one who was following him?
NEWS
September 28, 2014
McKenzie Elliott, the 3-year-old shot to death in Baltimore, is a recent victim of misguided drug laws ( "Politicians, churchmen talk policing in Northwest Baltimore ," Sept. 9). While I do not support open use of "illegal drugs," I do not find that drug sales or use represent a criminal act. Drug use has long been regarded as a "disabling condition" under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Federal and state law should not superimpose criminal penalties on the known disabled in direct contradiction to the specific intent in these two federal statutes.
BUSINESS
By Scott Dance and The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
Every day companies mine online data to track consumer habits, but two University of Maryland law professors say Facebook and dating service OkCupid went too far by manipulating their users' experience to study their behavior. At the professors' urging, Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler agreed to review this week whether the companies' actions are akin to patients being pulled into medical research without their knowledge. Federal law requires participants' consent and independent oversight of such experiments, and a state law broadened those regulations.
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