Maryland has become a 'state of hate'If...

THE BALTIMORE EVENING SUN

Maryland has become a 'state of hate'

If you think your home is your castle, think again. Violent crime has become a way of life in Baltimore. Maryland has become the state of hate.

Blame it on the social and economic problems that our elected officials should have done something about a long time ago. Now that they are unable to deal with the problems they were elected to resolve, they want to have "another gun ban." Is this called passing the buck?

I never thought the free state of Maryland would come to the point where it would decide what law-abiding citizens cannot possess to defend our homes and loved ones. If the barber who was killed in Waverly, or the young man from Crofton who was killed in Charles Center, had had a gun, any type of gun, maybe they would still be alive today. As stated in your newspaper on May 1, 1990, two of the top five crime guns in America are the Raven 25 and the Jennings 22. Please note these are not assault weapons.

Please, Governor Schaefer, do not punish law-abiding citizens with another gun ban just because it would further enhance your reputation as the number one political leader on this issue.

I want the right to defend myself, my family and my home with any type of gun I choose.

Steven Zaruba

Baltimore

Understanding tolls

Regarding Dorothy Bailey's letter (Forum, Feb. 18), I have found toll collectors in Maryland to be nearly universally very polite and efficient. I have never presented a toll collector with unusually large bills, and I have never failed to say please and thank you when dealing with one.

I do have a legitimate complaint about the system, however. Maryland and Delaware issue receipts printed with disappearing ink (thermal printers). At the end of the year I wind up with stacks of blank pieces of paper. I sure hope the IRS understands.

J. B. Anderson

Glen Arm

Dangerous press

Members of the media are guilty of careless reporting that is endangering the lives of our young men and women in the Persian Gulf. Since our troops were deployed there in August there has been evidence of countless media violations of our national security. Many journalists go beyond reporting the news and include editorial comment intended to influence national policy and even military strategy.

I am deeply disturbed with the members of the media who are attempting to make a "Hollywood production" out of Desert Storm, which is a very serious conflict. Freedom of the press is indeed important to all Americans, but it must be accompanied by ethical behavior and prudent judgment. Too many journalists have demonstrated that they are more concerned with personal ego and "ratings" than they are with the welfare of our troops.

Americans are concerned with the unethical behavior of the press and believe that the Pentagon should tighten its control over the press. We all recognize that accurate and timely reports are vital to the public interest. But such reports must be handled prudently so that the lives of our fighting forces are not put in jeopardy by media carelessness, negligence or poor timing of press releases.

Thomas C. Carroll

Reisterstown

Year of the Infant

I would like to clarify some information in Laura Lippman's Jan. 31 article detailing Maryland's Year of the Infant. Obviously, the implementation of 30 initiatives does not warrant the classification of a "few."

Furthermore, under the listing of initiatives that were scrapped, the following needs correction:

Baby showers are being held regionally and sponsored by the American Lung Association.

"Baby Bucks" will be implemented during 1991 in conjunction with WJZ-TV and Blue Cross and Blue Shield to encourage pregnant women to receive prenatal care.

"Cabinet Cares" was completed January 1990. All cabinet and deputy cabinet members performed community service activities relative to infants and toddlers.

WIC outreach was held throughout 1990, increasing enrollment from 60,501 to 68,805.

"Healthy Mother/Healthy Baby" prenatal care calendar was distributed in October 1990 to a targeted population through the Baltimore City Health Department.

The Year of the Infant is an ongoing project that will continue to focus on prevention and early intervention.

Nancy S. Grasmick

The writer is special secretary of the Maryland Office for Children, Youth and Families.

Silly editorial

The editorial "Reform, not regression" (Feb. 18) calls a bill sponsored by Sen. Mary Boergers "silly" because it would deny bail in a first-degree murder case if proof of guilt is evident or the presumption of guilt is evident. To the contrary, your editorial is silly and its thinking is responsible for the criminal in-justic system we have today.

While I have no quarrel with the presumption of innocence until proven guilty as a general proposition, like everything else, there can be and are exceptions. How about when Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald in the presence of a dozen witnesses and in front of TV cameras? He was guilty -- no ifs, ands or buts about it. The only questions that remained were mitigating circumstances or insanity.

There have been instances in the past where an accused was released on bail and, during the time of freedom, murdered witnesses so they would not testify against him. There are such cases in recent memory in Maryland.

The bail system does require an overhaul, and Senator Boergers' bill is a step in the right direction.

Richard L. Lelonek

Baltimore

Wise up, Lane

Mike Lane ought to wise up with his cartoons. Sure, it is OK to lampoon newsworthy individuals. That is in the time-honored American tradition. However, his repetitious characterization of President Bush, (about 80 percent of his cartoons) as a goggle-eyed, needle-nosed imbecile gets a little boring.

His Feb. 15 cartoon was particularly offensive not only for his usual unflattering portrayal of our president, but for his gross characterization of Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf as some kind of a bumbling oaf.

The lives of half a million of our young people in the Persian Gulf depend on the leadership skills of these two men and their advisers. To malign them editorially at this time by portraying them as buffoons certainly seems out of tune.

So I say to Mike, ease off until the war is won. There are plenty of other newsworthy characters who would make great fodder for your pen. How about our governor, Sir Donald, and his recent outhouse escapade? Or are you afraid to take him on, knowing full well that you will get back as good as you give?

J. Roy Galloway

Wye Mills

Save the people

Bush tells Kuwait help is on the way. Yet I heard over Public Radio on Feb. 21 that Kuwaiti citizens are cowering in their homes in terror of the impending ground war. They were reported waiting, hoping the ground war would not come.

The help they need is peace.

The gulf area needs the environment spared further destruction.

Our American troops deserve to live to see peace, not die horrible deaths in a ground war. No more innocents should die.

Allow Saddam Hussein to pull out; people are precious.

Theresa Reuter

Havre de Grace

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