My editor thinks he's some kind of...


My editor thinks he's some kind of big shot, and I'm a son of 0) a gun

Go ahead -- edit my stories.

Just wanted you to know that we in the State House press office will get a chance tomorrow to take out our feelings about your ilk with some pump-action shotguns and automatic rifles.

The National Rifle Association is sponsoring a 9 a.m. field trip to the firing range at the Anne Arundel Fish and Game Club. The purpose is to demonstrate semi-automatic firearms.

The Schaefer administration has proposed banning the sale of semi-automatic military-style assault weapons, much to the xTC NRA's chagrin.

But here's the best part, chief: They want reporters to shoot some ofthese firearms, too.

"I heard from the press, 'Gosh, I'd really like to learn to shoot,' and you want to accommodate them," said Tracey Martin, manager of women's issues for the NRA.

"Besides, shooting's fun."

Ms. Martin said she also wants to encourage reporters to take the "hard, pointed questions" it poses to gun owners and stick them to gun control lobbyists, too.

The hands-on demonstration will be a first for the Maryland press corps, she said.

So, go ahead. Edit my stories.

Make my day.


If the heralded Linowes Commission tax plan is headed for the legislative Bermuda Triangle -- known here as "summer study" -- the reason may have little to do with the tactics of Gov. William Donald Schaefer, its chief advocate.

Mr. Schaefer's suggestion that Maryland must have the $800 million that would be raised by the Linowes plan does not fall on deaf ears, however: It falls upon ears scorched to hypersensitivity -- by the voters.

The Linowes proposals on taxation -- named after R. Robert Linowes, chairman of the gubernatorial commission that wrote them -- may well emerge from the careful consideration summer will bring.

Such complex and fundamental propositions often take a year or more to find their level in Annapolis -- to develop the critical mass theyneed for passage.

The time is even more important in a year such as this one.

You could ask Delegate Lawrence A. LaMotte, D-Baltimore County.

Like virtually every member of the General Assembly, Mr. LaMotte can recall moments that define the 1990 election, that define his own new attitude toward government. They are moments that define the voters' frustrations -- and, perhaps, they even define government.

Delegate LaMotte was standing on the front lawn of a man he assumed was a certain voter. The candidate and the voter were standing next to a LaMotte re-election sign, after all. The delegate, going door to door, was pleased to be standing in friendly territory.

And then the man said he wouldn't be voting for LaMotte in 1990.

"Pardon me," the delegate said. "Isn't this your house? Isn't this my campaign lawn sign?"

"Oh, sure," the man said. But, in1990, he wasn't voting for any incumbents.


Even if the name was LaMotte.

Nothing personal, of course.

Moving along -- shaken to the core of his incumbency -- the delegate arrived at the home of an elderly lady who was virtually in tears when she recognized him.

She was going to vote for him. But she was in despair of seeing anything good come of the vote or from government in general.

What did government do for her personally beyond collecting taxes? she asked.

Mr. LaMotte tried to answer, listing programs and services he was proud to be part of. The woman looked back at him as if he were speaking in code. He concluded that providing schools and roads and passing laws to clean the air or the Chesapeake Bay can be fairly abstract -- particularly if you don't drive any more or sail or fish or have any kids in school.

The tax collecting part seemed more concrete, though.

That is what Mr. LaMotte remembers about 1990.

Others here tell similar stories. The memories are bracing.

L And not promising for the Linowes recommendations this year.


It's a girl!

That's what the note on the plastic-wrapped peppermint sticks said Monday morning.

The notes, placed on the desks of the state's senators, announced the birth Feb. 22 of Caroline Leigh McCabe, daughter of Sen. Christopher J. McCabe, R-Howard, and Deidre Nerreau McCabe, a reporter for the Howard County Sun.

The child, born at 8:08 p.m., weighed 9 pounds, 1 1/2 ounces.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., D-Prince George's, saw the announcement as a good sign for the Senate.

"Usually we only have announcements of grandchildren," he said. "It's nice to know that we can have the announcement of [a] first generation from this body."

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