Education can help curb AIDS in teens
How many more statistics do we need to make the point that AIDS has become the polio of this generation and its victims are growing by huge numbers among heterosexual youth? Planned Parenthood's literature says the risk of AIDS is far surpassing that of curable sexually transmitted diseases. There must be a way to reach children.
For as long as sex education has existed, there has been a very vocal group opposing it. Human sexuality is an emotionally charged subject, and we have been reared to think it is only to be discussed behind closed doors ' if at all. We are also led to believe that children are nonsexual, and it often comes as a shock to parents when they discover how sexually aware their children are.
What will it take for us to deal with reality and protect our children from crippling misinformation? Regardless of our own feelings about premarital or adolescent sexual activity, trying to keep children ignorant is not the solution. There is no evidence that teaching children about sexuality encourages them to become sexually active or promiscuous.
Sex education is as important to today's child as arithmetic. We can not afford to avoid subjects that make us uncomfortable at the expensive of our children.
Why not RFG?
Since it's a baseball stadium, why not RFG Stadium to commemorate three of the greatest players from Maryland ' Ruth, Foxx, and Grove? Since the structure is to be paid for and enjoyed by people from all sections of Maryland, why not remember Baltimore's Babe Ruth, the Eastern Shore's Jimmie Foxx (Sudlersville), and Western Maryland's Lefty Grove (Lonaconing) all Hall of Fame members? The ring of RFG Stadium is as pleasing as that of Washington's RFK Stadium. Not many states the size of Maryland (or larger) have such a formidable trio as Ruth, Foxx and Grove, and all three are products of Maryland minor league baseball.
Safer place to live
Steven Zaruba (Forum, Feb 26) claims that "Maryland has become the state of hate" because of the violent crime in Baltimore.
Mr. Zaruba also states that two recent killings could have been prevented if only the people "had a gun, any type of gun." He then exhorts Governor Schaefer not to take away his "right to defend myself, my family and my home with any type of gun I choose."
Mr. Zaruba's idea of more people carrying guns for self-protection would only lead to more people being killed by guns. As for protecting his home, there are better ways than using a gun, since FBI statistics show that a gun in a private home is 43 times more likely to be used against a member of the family or friend than in self-protection.
Also, every legal interpretation of the Second Amendment gives the states the right to limit public access to certain firearms. Governor Schaefer and the legislature will be acting in the interest of public safety by passing the assault ban bill and the child protection bill.
More reasoned use of firearms is a much better way to make our state a safer place to live, not "a state of hate."
Robin Miller's Feb. 27 Other Voices column, "Not yet born, Tammy's baby already faces a doomed life," was quite moving, even harrowing.
Miller makes a strong case against the parental consent law. But after reflection, I found it to be equally persuasive to have the consent law. "Tammy," and others in her condition, need exactly such laws to do for them what they can't do for themselves. If her "Bible-reading" family is truly problematic or abusive, then court-appointed guardians are in order, as such laws provide for in other states.
The case throws a light on the controversial Florida law that allows addicted mothers to be arrested. Civil libertarians may cringe at this, but such laws can, if compassionately administered, initiate treatment. Having a child while abusing drugs can be likened to driving while drunk endangering oneself and others. I've seen an alcoholic's life and family restored during such strict and mandatory treatments resulting from DWI convictions.
While Miller is to be commended for a fine column, I remain pro-life and pro-consent, though acknowledging the timeless shortage of compassion in life.
L. Smart III
Havre de Grace
On Black Marsh
Concerning your Feb. 26 editorial about the future of Black Marsh: The so-called "pristine area" has long (for over 70 years) been used and enjoyed by the people of Baltimore and, yes, it is still one of the finest areas of tidal wetlands left in the area. Yes, there always have been eagles in the area.
Wherever you obtained your information about 20 acres is completely false and utterly misleading. The 20-acre area that is going to be used not developed, as stated is a mile or more from the 300-plus acres of the marsh. The 20-acres are already "developed;" the remains of the original park are still there. The bases of several of the original buildings are still there. So are the remains of the old amphitheater, the original parking lots (there are several), the old fountain area, the old streetcar pavilion, the original bathing beach, the old solid-filled "Bay Shore Pier," the original street car line, gravel-filled rights-of-way, etc.
The state's proposal is very much "in sync" with the proper environmental, educational, historical and archeological use of this area, and I think you are doing the state, and especially the county and the people who live in the area, a disservice when you publish this kind of unresearched information.
The writer is a member of the governor's Citizen Advisory Committee for Black Marsh.
Weapons of war
I totally support Governor Schaefer's bill to ban the sale of assault weapons in Maryland. There is nothing sporting about them, and surely marksmanship is not part of the allure.
I called my senator and three delegates to ask them to support the governor's bill. In each case I prefaced my remarks by saying that we have too many little "Saddams" in this country who might use their power improperly. One of the secretaries chuckled and then replied, "If they want to use assault weapons, let them join the Army." I want to share this thought with all the kind and gentle people in this country.
We may never know the full truth about the [Iraqi] air-raid shelter/military target that was destroyed by the allies. But one thing we can be sure of: When U.S. spokesmen hinted that Saddam Hussein may have placed civilians there as sacrificial lambs, they speak with the same mind set of previous misstatements. One I recall is Alexander Haig's saying that the American nuns who were raped and killed by our tax-supported Salvadoran military were probably guilty of running a blockade.
Only fools or accomplices believe what they're told by the U.S. military. Even if Saddam did sacrifice the civilians for propaganda purposes, the U.S. military is like the boy who cried wolf. Nothing should be believed without independent confirmation.
yles B. Hoenig
Enough of North
Can it be true? You report that Judge Walsh, the Iran-contra special prosecutor, is wasting more taxpayers' money by taking his unsuccessful case against Oliver North to the Supreme Court.
The judge assembled an army of investigators, FBI agents, IRS personnel and lawyers to try to nail Colonel North using tainted testimony already heard in congressional hearings. Why are the taxpayers still burdened with his inept operation?
Harry R. Shriver