Sex cases show how far we still have to go
May I comment upon two seemingly disparate, yet related, incidents which have recently dominated our local media?
The first is the extensive coverage given Ronald Price, the Northeast High School coach accused of having sex with female students.
Believing he is the victim of a sexual disorder, he appeared on "Geraldo!" to make his case before a national television audience.
Shows like "Geraldo!" pander to the lowest common denominator. I am disturbed that his cause and his TV appearance have received so much media attention, negative though it has been.
Let's sweep him -- not his crimes -- under the rug until his trial begins, and not grant him a public forum for whining about his victimization.
Second, the remarks of Baltimore County Judge Thomas Bollinger during the sentencing of Lawrence Gillette for second-degree rape demands further comment. Judge Bollinger probably has no idea why so many consider his remarks to be insensitive and demeaning to women.
I say he probably has no idea because I don't believe any thoughtful, intelligent person would knowingly bring such public wrath upon themselves.
It is a sad day when we are reminded once again that outdated attitudes concerning women and sexual mores are still prevalent among a segment of the population.
This sorry episode serves as a reminder to those who may have become complacent that as far as we have come, we still have much farther to go.
Mindy Miller Roche
Keep it simple
Hubert Humphrey once noted that Madison Avenue puts complex ideas into simple terms, whereas politicians put simple ideas into complex terms.
Too many politicians are career explainers of the complexities of education and health care programs.
However, simply put, the U.S. vitally needs a well-educated and healthy work force. Why? Because productivity, research and development, competitiveness and national security depend on it.
The direct benefits include a thriving job market, lower health costs, reduced crime, reduced welfare costs, social harmony and Social Security liquidity, to name a few.
Where to start? With children, of course! Seems simple to me. Unless we listen to some politicians instead of telling them to keep it simple.
Quentin D. Davis
Bravo on gun ads
As a criminal justice professional, I applaud The Baltimore Sun's new policy of not advertising the sale of guns in its classified section. This certainly sends the right message to citizens and confirms how dangerous the proliferation of guns in our society has become.
According to the 1991 Maryland Uniform Crime Report, 65 percent of all homicides in the state and 78 percent of all armed robberies were committed with a handgun.
Additionally, according to the recently released Annual Report on Carjacking in Maryland, 66 percent of these crimes were committed with some type of firearm.
The impact of guns on our society is especially evident when you consider that these violent crimes are occurring, on average, at a rate of one every 17 seconds in the United States.
The Baltimore Sun's strong stance on this issue and Gov. William Donald Schaefer's recently enacted legislation to regulate firearm sales at gun shows are both important steps that target those who should not own guns.
Thank you once again for your responsible, professional attitude on this most important issue. When acting together, law enforcement and the community can be successful at reducing crime and its attendant fear.
Larry W. Tolliver
The writer is superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
Losing the drug war
The war on drugs is extraordinarily expensive. It has filled our jails and prisons, overwhelmed our courts, endangered our police and resulted in turf wars reminiscent of Prohibition.
The war is defensible only to the extent that it reduces drug use. The recent report that the use of illicit drugs is increasing calls for a re-examination of our policy.
It is sad that the only politician courageous enough to call for such re-examination is Mayor Kurt Schmoke. It is reassuring that despite his reasoned but apparently politically risky stand, he is a prime candidate for governor. Perhaps other politicians, seeing his continuing viability, will now join him in calling for the abandonment of what has become a tragic holy war.
Stanley L. Rodbell
Like many others, I found it astonishing that, according to polls, numerous Americans deem it possible that the Holocaust never happened.
Perhaps some of those determined doubters will be impacted by the following words (received in a solicitation from the new Holocaust Memorial Museum) and by the knowledge of who is being quoted:
"The same day I saw my first horror camp, I visited every nook and cranny.
"I felt it my duty to be in a position from then on to testify about these things in case there ever grew up at home the belief or assumption that the stories of Nazi brutality were just propaganda."
The man who wrote those words in 1945 was Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Baltimore County is replacing the mini-library at the Greenspring Shopping Center with a police outreach center.
Seven officers and two civilians will be on duty five days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Since most crimes occur in the evening, this new office should be open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Moreover, community leaders should find the way to include a library function in the police outreach center.
About 50 percent of the crimes committed are drug-related.
Therefore, we must make a serious effort to take the profit out of the illicit narcotics trade in order to reduce criminal activity.
Regarding the "accidental shooting" of motorist Antonio Carlos Towns by State Trooper Chad P. Hynec, I pose the following question (although I already know the answer): Why is it necessary to force a person to the ground when attempting to arrest?
What happened to the up-against-the-wall or car and spread-eagle? In this particular case there were two officers present. Why could the one officer not cover the other in a normal handcuffing?
The answer, I know is: procedure . . .
Garland L. Crosby