Young Black Male ViolenceSamuel Banks (letter to...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Young Black Male Violence

Samuel Banks (letter to the editor, Sept. 28) alluded to the tragic violence pervasive in black communities throughout Baltimore and the United States.

He concluded by offering several areas he believed vital to reverse this sad state of affairs.

I concluded that solutions extend even deeper than some of the areas stated by Mr. Banks. For example, the church.

Although I firmly believe the church does have a vital role to play, I no longer believe that it is the pillar of the black community that it was for uncountable years, and is no longer the sole source of strength we will need for the battle ahead.

We can ill afford to continue blaming our past history in this country for what our young males are perpetrating on society today.

The time has come when we must ask ourselves, is this the way we thank, show gratitude and honor our forefathers? By torturing, terrorizing, maiming and killing our own and other people?

I don't think so.

I am tired of reading about young blacks killing each other, breaking into homes killing occupants, killing grandmothers, babies, senior citizens, police officers and any others who have the misfortune of crossing their path of wrath.

We cannot go on on this way. We must come to grips with the fact that we must ultimately give up on a generation of young black males.

It is too late to save them. We must completely sever the umbilicus, disown, disavow and disconnect from that generation regardless of how painful it might be.

We must develop the strength to abandon this "lost generation" and not concern ourselves with what happens to them.

Cruel? Maybe, but can we afford to let that generation continue to determine by its actions what our future in this country might be? Think about it.

Garland L. Crosby

Baltimore

'I Just Want to Be Safe'

I am writing in response to Carl T. Rowan's column entitled "Stamp Out Freedom, Stamp Out Crime" (Oct. 5).

To Carl Rowan and to everybody like him who believes that putting the National Guard on city streets is a "frightful step": You just don't get it, do you?

There are plenty of us out here who would welcome armed guardsmen on every city street. We would welcome curfews and gun control and other of these so-called "frightful steps."

We want to feel safe. We want to stop being afraid of being gunned down as bystanders to other people's wars.

We hate criminals, these people who see something they want and take it, who see somebody they hate and kill him -- no matter who else could walk into the paths of their bullets.

We hate these drug dealers taking over our streets and daring us to do something about it. We hate these people who decide how and when we die, these people who make us into victims of fear and violence and rape and robbery.

We can't afford high-tech burglar alarms and human bodyguards. We can't afford to live out our lives behind fences topped with barbed wire. Sure, we can make a difference in small ways, with our own children, through volunteerism. But we need protection while we're doing it.

It's this problem with social responsibility. Mr. Rowan and all the other guys who cherish their selfish idea of freedom so much they'll sacrifice the rest of us to keep it.

Gun sellers are making a killing in Florida right now. People are scared. But the gun sellers are also arming criminals. These gun merchants feel no sense of responsibility to the rest of us. They're making money hand over fist and forswearing any responsibility for what happens with the guns once they leave the stores.

The criminals don't care, either, for what happens to the rest of us. To them, we're sitting ducks.

They take no responsibility whatsoever for what they have done to their victims, whether the victim that day is an 80-year-old grandmother or a two-year-old child or a young mother or a teen-ager or me.

The dealers and these other criminals call it survival and they move on, never feeling remorse for what they've done to anybody else.

But simply because they have guns, they can take anything they want from me -- including my life. They can take my children, my husband. They can make me grieve for the rest of my life.

Because they have guns and because they have no sense of responsibility to anybody else, I don't have much of a chance against them.

I want protection. I want prevention. I want some way to even the odds.

If it takes putting armed guardsmen on every corner or cops on every street, so be it. If it takes paying higher taxes, so be it. If it takes overturning part of the Bill of Rights and abridging my right to own a gun, then so be it.

I would never need a gun if it weren't for the criminals, the drug dealers, the parasites who think nothing of infringing upon my freedom in order to satiate themselves. They're the ones who really want the guns.

So to Mr. Rowan and to all the other guys who pontificate from their lofty civil libertarian pedestals: I haven't abandoned common sense. I just want to be safe.

Pamela J. Yeckley

Baltimore

Whistle Blower

Your paper says Nancy J. Nowak, Maryland's director of parole and probation, was forced to resign by Public Safety Secretary Bishop L. Robinson because she was honest about the danger of serious criminal offenders among the public, spoke out about inappropriate behavior for a potential judge and aided battered women.

She should get Mr. Robinson's job. He should be demoted.

Vivian Adelberg Rudow

Baltimore

Welcome NAFTA

It is discouraging that Maryland's congressional delegation is either strongly against or at best wishy washy on the North American Free Trade Agreement. It is either guesswork or demagogy to say that NAFTA will cost Marylanders their jobs.

Rather than pandering to peoples' fears, where is the leadership that welcomes the opportunity NAFTA will provide?

Americans are the best workers producing the highest quality goods in the world. Rather than fearing Mexico, we should welcome the chance to sell to Mexican consumers the U.S.-made goods and services they desperately want.

Baltimore stands to benefit directly from this trade as more goods are shipped through our port. If Americans do not produce and sell it to the Mexicans, someone or other country surely will, and that will cost Americans jobs.

Oz Bengur

Baltimore

Impressive Record

Your editorial of Sept. 26 ("And Then There Were Three . . .") lists the accomplishments of Prince George's County Executive and gubernatorial candidate Parris Glendening: economic development, lower crime rate, racial harmony, improved schools and job creation.

It is puzzling that The Sun seems to casually dismiss these achievements, as Mr. Glendening has compiled an extraordinarily impressive record on tough issues in difficult times, one that almost any politician in America would envy.

These are issues the public cares deeply about.

While the citizens of Maryland have nothing against colorful personalities, this time around they are looking for more than that.

Parris Glendening's record and charisma are exactly the kind that voters will find exciting in the upcoming election.

Dan K. Morhaim

Owings Mills

What Weapons?

Are the editorial writers of The Sun privy to heretofore undisclosed information concerning the Waco fiasco?

Your Oct. 1 editorial asks: "Does the fact the cultists had a large cache of illegal weapons justify the sort of major raid ATF launched?"

Why do you say it's a fact? Where are the alleged illegal weapons the government claimed the Waco residents had?

I don't recall seeing any announcement by the government that it had located these illegal weapons in the ruins.

As far as I know, all they found were a couple of rifles and shotguns, which are certainly not illegal weapons.

Perhaps that's why the government so quickly bulldozed and buried what was left of the compound, to cover up the fact that it didn't find what it had hoped to find.

Richard T. Seymour

Baltimore

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