Kane on guns: insulting mothers and others...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Kane on guns: insulting mothers and others ...

In his column "Misled moms march to back flawed gun cause" (May 17) Gregory Kane advises American men to "gird [their] loins" to protect themselves from the "gaggle of St. Georgettes" who marched in Washington for stricter gun control.

Recalling the temperance movement of the 1870s, Mr. Kane suggests that lawmakers examine history before they "succumb to such pleas."

Although 19th-century American women were not permitted to vote, Mr. Kane holds them -- and not male legislators -- responsible for amending the U.S. Constitution to prohibit alcohol."We know the results of the 18th Amendment," Kane writes, then suggests that the temperance movement "helped trigger the current drug crisis linked to most of the handgun deaths that so upset the mommies on the mall."

Such a correlation is both ludicrous and insulting."Didn't women do this before?" Mr. Kane asked.

He apparently believes that women have been dormant politically since their advocacy, 130 years ago, of the prohibition of alcohol.

He ignores women's movements for the vote, equal pay, contraception and (more recently) an end to drunken driving.

Yes, women have "done this before," Mr. Kane, and we will continue to do "this" until our voices are heard.

Sara West

Baltimore

Gregory Kane's column "Misled moms go marching to back a flawed gun cause" (May 17) was probably written to elicit scornful responses such as this one, but I'll jump to the bait.

Mr. Kane dismisses President's Clinton's arguments for gun control as "absolute drivel" and goes on to "prove" his claim by writing, "His horniness has caused a testosterone overload, which has clearly affected his reasoning power."

Give me a break: That's the sort of one-liner a late-night comedian might use, not the rational argumentation of a newspaper columnist who is supposed to be an opinion-maker.

Such ad hominem arguments demean the profession.

Charles Rammelkamp

Baltimore

... or welcome antidote to political correctness?

Thanks for Gregory Kane's column "Misled moms march to back flawed gun cause" (May 17).

It restores my faith in the media to know someone in it doesn't pander to hysterics or political correctness.

John C. Doetsch Jr.

Baltimore

Armory's indoor track deserves state support

I read with dismay The Sun's article on the state legislature's unwillingness to fund a special appropriation for resurfacing the floor of the 5th Regiment Armory ("Indoor meets at 5th Regiment Armory may be history," May 16).

Schools from Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County squeeze into this facility each winter indoor track season, because there just isn't anotherfacility in the area to accommodatethat sport and its large number of participants.

The present flooring needs renovation. Current plans would replace it with material that is not conducive to indoor track.

On the one hand, the state legislature turns its collective backs on a large contingent of athletes.

On the other, many legislators were willing to fill their bellies with thousands of dollars worth of crab cakes at the state's Preakness hospitality tent.

Where are their priorities?

Mark Schlenoff

Baltimore

The writer is athletic director of the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.

An image as joyful as Chagall's paintings

Linda Coan's May 14 picture of a lovely bride and groom jumping over the broom reminded me of another fine artist, Marc Chagall, and his flying figures.

Ms. Coan's photo is equally joyous.

I think I will now start a new bulletin board, not of family snapshots but of notable Sun photos.

Eleanor N. Lewis

Baltimore

Advance planning can cut cost of storms

The Sun's editorial "Power companies brace for storms" (May 12) reinforces what we at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) strongly believe: People can do things in their communities to prevent damage from natural disasters such as the hurricane and ice storm that hit Maryland last year.

Through FEMA's "Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities," we are working to change the way America deals with disasters.

In Maryland alone, Allegany County, the Tri-City Council of Southern Maryland and Prince George's County are part of this initiative. I am happy to see the state's utilities will soon be participating as well.

In my seven years as FEMA's director, I've witnessed the best of the American spirit. When lives are at stake and people are suffering, Americans never calculate cost and benefit.

Eventually, however, some people will ask what steps we need to take to assure this will never happen again. We can build smarter and stronger. We can save lives and property by taking preventive actions.

Now is the time to choose how Maryland and this country deal with disasters. We must devote our attention and resources to taking action before the next disaster strikes.

James L. Witt

Washington

The writer is director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Del. Diane DeCarlo is a breath of fresh air

Del. Diane DeCarlo is not a mushroom. She likes the sunlight. So she stands alone against the General Assembly in Annapolis Why does that make her the "foe"? ("Condemnation plan foe fights a lonely battle," May 17).

I applaud Ms. DeCarlo for having her "roots" still in the "grass." Maybe she fights alone, but she can probably look in the mirror and still recognize herself.

She serves rather than campaigns. She's a breath of fresh air amid the stench of politics.

While so many others play the game of sell-out, trade-off, get perks and court votes, and metamorphose into politicians, she remains Diane DeCarlo, person, neighbor and friend in a lonely battle.

Shirley Giberson

Upper Falls

The death penalty solves nothing, encourages violence

The Sun should be commended for its editorial critical of the death penalty ("A halt to executions is in order for Maryland," May 15).

Too few of those with authority are willing to say the obvious: That the death penalty must end because it is clearly applied in an arbitrary and unfair way.

As an emergency-room physician, I work to prevent violence. But it is very hard to tell an angry, frustrated, 18-year-old that he or she should not respond with violence to some wrong, when that is what youths see as society's policy.

It is especially shocking when this policy of revenge is applied, as in the case of Eugene Colvin-El, to someone who is on death row mainly because he had incompetent court-appointed representation in his original trial, because he is poor.

The cold-blooded killing of a caged man solves nothing. It must end.

Dr. T.T. Fitzgerald

Baltimore

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