Imposing more limits on gun ownership won't stop shootings
The Sun's anti-gun bias was again apparent in the editorial "Guns in criminal hands" (May 28). This editorial cited the recent slayings in Queens in New York City to advocate gun licensing and gun locks and belittled the National Rifle Association's (NRA) insistence on the enforcement of existing laws.
However, the Queens slayings in fact buttress the NRA's position.
An article on the slayings in the same day's Sun noted that one of the suspects was a fugitive "free on $3,500 bail after a string of robberies" ("Suspect in N.Y. killings was a fugitive," May 28).
In other words, the deaths in Queens, like that of Officer Bruce A. Prothero here in Maryland, were the result of a criminal justice system that allows known, violent predators to freely circulate in our society.
Instead of advocating more gun control, The Sun should advocate an overhaul of a criminal justice system that fails to identify and incarcerate such predators.
New York's excessively repressive gun laws also ensured that the Queens victims had no means to defend themselves.
Jay H. Davis
Does The Sun truly believe that had there been 10 or 20 or 100 more "sensible gun laws" on the books, the murderers responsible for five deaths recently in a fast-food restaurant in New York wouldn't have killed their victims ("Guns in criminal hands," editorial, May 28)?
The editorial said that it's necessary to close "the floodgate of weapons that reach criminals" and that "gun licensing would be an effective law-enforcement tool."
How? Criminals aren't going to register their guns. The only people more gun laws" will impact are law-abiding citizens. And they aren't committing the crimes.
So doesn't that make passing more "sensible gun laws" senseless?
Richard T. Seymour
Perhaps we should arm the teachers?
This time it's a 13-year-old shooting a teacher in the face ("Fla. teen fatally shoots teacher after being suspended from school," May 27).
Gun-rights ideologues envision an America in which everyone would be safer if only we were all armed.
Apparently the first people we need to arm are teachers, so they can protect themselves against our children.
William P. Jenkins
Obituary didn't reflect Bernie Fink's contributions
We were stunned to read The Sun's obituary for Bernie Fink and find that it contained demeaning and inaccurate references to our late father and the way he conducted business ("Bernard H. Fink, 76, owner of Fink's Discount Liquors," May 5).
Our father may be long gone, but his memory is not, and his daughters wish to set the record straight.
In the first place, his name was "Jacob" Schonebaum -- not "Max." Max Hart was the owner before our father; Mr. Hart's name carried goodwill in the neighborhood and remained above the door even when our father took over from the Harts.
The store was much more than a "general store ... that sold cold cuts, groceries, clothes pins ... and liquor miniatures."
It was a true community market, with a full-time butcher, fresh fruits and vegetables (often locally grown), fresh baked goods, notions, school supplies, frozen foods and a little of everything in between.
Our father extended credit to neighborhood customers, delivered to their homes and had the respect of the people he served.
It's true it was a small business by today's standards, but to call it "rinky-dink" is an insult. It was a friendly place which served the needs of the community, and it was our home.
Judy Schonebaum-Riskin Shelly Schonebaum Ephraim Naomi Schonebaum Shapiro
Praise for Fred Rasmussen and Martin Luther King Jr. ...
Two articles in the May 27 Sun deserve, indeed demand, comment.
First, Frederick N. Rasmussen's article on Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ("From film to real-life hero") reflects once again that Mr. Rasmussen is the finest staff writer that The Sun has possessed in my lifetime.
His contributions are consistently well-researched and written in a superior style.
Second, the article on President Lyndon Johnson and civil rights mentions historian Michael Beschloss' surprise at hearing Martin Luther King Jr. talk about political strategy ("LBJ's civil rights diplomacy recorded").
He needn't have been surprised, for Dr. King was the supreme political strategist of his era, a man who transcended all parties and all presidential regimes to achieve his goals.
Here was a truly great man, despite his human faults.Blaine Taylor
Towson... and for appreciations of actors Gielgud, Fairbanks
The Sun's two recent articles on actors deserve commendation: The majestic "Final bow" about Sir John Gielgud (editorial, May 27) and the brilliant article about Douglas Fairbanks Jr. as a naval officer in command of a gunboat in World War II ("From film to real-life hero," May 27).
In truth, The Sun also rises.
Horse racing and other shameful cruelty to animals
Barry Rascovar worries needlessly ("State must do more to help racing," Opinion
Commentary, May 28). Big money is involved and will prevail.
Mr. Rascovar calls horse racing a sport. Yes, if you brush aside its cruelty to horses and legalized gambling.
But horses are not the only animals to suffer. Consider docile greyhound dog racing and dogs in the Iditarod race. Think of animals brutalized in cock and dog fights.
Think also of the millions of animals killed for human consumption and the unfortunate animals sacrificed in questionable and redundant research.
Jonathan Swift could have had this in mind when he wrote, "I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed."
Reverend's open-door policy makes his parish attractive
Kudos and cheers for the Rev. Lance A. B. Gifford for keeping the doors open to St. John's Episcopal Church ("Vandals can't close church's doors," Opinion
Commentary, May 24).
It makes me wish I was a member of his parish.
M. Bee Crivello
Leaders need to step up, even at risk of hostility
Perhaps what ails this republic today, in addition to a lack of heroes for our young people to emulate, is a lack of leadership in key positions.
Politicians are afraid to accept leadership for fear of losing votes; parents fear reprimanding children for fear of hurting their feelings; and judges are afraid to opt for the maximum sentence for serious crimes.
This lack of leadership has filtered down to the lowest levels in our society and many feel they can do as they please.
It would be desirable for a change to see people accept their roles as leaders, even if this means becoming unpopular.
John A. Micklos