The Baltimore Sun

Evil people always find a way to kill

It was bound to happen: Shortly after the massacre in Blacksburg, a hue and cry went up across the nation concerning gun laws and access to guns ("Va. tragedy likely to put gun control in spotlight," April 18).

Such a national debate is seemingly sparked every time a sociopath kills innocent people with a firearm.

It's our human nature to search for answers to explain a senseless tragedy. But the answer should not be legislation that would further abrogate our Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Rather, we should recommit to our efforts to abide by current laws concerning firearm purchases and ownership.

Some will contend that banning handguns would have kept them out of the hands of Cho Seung-Hui. While that may be true, the hundreds killed by Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City did not perish because of the use of a firearm but from fertilizer and methane.

Sadly, in a free and open society, sociopaths such as Cho Seung-Hui and Timothy Mc- Veigh will find a way to commit atrocities.

Culturally, we must come to grips with the reality that there are some people who are intrinsically evil.

Louis R. Fritz


The answer is clear: Ban sale of all guns

The question being asked by the news media in the wake of the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech is: How could this have been prevented?

The answers have often focused on Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger and the delay between the first shootings Monday and the sounding of a campus-wide warning.

Although Mr. Steger is a convenient scapegoat, the real answer is simple: We need to outlaw the sale of all guns in this country, and do it today ("Va. tragedy likely to put gun control in spotlight," April 18).

To paraphrase Bob Dylan: How many deaths will it take till we know that too many people have died?

Ralph H. Hruban


Honor the victims by banning weapons

Thomas F. Schaller's column "More guns on campus?" (Opinion

Commentary, April 18) was a worthy read. It was informative, especially when it debunked the pro-gun research of John Lott.

But then Mr. Schaller wrote this: "I support gun rights, if a bit grudgingly. As an avowed civil libertarian, I don't think one can support the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments while ignoring the Second."

There is one purpose for a gun, and that is to impose the gun owner's will on others.

Frequently, this leads to the killing of a person or a defenseless animal.

Supporting the Second Amendment amounts to accepting the gun carnage that proliferates in U.S. society.

In Baltimore, we live with about five gun deaths a week, with little demand for this senseless violence to be curbed by banning these weapons of mass destruction.

The tragedy at Virginia Tech was fueled by the profit motive as gun manufacturers produced the Glock and Walther semiautomatic handguns and a gun dealer sold these deadly weapons to a person who was mentally unbalanced.

No one knows what the writers of the Bill of Rights might have thought of semiautomatic weapons when drafting the Second Amendment, which actually deals with militias.

But if we do not take action and deal with the root cause of the rampage in Blacksburg, we are disrespecting its victims and their families.

We can best honor the deceased by abolishing handguns and other dangerous weapons.

Max Obuszewski


The gunman's glare isn't front-page fare

I am disgusted and disappointed in The Sun for putting the face and words of the Virginia Tech killer across the front of Thursday's Sun ("Gunman's last words," April 19).

I imagine the editors thought this feature would sell more papers. But they could have used more common sense and shown more respect for the lives taken by this insane person.

The story may be newsworthy, but The Sun shouldn't glorify the killer and his words by putting them on the front page.

What other sick person might also want to see his or her picture on the front page and try to do something just as horrible?

I hope that never happens. But I feel The Sun went for sensationalism and has given incentive to other sick individuals.

Geri Schlenoff


Wolfowitz is costing bank its credibility

Paul D. Wolfowitz is one of the people who brought us the war in Iraq while he was working at the Pentagon. Now as World Bank president, he is carrying on the Bush administration's tradition of making up your own rules as you go along ("Wolfowitz says he will not step down," April 16).

Mr. Wolfowitz is attempting to carry on his neoconservative policies by politicizing the practices of the World Bank. His nepotism regarding the promotion of his girlfriend, Shaha Ali Riza, also undermines his credibility and that of the bank.

This is just another example of the far-reaching effects of the ineptness of the Bush administration, which could take us many years to overcome.

Irving J. Raksin


BDC learns feeling of being left out?

I read with great amusement the quote from M. J. "Jay" Brodie, the president of the Baltimore Development Corp., in The Sun's article "JPMorgan operation to close" (April 17).

Mr. Brodie is quoted as saying he is angry that after all the effort to get JPMorgan Chase & Co. to come to the Baltimore facility, the company is closing it prematurely. He says that "not having been given the opportunity to at least try to weigh in on the process was, to put it mildly, frustrating."

Well, welcome to how the small-business owners and plain old ordinary citizens feel, Mr. Brodie, when the BDC acts in an arrogant and overbearing manner in making decisions on city planning.

Dare we hope that we will get more sympathy and openness from the BDC in the future?

Maxine Saunders


Oyster partnership produces progress

I am sorry to see that funding for the Oyster Recovery Partnership has come under attack ("Oyster grants to state disputed," April 14).

The earmark system of federal funding does indeed need fixing. But as long as it exists in its current form, it is the job of our elected officials to steer Maryland's share of the money to productive purposes.

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski has done a commendable job of securing about $1 million per year for oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. We would be much worse off without all the work that has been made possible by that money.

Could the program be more effective? No question about it.

I strongly support the expansion of oyster sanctuaries - "no-take zones" - in the bay so that the oyster population can grow as quickly as possible.

I welcome the involvement of the program's critics as we make those improvements while finding more money, not less, to revive Maryland's oyster population.

Brad Heavner


The writer is state director for Environment Maryland.

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