Wrong for hunters to fire near children

What in the world is going on?


It's sick enough that it is legal in my own Howard County to slaughter the innocent, peaceful and beautiful gifts of God - the deer, which were here long before the vast majority of the population that has strangled this county, devastating and destroying land, clogging roads and overcrowding schools.

But now we have daytime hunters opening fire at 1:30 p.m. within the shooting range of a day care center ("Hunting-zone review likely," Dec. 12).


I certainly hope that I'm not the only one who sees something terribly wrong with the idea that the hunters are in compliance with the law because they were beyond the 150-yard minimum hunting buffer distance.

I wonder how the hunters would feel had it been their children running for cover, fleeing gunfire in an area that is supposed to be safe.

Elizabeth A. Mason, Ellicott City

Hate crimes laws still controversial

Not surprisingly, all of the critics of Ron Smith's column "The truth about 'hate crimes' and the racial justice racket" (Commentary, Dec. 3) ignored his main point: that the Southern Poverty Law Center rakes in millions in donations from people it frightens by telling them, in essence, that there is a guy in a KKK hood behind every tree in America ("Readers speak out on Ron Smith's take on race and justice," Dec. 5).

And the arguments they do make against Mr. Smith are lame.

Mark Potok of the SPLC, for example, claims that Mr. Smith is wrong to assume that the October murder of an interracial couple in California by four black men was a hate crime because, he says, the police say that the motive was robbery. Since when do civil rights lawyers like Mr. Potok believe that everything the cops say is the gospel truth?

Mr. Potok and Del. Sandy I. "Sandy" Rosenberg argue that Mr. Smith is off base when he says that hate crime legislation is a "questionable legal construct" because the Supreme Court has "ratified" it. So what? Legal scholars have been arguing for generations that many Supreme Court decisions, from Roe v. Wade to Brown v. Board of Education, were dubious legal constructs or were a matter of judges legislating from the bench.


Another writer boasts of the SPLC's "educational" efforts in schools. But the organization is also known for its ridiculous misinformation and propaganda campaigns. Don't the schools have enough problems without such idiocy being propagated there?

Thomas DiLorenzo, Baltimore

The writer is a professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland.

Awaiting the return of Baltimore Opera

It is such a sad turn of events that the Baltimore Opera Company has had to declare bankruptcy in these perilous economic times ("Baltimore Opera seeks Chapter 11 shelter," Dec. 9). We have been season ticket holders for very many years, and we are grieving.

It seems that the very floorboards of the Lyric Opera House stage must be crying out, mourning that perhaps Aida has wept for her homeland, or Cio-Cio San has waited in happy anticipation for the return of her faithless lover, or Carmen has seduced her toreador, or countless other heroes and heroines may have sung their hearts out for the last time on that stage.


And so we wait with guarded anticipation for the hoped-for reorganization that will bring us again evenings to dress up and join with others who love opera as much as we do in such elegant surroundings; to lose ourselves in glorious music for a few hours; and to rise and applaud and shout our "bravos" to the singers who so enrapture us.

Long may opera live in Baltimore.

Barbara Woodey, Timonium