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Letters to the Editor

Oct. 5, 2000

More gun control laws not answer to violent crimes

Yet again The Lariat has produced an ill-researched and liberal editorial that rallies around overwhelming government power and a cry to restrict law-abiding citizens.

Helen Humphrey has called for what most liberals call for: Whining. Her promotion of more laws, a national firearms registration and becoming a member of the ACLU are ignorant suggestions that fail to scratch the surface of gun-related violence in today's society.

We have already seen that such laws as the Brady Bill are ineffective. In fact, by 1997, 86,000 people had been denied the right to purchase a handgun under the bill, but only seven were prosecuted in court, at a cost of $70 million per person.

Since money was such an issue for Humphrey, perhaps she would like all cars to be banned, along with alcohol and cigarettes. These items cost the taxpayers far more than guns and kill many more citizens, but apparently, they're not as important.

Or maybe Humphrey would like to discuss lawsuits against gun manufactures. This new legal action is aimed at the source, but the mentality is flawed. If we allow gun manufacturers to be sued for making a gun that kills, surely we can sue Ford or Chevrolet for making a vehicle that kills.

Humphrey, along with every other 'gun-control' advocate, needs to re-evaluate who these laws are targeting and what possible effects they will have on crime. When a serial killer purchases a gun, does he enter the local sporting goods store where laws are upheld? Or, when a child considers shooting up a school, is he or she reluctant to do so because he or she might go to jail?

Gun control is not something a pen will solve alone. Educating our youth, punishing the criminals (not all citizens) and using common sense will be much stronger forces against those who violate our daily lives.

Keeping guns out of the hands of law abiding Americans will not reduce our fear of crime. Keeping violent criminals who use guns behind bars will. Remember, laws are only effective if they are respected.

Josh Tetens

International Studies '01

G.K. Chesterton once said, 'Journalism is popular, but it is popular mainly as fiction. Life is one world, and life seen in the newspapers is another.' He must have been thinking of The Baylor Lariat when he penned those words. In its article on the first presidential debate The Baylor Lariat has, once again, demonstrated its stark conservative bias.

With 14 lines of quotes from Republican commentators and only three from Democrats, Nora Frost demonstrates either a complete lack of initiative in her reporting or a blatant desire to pander to the right-wing student body.

If this disparity in numbers were the full extent of the article's problems then it would be of little concern. But Frost's selection of quotes leaves even more to be desired. From Republican commentators she chose those quotes that emphasized Bush's 'vision' and the fact that his performance was better than expected. From Democratic commentators she selected two meaningless and politically neutral quotes that do not reflect the message these commentators were trying to get across.

That message would be that regardless of whether or not Bush performed better than expected, he still lost. He was both nervous and rude from the start, cutting off the moderator twice in the first ten minutes. As soon as he could no longer debate ideas, he started name-calling like a little kid, repeatedly calling Gore a liar. He tried to discredit Gore's numbers by calling them 'fuzzy math,' but was never able to explain why.

Basically it came down to a simple distinction: Bush was so obsessed with appearance and debating style that he forgot to include any substance; Gore didn't.

Christopher M. Newton

International Relations,

Master's candidate

In regard to the cartoon mocking the band published in the Tuesday's Lariat: As a member of the Baylor Golden Wave Marching Band drumline, I took great offense at the attack made on the band's repetition of songs. If The Baylor Lariat or any of its staff members chooses to criticize any group at Baylor in relation to the football games, perhaps it should be directed at the student body or so called 'dedicated fans' that eagerly leave the game as soon as our football team falls behind a few points.As a student and band member, I find great disgust that our newspaper would chose to attack, among all organizations on campus, one of the most spirited and prolific groups. With the unique energy and relentless support the marching band provides at all of the football games -- whether the team is winning or losing -- the only article or cartoon in The Lariat addressing the band should be one of gratitude, not mockery.

Makenzie Gardner

Music Education '04