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Ballistic Dysfunction

Posted 4/29/2009

Why is this pro-gun and pro-NRA side relentlessly unwilling to scientifically examine the facts about gun-crazed males and gun crime? Why do few women commit the massacres--they must have loved the woman shooting the guy that was in the news the other day! I'm sure Kirk Olson can find examples of women committing massacres ("Guns: As American as Mass Slaughter," The Mail, April 22). Is the gun a symbol of sad, depressed, American males' deflated psyche?

I thought Brian Morton's response to this fellow was reasonable. Responsible gun owners don't have a problem with gun control. Obama is not coming to take away your guns. The pro-gun side forecasts a grim future for America--a future of fear and loathing. Gentleness--they don't understand it. Non-violence--they never considered it. Has the NRA helped to quell the violence by guns?

A politician, Jim Brochin, defeated the ban on assault weapons in Maryland. What would he say to the Pittsburgh police gunned down by a gun nut?

I connect the dots, and I find the pro-gun folks and weak politicians responsible for the bloodshed, to a degree. Please, I ask them, don't go to the funerals. Since I am non-violent, I close on a positive note and invite the pro-gun folks to propose some real solutions. They know guns--where are their solutions?

As to the brave patriots at Lexington and Concord, may I advise the Mr. Olson--he probably already knows this--that the Brown Bess and Charleville flintlock rifles were effectively used with flanking techniques, but the day was carried more due to the wrongheaded tactics of British commanders--these guys love this kind of detail. They know all about calibers, but nothing of ethics and morality.

David Eberhardt

Guns: Because the Government IS Out to Get You

To comment on Brian Morton's column on gun control ("The Guns of Spring," Political Animal) in the April 15 issue:

One rendition of the Waco disaster I read said the government wouldn't release any of the melted rifles to see if they had been somehow altered to full auto. Then, too, the famous front door of the compound that the Branch Davidians supposedly shot through first was also quarantined and later disappeared.

To be sure, Gen. Wesley Clark ably coordinated the military response with a form of tear gas that the United States had agreed in a treaty not to use for warfare.

Maybe Mr. Morton could check and see if the four Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) agents killed there had been Bill Clinton's personal state troopers from Arkansas who had been brought with him to D.C.. And were they killed by hostile or friendly fire?

With government action like this, maybe the debate on gun control should go on longer.

Bernard Walker

Reservoir Hill Is Up

After reading the April 8 City Paper article ("Vini, Vidi, Vito," Feature), we were concerned that the article inadvertently leaves the impression of Reservoir Hill as a community characterized by investors that preyed on it and left the community in a sad state. We would like to correct that impression. Every period of revitalization brings with it investors who see the possibility of profit and who sometimes fail, leaving behind unfinished and even dangerous buildings. In this particular economic climate there are certainly investors who have walked away from projects in Reservoir Hill. But that's not the story of Reservoir Hill as a community.

On Earth Day, 60 third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders from Reservoir Hill's neighborhood school, John Eager Howard, joined with adult volunteers to plant 20 trees on the street alongside the school and in the playground. Nothing demonstrates a positive attitude about the future like planting a tree you may never see fully matured.

Reservoir Hill Improvement Council is in the process of planting 150 new trees in 2009 in a pioneering urban greening project. Two community gardens are coming alive this spring with gardeners from every walk of life in the community. One of Reservoir Hill's community parks is scheduled for a complete renovation this summer.

The community has outstanding architecture, is walking distance to the cultural opportunities of Mount Vernon, and borders Druid Hill Park. Reservoir Hill's status as a Healthy Neighborhood brings with it the opportunity for homeowners to access below-market loans and grants to support purchases and rehab costs, and free architectural services. Over the last five years more people have chosen to make the community home. On Linden Avenue, an innovative effort by a set of young rehabbers is helping bring life to part of the community. One of the top things people tell us attracts them to Reservoir Hill is the level of activity in the community. Last year more than 300 people took part in projects and events--that's real community life, and that's the real story of Reservoir Hill. The trend is upward.

John Ruffin
Executive Director
Paulette Roberson
Board President
Reservoir Hill Improvement Council

What the ???

Dear Mr. Wrong,

I have a few questions for you regarding your lengthy and well-thought-out column about the truths and heartbreaks of one of the countries most beloved candied coated edibles ("Behind the Blue M&M," April 8). First question; two parts

How long did this article take to write? Do you work from home or did this take up a full eight-hour shift, assuming you work a full-time shift.

I am from Baltimore and understand there are lots of ironic twentysomethings who wear vintage metal T-shirts and Dunks and think they are irreverent. Is this one of the signature "Bodymore" cliches? Or is this article meant to speak of something more poetic? A metaphor, perhaps.

I kind of felt like this kind of writing belonged more in a journal. Written at City Cafe. Not written at work, on the clock.

I'd hate to say this economy is pretty bad right now. Some of my best friends have no jobs, and we are all broke. What kind of car do you drive? What kind of wine and caviar will you be eating tonight? If none, then I understand.

I would just like to know what the point of your article was, because I believe I missed out on the edification that it might have provided to a thirsty mind like mine.

Lastly, where did you study?

I dropped out of high school. College is expensive, you know?

Anyways, I can't wait to hear back from you and hopefully meet you in person! I'm in town until Friday.

If I can't meet you, then I would love it if you could send me some pictures of you with clothes on.

Chris Pereira
San Francisco

Correction: The photograph of a "sharrow" that accompanied our interview with city "bike czar" Nate Evans ("Pedal Power," Feature, April 22) in print was, in fact, a photograph of a regular old bike lane. The photograph that now accompanies the article online at shows a proper sharrow.

And the Editor's Note in last week's Mail incorrectly noted that this week's issue would feature Film Fest Frenzy, our annual guide to the Maryland Film Festival. Well, next week's issue really will feature the Frenzy, and MFF takes place May 7-10. City Paper regrets the error.

Editor's note: The films are in, the votes are being tabulated, and the top tier of entries in City Paper's Shoot. Score. Baltimore. short-film contest will be screened for awards, accolades, and applause May 6 at the Windup Space. See for details.

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