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Letters to the Editor

January 13, 1999

Bartlett is OK

To the editor:

I never thought I would do it, but I must commend Rep. Roscoe Bartlett for his helping to build the Habitat for Humanity house, as reported in the Dec. 6 Herald-Mail.

If he keeps improving, I may (depending on who is running against him and whether I'm still around) vote for him in November 2000.

Congrats, Representative Bartlett! You're an OK guy!

Eugene Lincoln

Hagerstown

Hagerstown deserves stadium

To the editor:

I am amazed that people are not up in arms over how to finance a new stadium for Hagerstown.

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I am sure that quite a few people have bought or buy lottery tickets. Have you ever noticed on the bottom of the instant tickets? It reads: "proceeds go to the Maryland Stadium Authority"

I do not know about you, but the last I checked, Hagerstown is still in Maryland! I really think that the local delegation needs to look into why this money is not available for Hagerstown. If the state does not want to allow Hagerstown to benefit from the sales, then stop selling tickets in this area.

Frank Danfelt

Hedgesville, W.Va.

Abolish this stigma

To the editor:

I recently requested a meeting with Herman Bartlett, Superintendent of the Washington County Board of Education, and assistant superintendent Theresa Flack. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the possibility of being allowed to speak to the children in middle school on the subject of mental illness.

I am a consumer and in my fifth year of recovery and I work for a patient-run organization for persons with mental illnesses. Many patients hold college degrees. With medication and rehabilitation we are able to reach the top of the ladder.

Let's join together to abolish stigma in this decade.

Peggy Reynolds

Hagerstown

Paradise is open

To the editor:

The Lord Jesus Christ came into our world over 2000 years ago to save us. Anyone who doesn't believe this world needs saving would be a rare person, indeed, and only a God who could rise from the dead could do it. The prophet Isaiah told of this suffering servant 500 years before his birth. Jesus died out of love for us to demonstrate that we should die to our selfishness which is true life for man.

Jesus' humility, kindness, compassion and love are everything Christmas is about and at this wonderful time of year we should remember that Christmas is the birthday of the Kings of Kings and Lord of Lords. The virtue of forgiveness and reconciliation is a virtue that is straight from the heart of God to bless the one who seeks it. Making peace with alienated family or friends can begin with a Christmas card or phone call, your gift from the Prince of Peace.

Under the cross of Christ all men are equal. Everyone drops the status position here as we contemplate such immense love such royalty and return his love with ours. Jesus offers everyone in him hope. We should tell everyone this. The thief on the cross next to him said, "Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom."

He replied, "Amen, I say to you today you will be with me in Paradise." A paradise open to all who call on the name of Jesus with repentant love. His wonderful name means love, saving love.

Dorothy Parettiere

Hagerstown

Checks failing

To the editor:

The National Instant Check System, (NICS), designed to instantly check the backgrounds of prospective firearms buyers, is a dismal failure.

Since it went on the line recently, the system has crashed three times. Waits of up to three hours for dealers to access the system are common. Several persons have been denied their purchase, even after the Maryland State Police have cleared them for buying the same firearm. Something is wrong with the system. It is not instantly checking backgrounds as required by the Brady Law. It needs to be overhauled.

Given that the volume of NICS calls has been about 50 percent of the estimation by the FBI, there is no excuse for the system to be so poorly operating. BATF and FBI stated that approximately 15 to 20 percent of the people who they check would be delayed in their purchases.

That figure is nearly 48 percent, or three times the estimate originally given. Buyers are being delayed for no other reason than the NICS system is not able to check their background, due to system failures, lack of information or lack of authority of the NICS representative. NICS operators are not FBI employees, but contract hourly labor. They do not have the authority to make decisions on buyers. FBI supervisors must make those decisions and that is where the delays begin.

Some famous person once said, "A right delayed is a right denied." I tend to agree. Americans have a right under the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights to own firearms for legitimate uses. We are not talking about criminals, but law-abiding citizens who are being denied that right. Very few active felons are being stopped by NICS.

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