letters 1/26

January 25, 2000

In U.S., Harrison would be dead

To the editor:

Donald Currier (Herald-Mail, Jan. 20) chose a particularly poor example to illustrate the "futility" of gun control in the wounding of the former Beatle George Harrison. As Currier himself points out, Harrison's assailant had to resort to using a knife because guns, particularly hand guns, are very difficult to obtain in Britain and other European countries.

I imagine that Harrison is grateful to the strict gun control laws that prevented his attacker from being armed with a gun, as he probably would have been in this country. Those gun control laws that Currier finds so distasteful probably saved Harrison's life.

Yes, bad people will always find the means to inflict harm, but they can inflict far more harm with highly lethal guns than with knives.


John Warner


Jefferson's tax haul

To the editor:

A Jan. 21 story entitled "Jefferson won't refund tax overpayment to quarry" is as good of an example as any of how government is becoming big and arrogant, not to mention hypocritical. Millville Quarry made an error in filing its taxes, resulting in an overpayment of more than $100,000.

For the county government to pay this money back to it's rightful owner, the county's coffers would have lost $28,000 and Jefferson County Schools would have lost $90,000. But the Jefferson County commission doesn't have to worry about paying it back because it can hide behind a state law exempting late filers from overpayment refunds.

Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Michael D. Thompson is quoted as saying "What's that? Two, two-and-a-half teacher's salaries? To me, that's outrageous." Outrageous?! What's outrageous is this thievery by the Jefferson County government. Who cares about how much money the government will lose; the fact remains that it's not their money, it never was their money, and if they hadn't spent it in the first place they wouldn't have to worry about taking it away from the school system coffers. If this were a private company refusing to refund an overpayment, Michael Thompson would be high on his soapbox threatening to prosecute them.

But since it's the government, and the money is being used "for the children," Millville Quarry is just supposed to cut its losses and move on. I hope they don't. I hope they tie up Al Hooper, Michael Thompson, and the rest of their government cronies in appeals court. Hopefully they can get their money back, but even if they can't, it's worth the fight based solely on principle.

Jason L. Smith

Minneapolis, Minn.

Currier proves value of gun control

To the editor:

I just want to respond to the letter from Donald R. Currier (Thursday, Jan.20), about the stabbing of George Harrison in England. I would like to tell Currier that Harrison is probably alive because Britain has banned all handguns after a shooting at a school there. If the individual had had a gun instead of a knife, George Harrison and his wife would probably not be alive to tell the story.

What a gun can do at 20 feet, cannot be done with a knife.

If the two students at the Columbine school had had knives instead of guns, we would not have mourned the deaths and injuries of so many students.

Carmen Krawczak

Waynesboro. Pa.

Surplus on the back of business

To the editor:

This letter is in reference to a recent interview of Maryland's Gov. Parris Glendening. In the interview, he was gloating over the $1 billion budget surplus that the state has for the upcoming year and where he wants to spend the money.

It's ironic that he states that Maryland has a budget surplus and yet this company has two overdue bills that have yet to be paid, one dating back to last August, another dating back to last November.

In our opinion, the reason why the democratically elected governor and his bureaucracy has a surplus, is because they fail to pay the bills of small businesses.

There must be a better way for the state to conduct its business. Other states do. For example, West Virginia's various departments use credit cards to pay their vendors. Why can't Maryland do the same?

Jeff Paules and Gary Blair, owners

Doctor Tint

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