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Letters to the Editor 4/10

April 10, 2000

Moms march to limit gun tragedy

To the editor:

Recently there was a very important, tragic date in America's history - the date when 11 students and one teacher lost their lives at Columbine High School. It light of this somber anniversary, I would like to let everyone know about an important event that will help deal with the sacrifice these victims made and perhaps ease some of the pain their loss has inflicted on their family members and Americans across the country. The event I am writing about is the Million Mom March for Sensible Gun Laws, scheduled to occur on The Mall in Washington, D.C., for Sunday, May 14, 2000.

Organized by Donna Dees-Thomases, Million Mom March for Sensible Gun Laws is dedicated to the "mission of educating our children and our country about the life-threatening danger of guns." Its mission statement endorses sensible "cooling off" periods and background checks, calls for legislation to license handgun owners and register all handguns and require safety locks on all handguns, asks for legislation to limit handgun purchases to one-handgun-per-month, and calls for regulations that support no-nonsense enforcement of gun laws for all law officers.

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The aim for the Million Man March is to recruit (and I quote from their Website) - from all walks of life - mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, godmothers, foster mothers, future mothers, and all others willing to be "honorary mothers" in this crusade.

Every day in America, 12 children die from gunshot wounds - and each day we ignore this burgeoning problem, 12 more children die. What scares me as a mother most of all is that these shootings are happening in everyone's backyard. Little Kayla Rolland was the same age as my eldest daughter - and it frightens me that it could have been my 6-year-old gunned down in the classroom. We need to let our government know that common sense gun policy - specifically gun licensing and registration policies - is a necessity in today's society.

Let's avoid another Columbine. Let all children live peacefully and safely. Let all parents not have to worry about their children's safety while they're at school. Please support this movement - the Website address is www.millionmommarch.com or call 1-888-989-MOMS to find out how you can support these efforts. By supporting this movement, we remember the victims of these senseless tragedies and make it known that their sacrifices were not in vain.

Jane F. Schmidt

Hagerstown

'Real' parents are being ignored

To the editor:

Homes, hearts and young children are being torn apart. We are to protect our children, keep them safe and give them a good home. Too many times innocent children are being torn form homes in which a grandmother or foster parent has raised and loved unconditionally. Many parents are doing that and many are not. Those that aren't always seems to come out on top.

What messages are our courts sending out to the young adults? Do we need birth control in our world today? Why? A young adult can abandon, abuse and neglect their child, have them taken away from them and know that they can get them back eventually. It may be years later but the courts are handing them back to the birth parent, causing trauma and harm to the child - because that's the law!

What about the real parents, the only mom they know, the one that loved, bonded, walked the floor at nights, knows their every move, watched them take their first step and see their first tooth? This to me is the parent. A birth parent is just a scientific fact. Why can't the courts take the child's best interest at heart and understand that this is the only home they know?

If the birth parent reforms and comes back in the child's life, it should be done in a fashion where the child can visit and get to know them - slowly - and the parent should be monitored to see if the child is adjusting and properly being cared for. These birth parents need to be watched.

They need to know that they can't just waltz so easily back into a child's life and remove them from the loving home and destroy the child and the family that was raising the child, just because they are the birth parent!

Barb Baker

Cascade

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