- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 10, 2007

The District’s gun law

Why is the emphasis on getting guns off the streets rather than getting criminals off the streets (“Barry aims for gun-ban hiatus,” Page 1, Wednesday)?

If there is anything more ridiculous than the idea of criminals obeying gun control, it’s is allowing people who have never committed a crime to register weapons as a means of reducing crime. Only in Washington could such an idea originate, and people scratch their heads and wonder why the city has such problems. When you keep electing the same old people, you keep getting the same old thing.

JAMES MULLEN

White Hall, Md.

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The editorial “Repeal D.C.’s gun law” (yesterday) calling for the repeal ofthe District’s gun ban is spot on.

When I got out of the Army in 1978 and began to look for a place to live after getting a job in the District, I was near to signing a lease when I found out that in my absence they had passed a law that pretty much banned private ownership of firearms. Because of my deeply held belief in personal responsibility, and a love of liberty, I instead decided to live in the outlying suburbs of Maryland, where I grew up.

Any government that in it’s arrogance believes that the citizens are not trustworthy enough to be allowed the best means of their own defense, and in so doing works to deny these citizens their Second Amendment rights, is not one I would support with my presence or taxes.

NORMAN HENDRICKSON

Bowie, Md.

Giuliani’s appeal

The Page 1 article ” ‘08 slate without standout for GOP” (Friday) detailing social conservatives’ concerns with the three Republican frontrunners for the 2008 nomination was ably answered by R. Emmett Tyrrell’s column in the Commentary section (“The arrival of Rudy,” Friday).

Mr. Tyrrell’s column touting the candidacy of Rudy Giuliani from the perspective of the libertarian brand of conservatism may not persuade the social conservatives quoted in the Page 1 article. But for libertarian conservatives whose preference for limited government translates into low taxes and aversion to government intrusion into issues of private conduct, Mr. Giuliani is precisely the sort of candidate who inspires this segment of the Republican base.

There are reasons he is leading the early polls, and it’s not simply name recognition and his heroic response to the September 11 atrocity. Mr. Giuliani is a candidate who accurately reflects the social views of many more moderate Republicans, with the added advantage that, as mayor of New York City, he actually delivered on issues in which conservatives of all stripes tend to agree. From lowering taxes, to crime control, from welfare reform to school choice, in addition to a keen understanding of Islamist fascism’s war on the West, Mr. Giuliani has led by example.

Moreover, he has the ability to attract self-defined moderates, voters who tend to be conservative on economic issues but less so on social issues such as abortion, civil unions and limited gun control. As another Friday article in The Times details (“By the numbers,” Inside Politics), conservatives and moderates comprise roughly the same percentage of the voting population, in the 30 percentile, while self-declared liberals trail in the teens. Together, conservatives and moderates can join to defeat Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama or former Sen. John Edwards if they can focus on the issues in which they agree while recognizing that, on some social issues, they will not be in perfect accord.

To gain the support of social conservatives and voters in the South, Mr. Giuliani would be well advised to select as his vice-president a recognized conservative from the South. That person could very well be Newt Gingrich, who is third in the early polling, or a southern governor such as Mike Huckabee of Arkansas or Haley Barbour of Mississippi.

Mr. Giuliani and a balanced ticket are the Republicans’ best chance of holding the White House in 2008.

TOM STAUSS

Ocean Pines, Md.

Still Castro’s Cuba

Vicki Huddleston’s “Post-Fidel Cuba” (Op-Ed, Tuesday) misses the point. It is easy for Ambassador Huddleston to ask Congress to abrogate the Helms-Burton law. The United States enacted the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 due to the Cuban Air Force’s barbaric shooting down of U.S. civilian planes in international airspace. President Clinton signed the bill into law in memory of innocent Americans murdered under direct orders of the Castro brothers, Fidel and Raul.

To date, neither one of the two brothers-in-crime has repented. According to Ambassador Huddleston, Congress and President Bush should forget the Castros’ crimes and shake hands if only Raul were to give permission to Cuban nationals to own a mom-and-pop business in their own country.

The Castro brothers run a military-controlled totalitarian system. How could she say that the influx of television, radios and computers will enhance the flow of information and ideas, if the Castros’ own and control every television and radio station in the land, and it is illegal for a Cuban national to have access to the Internet?

As an American mother seeking justice for the premeditated murder of my son, I would ask Ambassador Huddleston to reconsider her position in asking Congress and the president not to abrogate the law but rather to enforce it. Section 116. Page 110 Stat. 805 (b)(3) reads, “The Congress urges the President to seek, in the International Court of Justice, indictment for this act of terrorism by Fidel Castro.”

When Americans are murdered by criminals who have no fear of retribution, all American lives are at risk.

MIRIAM DE LA PENA

Pembroke Pines, Fl.

No anti-Semite

Joel Mowbray denounces Keith Ellison, the newly elected Muslim Congressman from Minnesota, for his relationship with CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and its executive director, Nihad Awad (“Faith and politics,”Op-Ed, Wednesday).

Mr. Mowbray cites Mr. Awad’s past association with the now defunct Islamic Association for Palestine, which supported the radical Palestinian organization Hamas.

Regardless of his past association with the Islamic Association of Palestine, Nihad Awad is no anti-Semite. Mr. Awad sent his legal director to represent CAIR at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Dec. 20, when local Muslim leaders gathered to honor the memory of Jews killed during the Holocaust. These Muslim leaders wanted to make clear that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who held a conference in Teheran denying the Holocaust ever happened, does not speak for them.

When I interviewed Mr. Awad for an article that appeared in the Washington Jewish Week (Dec. 28), he told me ” ‘misguided people’ are wrong to question whether the Holocaust took place. Belittling the suffering of any people contradicts Islamic teachings and the actions of the prophet Muhammad.”

Mr. Awad said that while Jews and Muslims may be divided on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, “Muslims are reflecting their faith when they sympathize with Jews who suffered in Europe” and denying the Holocaust “is a red line that no one should cross.”

Are you listening, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

ANDREA BARRON

Washington

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