- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Firearm facts

“Killer got clips for gun on EBay” screams the headline of an Associated Press article on the front page of The Washington Times on Sunday. My first two thoughts are “So what?” and “Learn something about guns before reporting on them.”

The transaction for magazines (not clips), as for other accessories, such as sight enablers, hand grips, holsters, etc. was perfectly legitimate under the law and is not required to be executed through a federal firearms licensee. End of story.

Misnaming a magazine for a semiautomatic pistol by calling it a clip shows equal ignorance of firearms and, given the brouhaha over the EBay sale, federal firearms laws. This is particularly galling, given that The Washington Times caters to a more conservative readership than, say, The Washington Post or the New York Times, from whom we would expect such cavalier coverage of the subject and equal lack of knowledge by its readership.

I understand that The Washington Times is not Guns and Ammo, but articles on firearms and firearms regulations should be shunted past someone with basic knowledge of the subject. To do less discredits you in the eyes of those who are familiar with these subjects.


Stafford, Va.

Sen. Hutchison on partial-birth abortion

In the editorial “Partial-birth hypocrisy,” (Friday) regarding the Supreme Court’s partial-birth abortion ruling, I was identified as one of two senators not present to vote on the Conference Report to S. 3, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, on Oct. 21, 2003.

On this date, I was in Texas delivering the eulogy for former Gov. Preston Smith as requested by his family. However, I strongly supported this legislation, and have consistently voted to support the ban, including voting for its passage in the Senate on March 13, 2003.

Since arriving in the Senate in 1993, I have opposed partial-birth abortion by voting for its prohibition during each session of Congress. I am pleased the Supreme Court has finally upheld this vitally important law passed by Congress.



Our war dead deserve better

I was horrified to hear about nine of our brave soldiers being killed in Iraq on Monday. When I looked for the story in Tuesday’s paper, I couldn’t believe it had been buried on Page 11 (“Bombing kills 9 soldiers at base,” World).

Being a layman and not a journalist, I have trouble understanding how news about the 13-year old text-messaging champion or the global-warming dare made by Sen. James Inhofe to some Hollywood types is more newsworthy than the deaths of nine American heroes.

I realize that everything in this town is political. I just hope that the placement of bad war news isn’t a matter of politics over principle. Our war dead deserve better.



Yanukovich’s lust for power

Ukrainian Premier Viktor Yanukovich points the blame at President Viktor Yushchenko for violating the constitution when he disbanded parliament (“Ukrainian premier outlines plans for the future,” Op-Ed, Monday). Mr. Yanukovich’s record of adhering to the constitution and rule of law is as bad, if not worse.

The Council of Europe ruled that the constitutional reforms were adopted illegally, but Mr. Yanukovich ignored its recommendations.AfterMr. Yushchenko was elected, Mr. Yanukovich’s Party of Regions paralyzed the constitutional court by blocking the allocation of judges by parliament. More recently, Mr. Yanukovich’s coalition refused to join the president’s constitutional commission.

Both sides, especially Mr. Yanukovich, should learn to abide by the rule of law and constitution and not attempt to monopolize power by upsetting the balance of power. Mr. Yanukovich’s greed for power has led ultimately to the president’s decree, and an early election is the only way out of the crisis.


Assistant professorial lecturer

Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

Elliott School of International Affairs

George Washington University


Muddying the Armenian genocide issue

Although I disagree with a few of James Morrison’s facts regarding the Armenian genocide I do believe he raises an interesting and important question about the U.S.-Turkish relationship (“Who’s losing Turkey?” Embassy Row, Friday). I don’t believe you can look to the United States and ask “Who lost Turkey” because sadly, Turkey has yet to find itself.

Turkey is a country struggling to define itself in today’s world. It claims to be one of the world’s few Muslim democracies, yet it is fiercely secular. It claims it lacks religious prejudice and routinely emphasizes its relationship with Israel as evidence, yet Christians in Turkey are being murdered because of their faith. It claims it has political freedom, yet it limits its citizens’ freedom of speech with Article 301. It claims to be a strong ally of the United States yet it denies us a northern front in Iraq, threatens to invade Iraqi Kurdistan and bullies the U.S. Congress when it dares to speak the truth about the Armenian genocide.

If our relationship with Turkey is “lost” it is not due to our reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide. It is due, rather, to the realizing of the United States that it must deal with the deeply troubled Turkey that exists today and not the Turkey it hopes for in the future.



It is not surprising to see Turkish delegations coming to Washington to remind Americans about the warm friendship that exists between Turkey and the United States. The essence of these visits is also a friendly reminder of severe consequences with unspecific steps to be taken if Congress dares to pass an Armenian genocide resolution. The saddest aspect of this charade is the submissive nature of the American response to such Turkish reminders, so much so that the Bush administration has put its highest offices to work propagating the Turkish rejection of historical reality.

In fact, Turkey’s brazen denials of the Armenian genocide are fueled by years of soft stances taken by successive U.S. administrations. The softer the U.S. attitude on the Armenian issue, the bolder Turkey becomes in its denials.

Turkish delegations come to Washington and give numerous statistics showing that Turkish public opinion is very cool toward the United States. If such is the case, the real question to be put forward must be: Why, after all that the United States has done for Turkey, including the Bush administration’s strong anti-Armenian stance, do Turks continue to have a negative opinion of the United States?

This column unwittingly gives credence to the Turkish position by citing dubious sources that put the Armenian death toll as low as 200,000, and in an attempt to look impartial, a figure of 1.8 million is mentioned. Isn’t this similar to muddying the issue by claiming that the victims of the Holocaust range from 1 million to 9 million? There is no dispute among most serious and credible historians, who have estimated the Armenian death toll from this genocide to have been between more than 1 million and 1.5 million.


Roxboro, Quebec

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