To the Editor:

Dec 022003

I just wanted thank Ms. Baldwin (Dec. 1, “Of rifles and rat

poison”) for her logical and unbiased perspective on the gun issue

that I feel does it justice. A study by Dr. Gary Kleck of Florida

State University (see found that

there are approximately 2.2 million defensive gun uses by civilians

annually, with over 400,000 lives saved by citizens with guns, not

counting police.

This would mean that a gun in the hands of a citizen is about

14,000 percent more likely to save a life than to take one (400,000

saved versus 28,663 firearm related fatalities in 2000, including

suicides). A 1982 survey of incarcerated criminals (cited in

Kleck’s study) found that 82 percent of them agree with the

statement: “Gun laws only affect law-abiding citizens; criminals

will always be able to get guns.”

Like Ms. Baldwin said, flight isn’t illegal; drunk drivers kill

17,000 annually (, but cars and alcohol aren’t

illegal. Defensive gun uses save lives. As for me, I’d rather have

my shotgun if my life were at stake, not a “can of seasoning”.

Tim Bessler

Sophomore, business & German

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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To the Editor:

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Dec 022003

I’m writing this in response to J.J. Babb’s article on abortion

(Dec. 1, “Abortion apathy unacceptable.) In her article, Ms. Babb

brings up the recent ban on partial birth abortions, saying that it

ignores the health of the mother.

The truth of the matter is that partial birth abortion has

nothing to do with saving the life of the mother. In the words of

Dr. Pamela Smith, Director of Medical Education in the Department

of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Chicago:

“There are absolutely no obstetrical situations encountered in this

country which require a partially delivered human fetus to be

destroyed to preserve the life of the mother.” (Diane M. Gianelli,

“Outlawing Abortion Method,”) Dr. Haskell, a partial birth abortion

doctor, stated in an interview in the American Medical News, “In my

particular case, probably 20 percent (of these abortions) are for

genetic reasons. (i.e. child is deformed or has a genetic

condition) And the other 80 percent are purely elective.”

(Gianelli, p. 70)

But still, perhaps the most misunderstood fact of the matter is

that the ban does give exceptions for the health of the mother. The

Senate version of the bill, in Sec. 1531. (a), states, “This

paragraph shall not apply to a partial-birth abortion that is

necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by

a physical disorder, illness, or injury, provided that no other

medical procedure would suffice for that purpose.” I just thought

it useful to present the real facts about the partial birth

abortion ban, so that maybe some people will be better informed

next time they bring up the topic.

Hannah Lewis

Sophomore, anthropology, French

 Posted by at 5:00 pm