To the Editor:

Dec 072003

With all due respect to Stacy Schneider (“It’s just common

sense” Dec. 4) and her right to express her opinion I find it

impossible to accept that anyone with common sense would ever

relegate the full responsibility of their own personal safety to

anyone but themselves.

When you accept your own safety as your responsibility then you

leave it up to yourself to stay informed and aware of potential

threats. Obviously this does not mean that you have the right to

expose information that jeopardizes the safety of another person

nor does it make your safety more important than anybody


And so while I agree that the criticism over President Bush’s

Thanksgiving is petty and misguided because of his own duty to

self-preservation I believe there are real security issues

currently being sheltered from public inquiry by this

administration. A stunning example was the FTAA meetings recently

negotiated in complete secrecy down in Florida. Public inquiry into

the economic decisions currently being made were systematically

shut out through taxes originally appropriated to protect us from

terrorists! And if this isn’t ironic enough the new energy bill

concerning many issues of environmental security that recently

passed was written in secret with Democrats not even being allowed

into the committee meetings.

All this and much more from a president who has held fewer press

conferences than any other president in history. I urge everyone to

not only become personally involved in their own security but also

to become more creative in their imagination of potential


Brian Rose

Sophomore, statistics

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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To the Editor:

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Dec 072003

I would like to address Ms. Baldwin’s article (“Of Rifles and

Rat Poison” Dec. 2). First, does she actually believe that a

tragedy such as the Columbine shootings would have been prevented

had all the students been armed? I can think of few more

frightening images than an entire student body of teenagers armed

with guns ready to fight off impending school shootings. I doubt

you would find many teachers or students who would feel safer in

such an environment. Certainly it wouldn’t have deterred attackers

Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. They obviously placed little value

on their own lives. Instead of encouraging the complete arming of

our citizenry to deter potential criminals maybe we, as a society,

should question the ability of two teenagers to purchase

semi-automatic weapons at gun shows and thousands of rounds of

ammunition at Kmart.

I would also like to call into question the dubious methods Ms.

Baldwin uses to bolster her argument. First, using a work of

fiction such as Tolkien’s books can certainly evoke a strong

emotional response but unfortunately is lacking factually.

Furthermore, while airplanes, automobiles and guns can all be used

as weapons only one of them was created primarily for this purpose.

This results in an exaggerative and misleading basis for

comparison. Finally she poses the question: Would terrorists have

dared had they been in fear of a gun-toting populace? Inciting fear

in those around us, whether it is other nations or terrorists

themselves, seems to be a poor answer and potentially even the

cause of such events in the first place.

Dan MacMillan

Senior, computer science

 Posted by at 5:00 pm