here about crime, brethren and sistren, crime. We suggest to you that any politician who stands up to talk about crime, about law’n’order, about lenient judges should be shouted at without compunction unless he has come out in favor of gun control. Hypocrites! One of the few sane rationalizations for handguns is that law-abiding citizens in high-crime areas need them for protection. We quote, out of many available sources on this misbegotten myth, Robert J. McGuire, police commissioner of New York City, April 2, this year. One fundamental point about the gun ethos in the city, he said, “is the uselessness of a gun in the hands of a shopkeeper or home dweller as an effective guard against crime and tragedy. Our department again and again finds that innocent bystanders and victims of holdups or burglaries are far more likely than criminals to suffer wounding or death in shootouts with bandits. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of discharges of handguns owned by shopkeepers and home dwellers are accidental discharges, often resulting in death and injury.” We are paying an unbearably high price for the false sense of security which being able to own guns gives to a few of us. So far it’s early yet this year’s most prominent victim of our lack of gun laws is Allard Lowenstein, shot five times on March 14. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow we shall miss his incredible energy and his passionate sense of justice. The day before he died, Al Lowenstein called the people running the Kennedy campaign to ask them not to forget gun control, to please make some campaign ads about it. The New York Times said in an editorial, “Allard Lowenstein was a gallant crusader for a hundred causes, some lost, but none ignoble . . . . The only weapon he ever used was the sharp language of debate.” The man accused of killing Allard Lowenstein is so crazed he believes the FBI planted a receiver in one of his teeth. The man accused is demented, has a history of treatment in ‘mental hospitals. He bought the weapon he is accused of using, a $120 Spanish-made handgun, legally, at a sporting goods store in Connecticut. He used his driver’s license for an I.D.; that was all he needed. Had he been in Texas, he would not have needed even that. There was no 24or 48-hour hold period on the gun purchase, no chance to see if the man had a felony record or a history of mental disturbance, which could easily have been discovered. Why is this too much to ask that the police be allowed to block the sale of guns to those who have records of felony or of mental disturbance? The vast majority of murders are impulse killings why is it too much to ask that a person who wants a gun, who may well be in a drunken rage, be made to wait 24 hours? Of what practical or sporting use are handguns? Cannot a rattler be shot as well with a long gun? If there are some who enjoy firing handguns for sport, why should they object to having the things licensed, like those other killers, cars? We know that most of you agree with us the problem is that agreement is not enough. The NRA has been wonderfully successful at locating and mobilizing its constituency. We must go and do likewise. The National Coalition to Ban Handguns, which as its name indicates, favors the abolition of handguns except for those carried by law enforcement personnel, is at 100 Maryland Ave. N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002. Handgun Control, Inc., which is working for the kinds of licensing and control legislation proposed by Sen. Edward Kennedy, is at 810 18th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006. Membership in both organizations is $15. Go for it. Carter’s Economic Policy Work More, Eat Less Our merchants and master-manufacturers complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price . . . . They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with respect to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those other people. Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations For the past year, it seems, President Carter has been relentlessly struggling to lower the standard of living of all but the wealthiest Americans. This is the ruse we more frequently think of as the war against inflation. Clearly, his latest program will at best lower the rate of inflation by a negligible amount while simultaneously imposing new hardships on workers whose family budgets are already stretched to the breaking point by more than 15 years of price increases that consistently outpace their pay raises. The President’s newest policy, announced after his previous efforts failed to prevent price increases that escalated from 12 percent last year to 18 percent during the first three months of 1980, consists of five parts: a $13 billion cut in fiscal 1981 spending that will bring the budget into balance for the first time since 1969; restrictions on consumer credit; voluntary wage guidelines designed to limit the average wage increase to 8.5 percent per year; the imposition of a conservation fee that will raise gasoline prices by 10 cents a gallon; a pledge to consider corporate tax reductions that will give business additional incentives to acquire new machinery and raise worker productivity. According to President Carter, national prosperity cannot be maintained without these essential new policies. But at the same time, he is aware that his program will significantly reduce the living standards of most Americans. In his March 14 address to the nation, Carter remarked, “The actions I’ve outlined involve cost. They involve pain.” Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, who attended Carter’s Camp David strategy sessions along with Carter’s chief economic advisors, agreed with the president’s call for sacrifice. “If we are going to stop inflation and get this country back on a sound 4 APRIL 25, 1980
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