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June 30, 1978 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1978-06-30

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Page 4-Friday, June 30, 1978-The Michigan Daily
emichigan DAILY
Eighty-eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St.; Ann Arbor, MI. 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 36-S News Phone: 764-0552
Friday, June 30, 197
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
Civ i its defeat,
FTER THE Supreme Court announces its
two split decisions - one affirming the con-
stitutionality of affirmative action, the other
denying the justification of quota systems like
the one used at the University of California at
Davis - Justice Thurgood Marshall explained
the significance of the second 5-to-4 decision
which essentially rejects minority quota
systems.
Marshall, the court's first and only black
member, framed the question in historical ter-
ms. For most of the history of this country, Mar-
shall said, the laws have failed to protect its
minority citizens from discrimination and con-
stant violation of their rights. After a war was
fought - at least ostensibly to determine
whether or not blacks were to be considered
members of society or not - there were the
beginnings of progressive laws, then a reversal
by the court which was followed by a century of
inaction.
Finally, a quarter century ago, the landmark
school desegregation case, followed by the civil
rights acts of Congress, provided the basis for
growing, if unsteady affirmative action
programs across the country.
"Now, we have this court action stepping in,"
Marshall said, "this time to stop affirmative ac-
tion of the type used by the University of Califor-
nia.-
The question has come down to quotas. Civil
rights leaders have been quoted as saying that
the court's decision represents a victory since af-
firmative action has been given official con-
stitutional sanction. But we see nothing inheren-
tly wrong with the proper implementation of two
tracks of admission, one favoring minority
students to offset the injustice cited by Marshall.
In addition to the dangers signalled by the
alarmingly tight squeeze it took to support af-
firmative action - only one vote stood between
recognition of the most moderate goals and no
way to set goals at all - it is clear that the
negative quota decision has dealt a serious blow
to affirmative action.
We have repeatedly voiced our concern for the
future of programs - both on this campus and
around the country - intended to counter the
historic pattern which has granted white, upper-
middle class males every advantage society
could offer in the way of education and the
resulting jobs.
Administrators at Davis may not have done
their jobs well; we are not certain that that par-
ticular program was the best example of a quota
system in practice. But the refusal of the court to
recognize the possibility that quotas may oc-
casionally have to be set to assure that those who
have had to overcome severe disadvantages can
continue in school and to keep the country on the
path to racial equality, marks a low point in the
civil rights movement as Justice Marshall so
clearly pointed out.

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Gun laws under fire
By Paul Stone constitutional power of Congress for individual weapons, coupled
to legislate such requirements. with insufficient record-keeping
When the federal Bureau of Over the next two months the by importers, manufacturers,
cohol, Tobacco and Firearms NRA directed a flood of protests wholesalers, makes the tracing of
ATF) announced a short, to the administration and guns used in crimes difficult and
ree-point proposal this spring Congress in an attempt to under- time consuming. Current law
r tighter regulation of gun cut the proposed regulations. The requires retail dealers to keep
les, no one in the agency NRA accused the administration records of firearm sales to
alized it would create one of the of using a sneaky, semi-hushed private citizens. These records
idest firefights in the current manner in proposing the must be turned over to police on
ssion of Congress. It is a debate regulations. It charged that the demand.BATF defended the
at has spread dissension in the regulations constituted a first program, pointing to the alar-
nservative ranks, elicited step towards seizure of privately mingly high rate of stolen guns in
arges of deception, owned firearms. circulation - as high as 20 per
srepresentation and improper Rep. John Ashbrook (R-Ohio) cent, according to one New York
e of congressional franking the ranking minority member of City police report - guns that are
ivileges and dumped over the House Judiciary Committee's most often used in crime.
),000 leters on the desks of BATF subcommittee on crime, called a Debate over the Treasury's
icials. special session to investigate the proposals continues as the Senate
The proposals announced by BATF's plans. After asking wit- Appropriations Committee con-
BATF, a unit in the Treasury nesses Rex Davis, the BATF's siders a bill to block the new
partment, included quarterly director, and Richard Davis, regulations. A fierce debate took
porting of all movement of assistant secretary of Treasury, place earlier this month in the
ns between importers, to give their testimony under House when a similar provision
nufacturers, wholesale and oath, Ashbrook said, "I don't in the Treasury and Postal Ser-
ail outlets; a uniform 14-digit believe these witnesses have vice appropriations bill forbade
tem of gun identification for been honest. I believe they may committing any money to carry
firearms and the requirement have been evasive. I believe they out the new regulations. The
t the theft or loss of any have deceived this committee." House also cut the department's
earm be reported within 24 requested appropriations by $4.1
urs after the loss is noticed. ASHBROOK WAS referring to million - the sum the BATF
e information from these quar- questions as to whether the estimated it would take to
ly reports was to be fed into a bureauy had, in early drafts of establish the new process - even
mputer system. the regulations, considered though supplemental ap-
requiring the reporting of retail propriation would be required to
'HE REACTION from the gun sales with other transactions. In implement the regulations.
by was widespread and swift. its March 30 publication, the NRA
st prominent was the National had incorrectly said that the Paul Stone, who has repor-
le Association (NFA) which proposed regulations would ted for the Boston Phoenix,
iounced the BATF proposal as require reporting sales to private New York Post, Los Angeles
attempt to institute a central citizens. Treasury claimed that Times, and Congressional
tem of gun registration the current system of serial Quarterly, wrote this for the
ough regulaton, bypassing the numbers, which are not unique Pacific News Service (PNS).

Controls won 't stop murders
There are some 150 million than count dead housebreakers ses to certain individuals -
privately owned firearms in versus dead homeowners, friends women, long-hairs, blacks or
America (and nearly 40 million and relatives - both suicide and others whose lifestyles or per-
handguns). However, a Univer- homocide victims. That study sonal philosophies tend to clash
sity of Wisconsin study - the neither examined the value of with those of the issuing
most serious, scholarly attempt property protected by armed authorities.
to examine the relationship bet- homeowners, nor did it consider The most presuasive argument
ween firearms and crime and the the burglars challenged and against national registration
efficacy of firearms laws at ultimately frightened off or held comes not from NRA 'but from
reducing crime - found only that for the authorities. Nowhere is it Chuck Morgan, former director
accessibility to firearms (han- mentioned that in areas with a of the American Civil Liberties
dguns in particular) has no effect high rate of ownership of firear- Union's Washington, D.C., office
on violent crime or accidental ms burglary rates dip below and no friend of the nra. in 1975,
death or wounding rates, that those of their neighbors who don't testifying before Congress,
firearms laws "have no own guns. Morgan said, "You can pass all
significant effect on rates of the laws you want to about
violence" and that firearms laws A NATION-WIDE poll of registration. What you are going
do not limit access to guns by the American opinion of firearms to come up with is that the
violence prone. Only two of every ownership and gun control laws greatest lawbreaker the people
10,000 handguns are murder conducted in 1975 found that a have seen in the last three years
tools. To claim similar potential majority of those keeping - the federal government - will
for all other firearms leaves one firearms for self-protection were get new records over citizens and
open to some rather bizzare inner-city minority members. To new controls over its citizens on
analogies not the least humorous these people a firearm can and the computer." No more need be
of which is that equating all does spell the difference between said.
males with rapists because they economic freedom and despair. This is a condensed version
sport similar equipment. More evidence shows that the of an article written for PNS
The majority of privately only real use of licensing laws is by John Aquilino, editor of
owned firearms in American the discretionary denial of licen- the NRA newspaper.
homes (handguns included) are
in collections or are used for hun-
ting, competitive or recreational , i.. M.. NWN . w, -:. :-{ ,
shooting or self-defense, This last
reason is perhaps the most Submissions of essay and opinion to the
maligned. Those who don't own ,
guns see self-defense as little Daily's Editorial page should be typed and
more than a self-delusion of the triple spaced. They will be returned to the
hopelessly paranoid. They cite
statistics that 4hose keeping author only if a request is made to do so.
home-defense guns are six times Publication is based on conciseness, clarity of
more likely to end up a shooting
victim than to bag a burglar. thought and writing, and overall appeal.
Their justification is a Cleveland,
Ohio study that didlittle -e

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