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April 04, 1981 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-04-04

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01

OPINION
Saturday, April 4, 1981

:1e eaidaUn Man
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

'When

guns are outlawed,

0

only outlaws will have guns

Vol. XCI, No. 150

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Feiger obvious MSA choice

J ON FEIGER and Amy Hartmann
are clearly the best choices for
Michigan Student Assembly president
and vice president. The two candidates
offer both a realistic and responsible
approach to several important issues
currently confronting students.
One severe problem with many of
the MSA presidential candidates is
that they are unaware of several
significant issues or how MSA, as the
campus student government, can deal
with them. The areas in which Feiger
has concentrated his campaign,
however, are central to student in-
terests. And, for the most part, he has
suggested concrete ways for the
Assembly to deal with them.
Unlike his opponents, Feiger has
presented a substantive platform con-
centrating on areas such as campus
security, student housing, University
investments, minority services, and,
most importantly, student par-
ticipation in budget cuts.
Feiger has also suggested ways in
which MSA can deal with problems in
these areas. For instance, he and Har-
tmann have identified high crime risk
areaas throughout the campus and will
posh for increased lighting in those
areas. The two also intend to continue
t r. valuable work of the MSA's
Security Task Force.
student input in University budget
decisions will be essential in the up-
cQlning year. Given the University's
continuing reluctance to listen to any
student voice, the task of com-
mbnicating the needs of students in
relation to budget cuts will be difficult.
Hartmann has served on the Budget
Priorities sub-committee, on Michigan
Media, and is already familiar with
tactics employed by the University
administration to thwart student input.
Her experience will be a valuable tool
inr ensuring that the student voice is
heard on budget cuts.
Feiger and Hartmann have not
neglected minority services in their
platform. They recognize that Univer-
sity concern for minorities should not
be limited to the time span im-
iediately surrounding the presen-
tation of the Minority Enrollment
Report to the Regents. They support
tle needed centralization of the
University's maze of minority coun-
seling service. They also recognize the

need to step up recruitment efforts,
although neither could suggest specific
programs.
Two other groups' candidates see
MSA's rapport with its constituents as
a top priority. We could not agree
more. Unfortunately, neither group
could offer reasonable ways for
developing this contact.
Steve Roach and Andrew Zucker-
man, of the Joy Ride Party, suggested
revamping MSA's newspaper, the Ann
Arbor Line (formerly the Maize) as a
means of reaching students.
They also suggested looking into
Health Service. Although Health Ser-
vice is important to many students, the
Joy Ride candidates have neglected
many more significant issues.
Mark Bonine and Clarke Anderson of
the Responsible Alternatives Party
also suggested revamping the Ann Ar-
bor Line to reach more- students, but
also thought that going door to door in
University dorms would be a good way
to reach students. Although such a
move would be commendable, it is
foolish to believe an MSA president or
vice president could continue this once
in office.
The candidates who have offered the
least realistic approach to MSA are
Barry Himmelstein and Sid Chait of
the Political Party. Other than
suggesting that MSA could work for
housing reform, their proposals
seemed to have little basis in reality.
They :suggested, for instance,; that
rather than making the University
smaller, it should expand to encom-
pass the Ann Arbor community. They
said the University should create a
department of physical arts, dealing
with "healing arts" such as transen-
dental meditation, yoga, and massage.
The two men have failed to realize that
the role of MSA is not so much to
redirect the entire set-up and concept
of The University of Michigan, but
rather to work to promote student in-
terests throughout.
Generally, Roach, Zuckerman, An-
derson, and Bonine have some good
proposals, but their programs need
help on specifics. Feiger and Har-
tmann have demonstrated the
willingness, determination, and the
ability to serve as competent and
progressive student leaders. They are
definitely the finest choices in
Tuesday's MSA elections.

The Daily, following the shooting of
President Reagan, argued in an editorial that
the need for federal handgun regulation is
more apparent than ever. Is it?
Don Kates and Carol Silver have argued
from the results of a study done for the
California Department of Justice: Even ex-
cluding bias from misreported or ancient in-
cidents by excluding 90 percent of the self-
defense uses claimed by respondents, and by
spreading the rate of incidence over 15 years
rather than the survery's two, they concluded
that self-defensive use of handguns occurred
15 times more often than criminal homicidal
misuse. (Self-defensive use can range from
scaring a would-be murdered away to killing
him.)
SELF-DEFENSIVE USE of handguns
save at least 15 times as many lives as han-
dgun crimes take. Shall we disarm people and
legally prohibit effective self-defense?
Hundreds of documented examples exist of
women successfully using firearms against
male attackers. Lorraine Copeland, an
authority on rape victimization, prevention,
and resistance, reports that in the entire cor-
pus of rape literature not one case of a woman
having her gun taken away and used against
her is revealed.
In 1966, in Orlando, Fla., police instituted a
well publicized program training 6,000 women
in the use of handguns. By 1968, rape dropped
90 percent. In short, the self-defensive use of
handguns by women is neither impractical nor
ineffective.
EVEN SOME radical feminist groups
recognize this and advise women to train
themselves voluntarily. Shall we tell women
to "lie back and enjoy it" rather than risk
harm, or to kick, or to try and poke a rapist
with her keys, and enforce this futility by
prohibiting the possession of handguns that
are proven effective in repelling rapists? Who
really has the women's interests in mind: the
anti-handgun forces or those who believe in
LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

By David Stewart
the right to use effective weapons for self-
defense?
In Puerto Rico, where strict anti-handgun
laws effectively disarmed the public, the
murder rate is extremely high. Knives are
used, instead of guns. In Switzerland, where
every man is required by law to keep at least
one gun in his home, "the rate of crime in-
volving the use of firearms is so low," Cam-
bridge criminologist Colin Greenwood repor-
ts, "that it is not recorded."
IT IS NOT guns, but people, that kill - an-
d taking away guns will only create more vic-
tims, as is evidenced above.
Handgun access is particularly vital to poor
and minority men and women who live in
ghettos where police have given up on crime
control. In a Chicago ghetto, a man raped a
woman and threw here out of her fifteenth-
floor window. He escaped the police, but they
did arrest her roommate for carrying the
handgun she use to prevent the rapist from
dealing her the same fate.
Many people urge that we ban at least the
notorious Saturday Night Specials - yet
these may be the only guns poor people can
afford to buy to protect themselves. Where is
the liberal concern for the poor when it comes
to handguns, and liberals sit in well-guarded
high-rises out of sight of the victims of their
wonderful gun laws? Who is being victimized
here?
THE ORIGINS OF handgun restrictions are
edifying: their original intentions, as well
as their present effects, were to
disarm blacks, the laboring poor, and
inmmigrants.. (Handgun prohibition
became a "liberal" cause only after
Prohibition failed to prevent violent crime.)
Presently, racist groups such as the Ku
Klux Klan keep large caches of weapons, and
train in guerilla warfare. Would anything

please them quite so much as seeing law-
abiding minorities or impure whites totally:
disarmed? I think the recent incident at,
Greensboro will demonstrate the results of
such a policy.
When the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia,
they immediately disarmed the people (using
gun restriction lists to facilitate location of
gun owners). When Castro seized power, he
repeated the disarmament; in 1967, the Greek
military junta did the same.
SHALL WE IGNORE Thomas Jefferson's-
warning: "what country can preserve its
liberties if its rulers are not warned from time
to time that this people preserve the spirit-of A
resistance. Let then take arms."? The Second.
Amendment is not a guarantee that a stan- -
ding army may bear arms; it is a restraint ow
state and federal firearm restrictions.
asserting an individual, not a collectiv'e,.
right-and its aim is to prevent us from suf-
fering the fate of the Czechs, the Cubans, the
Greeks, and many other people victimized by
dictators who thought that "only police ani
military personnel should be allowed to own
guns."
The Daily's "liberal" stand is a sure waybf
creating a society of victims, a populace at
the mercy of armed thugs who don't give- a
damn about gun laws. It consigns women and
the poor to that status of helpless wards f
police departments that can hardly be effdc-
tive in preventing most violent crimes. :It
could easily put us at the mercy of armd
racist hate-groups or dictatorial designs by
our power-loving leaders.
"When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will
have guns" is a cliche with the rare virtueof
also being true. To this I would add, "and the
rest of us will be easy victims."
David Stewart is a student at the
University.

Breakstone wipes away the mud

6

To the Daily:
As the Michigan Student
Assembly election approaches
next week, beware of the mud-
slinging marksmen. Normally I
am humored by the fantastic
tales that many MSA hopefuls
conjure up. However, I feel com-
pelled to respond to the numerous
diatribes by the Responsible
Alternative political party direc-
ted against me, not because I am
offended by them, but rather
because I would like to point out
their deliberate falsifications.
In their literature, Responsible
Alternatives refers to the
"current political factions which
paralyze MSA." I would argue,
and believe that most Assembly
members would agree with me,
that MSA has been an unusually
cohesive body throughout the
past year.
Responsible Alternative asser-
ts that MSA has neglected the
basic needs of students. Praytell:
Defend that point against our

record of accomplishments over
the last year.
Some of these contributions to
student life have included:
restoration of late night north
campus bus and UGLI hours, free
distribution of two issues of
Course Encounters, organizing
the MSA Security Task Force, the
voter registration drive, the fight
against the Tisch tax cut amen-
dment, the free blue book
distribution, and decent housing
for early arriving international
students. Even the Daily has
praised MSA's numerous accom-
plishments.
They also claim that the
"current MSA leadership" has
not responded to the budget
crisis. I view this assertion as an
outright lie. Much of MSA's effor-
ts havenbeen focussed onbehind
the scenes lobbying of virtually
every key administrator from
President Harold Shapiro down.
I am convinced that MSA
pressure was an important force

in moving the administration to
hold open meetings for students
on the discontinuance review for
the Geography Department. In
addition, MSA was the organizer
of mobilizing students to speak
out at the Recreational hear-
ings.
It surprises me that Respon-
sible Alternative overlooks these
points. Especially since at least
three of their candidates were on
the Assembly at the same time
that these efforts were underway.
In its primary piece of cam-
paign literature, Responsible
Alternative lambasts the current
Assembly. The points it makes
are consistently contradictory to
the truth.
They criticize MSA for not
taking action on issues such as
student housing, campus security,
minority enrollment and student
lobbying of the state legislature.
Yet in all of these areas we have

either wonsignificant victories or-
have initiated long-range efforts.
Except for its call for credit
union membership for students,
which I have been a strong sup-
porter of for the past several
weeks, Responsible Alternative
concerns itself exclusively withp
criticizing what has been a very
good year for MSA.
Its proposed innovations to
MSA consist of globs of naive,
uninformed rhetoric. From this it
is obvious to me that the people
running the Responsible Alter-,,-
native campaign have no sense of
how the University works.
I caution all students to see
through the shallow, rhetorical
slop that Responsible Alternative
is spewing out.

-Marc Breakstone
President
Michigan Student
Assembly
April 2

-
.,
x

T4
(r

Freedom of assembly at Hash Bash

I

To the Daily:
For the past 10 years or so,
April 1 has marked the occasion
for mass assembly on the
University Diag in celebration of
the annual Ann Arbor Hash Bash.
Originally conceived as a
student-organized and dominated
demonstration in protest of pot-
smoking laws, it has undergone a
great change in form over the
years. Pot laws have long since
been relaxed and this year it was
expected that a mere 10 percent
of the crowd on the Diag would be
University students, the rest
coming from high schools and out
of town.
It is, apparently, this lack of in-
terest by students and the influx
of outside elements to the area
which has prompted many
students and local officials to at-
tempt to bring an end to the
event. The Hash Bash is already
being hailed as a thing of the past
- its original motives forgotten,
and its perpetrators as unwanted
intruders to the University.
Having witnessed the Hash
Bash Wednesday I am doubly

,1
°E
*.t
4 ~
r t*
t

TWO ANN ARBOR POLICE officers question a participant in the annual

Diag earlier this week.
right of free assembly is the at-
titude of local officials and
students toward the 90 percent of

of the ordinary happened.
Because of their obvious non-
student status, the officers took

class student community.
As long as this behavior is coi-
doned, it will provide a sad coni-

a

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