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December 11, 1980 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-12-11

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OPINION
Page 4 Thursday, December 11, 1980 The Michigan Daily,

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCI, No. 81.

420 Moynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

k

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

Weasel
N1 WEASE:L.I
D1PYou G-T u F
STUPYIN& PONE FOR C
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NAPE.

TH4 U CUP1 T

by Robert Lence

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I CANT STUDY
UNLESS I HAVE TOTAL
SILENCE.. AHD THEN Wt
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PLACE. THPK'S .rICE-
ANI QuT..
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Making sense of gun laws

T AKING GUNS AWAY from citizens
won't eliminate murders in this
country. We must teach people not to
hate one another-that is the way to
prevent murders.
This brilliant distillation of the anti-
gun control argument was offered by a
National Rifle Associatior lobbyist on
television this week, during a
discussion of the slaying of John Len-
non.
It makes about as much sense as
Lennon's murder.
v Sure, taking guns from the
Population wdn't stop all mur-
4ers-people will still try to kill with
knives or rocks or any other possible
weapon. But even the NRA lobbyists
,an't deny that removing the most ef-
ticient of all murder weapons from
general circulation will bring down the
yhurder rate, for to do so would be to
deny hard statistics. In England,
i'here guns are not allowed, the mur-
der rate is far lower than it is in the
United States.
So, given a choice between a simple
way to reduce murders-take away the
guns-and an almost impossible
one'teach people not to hate one
another-the NRA opts for the latter,,
fully aware that such pie-in-the-sky

solutions will pose no threats to the
sacred right to bear arms.
It is true the Second Amendment
directs that the right of the people to
keep and bear arms shall not be in-
fringed. But the intent of the Amen-
dment was to provide for the main-
tenance of a domestic militia. In the
context of 20th-century violence, it is
time the Amendment were interpreted
anew.
Polls have shown consistently that
the majority of Americans want some
form of gun control. But the NRA
doesn't want gun control, so neither do
our representatives, who draw
generous contributions from the effec-
tive gun lobby. And neither does
Ronald Reagan, who paid lip-service to
Lennon's death by calling it a "great
tragedy." Reagan said he believes in
tougher sentences for criminals who
carry guns during the commission of
crimes. "If somebody commits a
crime and carries a gun when he's
doing it, you add five to fifteen years to
the prison sentence," Reagan ex-
plained.
That, too, makes a lot of sense. Len-
non's murderer, under Reagan's ideal
solution, would get 15 extra years.
Lennon got none.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Learning about TV on '30 Minutes'

0

To the Daily:
We just finished reading "Hold
the pancake! It's not
professional" by Kevin Tottis
which appeared in the Daily on
November 15, 1980. In his story,
Mr. Tottis says his encounter-
with the CBS News broadcast "30
Minutes" was not consistent with
news coverage as he knows it.
Not only was he surprised we
used just one camera to film his
interview, he was equally ap-
palled when our cameraman
rearranged a desk and some
newspapers for better pictorial

coverage. Unfortunately, our
cameraman did not learn the
basics of good journalism from
the legion of press photographers
who, among other things, ask at
the start of every baseball season
that the first ball be thrown out
"justone moretime.f t
His remark, "none of the
questions asked even suggested
spontaheity," sounded to us as
though he had more of a pre-
determined notion of how the
story should be handled than the
producer. Especially since Mr.
Tottis says to get on the program

he "made sure I talked a lot-af-
ter all, I figured, they don't want
someone for a television show
who sits and says nothing." While
it's true that along with unin-
teresting talking heads a
television producer's next night-
mare is a non-talking head, we
certainly don't expect people to
step out of character just so they
can be on national television.
Were we had?dWe hope not! He
was pretty good.
By the way, on the matter of
Christopher Glenneconstantly
assuming how Mr. Tottis felt, we
went through the transcript of the
interview and could not find Mr.
Glenn ever asking "You feel this
way, right?" Or Mr.. Tottis an-
swering "Well, not exactly:"
(What h anens when two iour-

nalists stand by their notes? Only
ours happens to be a verbatim
transcript.)
Most importantly, we were'
delighted that he did not fault our
handling of the content or fair-
ness of the story. That would
have really hurt!
We enjoyed Mr. Tottis' article'
as a tongue-in-cheek expose and
were glad he didn't allow his
tongue to be seen head-on.'
Finally, we agree wholeheartedly,
with him that when it comes to
television, he has a lot to learn.
(By the way, "60 Minutes" has
only one camera, too. Oc-'
casionally, they borrow ours.)
-Joel Helier
' Executive Producer
30 Minutes
December 3

6
I

DJ crass on Lennon

GOP unfair to housing bill

N 1968, THE U.S. Senate passed the
Fair Housing ca, which began to
put a crimp in faci ly discriminatory
practices of landlords around the coun-
'try. Under the act, which passed in the
House and was signed into law by
President Johnson, the federal Depar-
tment of Housing and Urban Develop-
ment can mediate disputes that arise
between owners of apartments and
houses and prospective tenants who
feel they have been discriminated
against for racial or religious reasons.
The Fair Housing Act is a good law,
but not a perfect one: many of those it
is supposed to help lack the knowledge
or resources to put the law to work. A
move to remedy that situation was
initiated earlier this year in the House
of Representatives with a bill that
would give HUD the prerogative to
seek out discrimination problems on
its own-independent of any com-
plaining parties-and bring the matter
before a judge. The bill was approved
by the House last June.
As usual, the Senate has responded

to the lower house's liberal initiative
sluggishly. Its version of the bill,
pushed by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D--
Mass.), succumbed to the "new spirit"
two days ago, when the Democratic
leadership was unable to kill a
Republican filibuster designed to
squash the bill. The bill is dead now, at
least until the next Senate session,
which will be controlled by a slight but
significant Republican majority. The
necessary strengthening of the housing
law seems to have very little hope.
Opponents of the bill explain that
they object to a clause that allows
prosecution of discriminatory landlor-
ds even if no specific instances of in-
tentional bigotry can be proved.
In practice, of course, the question of
whether discrimination is intentional
merely provides a loophole for those
who wish to discriminate, but are
willing to do it subtly.
The chances of closing that loophole
look slim indeed. Senate Majority
Leader-to-be Howard Baker is unlikely
to want to close it, and come January,
he will be the man in charge.

To the Daily:
A disturbing thing happened to
me today which fills me with fur-
ther grief for the senseless death of
a great person. I was listening to
WCBN this afternoon, preparing to
leave for a class when the DJ pun-
ctuated his repertoire of music with
station identification and filler wor-,
ds of which I only caught a few until
he mentioned something about
mood ... the day . . . Beatles
music.
"Well, you know, it could-a-
happened to you," he said.
Hearing someone say this in
reference to a person's murder
shocked me. It was insensitive.
Would anyone have said such a
thing at Robert Kennedy's
assassination? I had to make my
outrage known.
I called the CBN number and
asked if whoever was speaking
"was on the air." The voice was that
of the DJ, and he said yes so I sim-
ply stated to him, "I found what you
said to be uncalled for." His respon-

se was angry and defensive. "Well,
it could have happened to you!" It
was uncalled for. . . ", and the man
interrupted me and wildly said
something about everyone being
in such a "down," and that "Why
don't you stop being such a
schmuck!!" He hung up on me.
I am not only disturbed at this
unprofessional, hostile reaction
to my criticism of the disc
jockey's discourse on the air but
moreover -that the cheap, affec-
ted nature of his comments and
his lack of empathy toward the.
public's strong emotional respon-
se to John Lennon's murder
demonstrates "an attitude of
heedless "me-ism" which I can- .
not tolerate. We must not tolerate
it, especially in the University's
media.
I feel I am justifying myself.
There is no reason to. This must
not happen again.
-Elizabeth Anderson
December 10

We mourn Lennon idea

DAVK5L I k.T v&4ToL{4bEjq-
fill Ilia

( YT 11G L 11Q jJtJrLil w1aG11 Lvrv Jvut

To the Daily:
It is moving to see the whole
world aroused, for a day, over a,
tragic death. It seems John Len-,
non was a good man. He put a
tremendous amount of energy in-
to his work, an equal amount into;
his relationship with his family:
He was a thinking man.
Those of us who are tearful
today do notgrieve a man we
have truly known and loved.
Perhaps it's just that we've been
forced to remember that even
such a full life as John Lennon's
can suddenly, unexpectedly end.
If a lifelike his can simply stop,
like that, what about the rest of us
An angry fa
To the Daily:
Some sickie shot John Lennon
Monday night. He shot him with a
handgun he picked up for 165
bucks in Honolulu. But this is not
going to be a condemnation of
handguns, which is done all too
frequently without results. This is
not even going to be about the
terror and fear that people live
under like a huge Hefty Trash
Bag full of garbage every day of
their lives. People are shot and
killed every day in New York,
Detroit, Chicago. People who
were more important to other
people than John Lennon; like
brothers, sisters, fathers, and
mothers. People die violently
every day. Famous people, big
people; people like Kennedy,

Kent

reference shocking

who plod along and eventually die
(fat, we hope, with several gran-
dchildren)? The desire for the life
4f comfort and security is shared
by human beings throughout the
world; we need not deny it in our-
selves. I think it is reasonable to
believe that each of us desires as
well the uncomfortable, thinking
life Lenron represented; the
denial of that is the real tragedy
lived out in individual after in-
dividual.
We cannot really grieve a man
we do not know. We grieve an
idea, an idea of what we might
be.
-Elizabeth DeLap
December 9
rn 's lament
the Detroit Lions, you don't shoot
the Chicago Cubs. You don't kill a
frosted mug of cold beer poured
just right so that the head floats
gently and just barely over the
rim. You don't murder my
evening pool game, you don't put
bullet holes in my bourbon. These
are my things. Politicians die,
wars rage on, children starve,
people are tortured. Americans
are held captive for-I-lost-count-
how-many days. Joplin,
Morrison, and Hendrix fade
themselves out into psychedelic,
amorphous deaths. But you DO
NOT, I repeat, you DO NOT kill
my images, my escape, my
things . . . you don't shoot
the Beatles. Some sick bastard
shot John Lennon Monday night

To the Daily:
The senseless killing of four
students at Kent State in May,
1970 is an event that deeply affec-
ted the lives of many of us in the
campus community. Im-
mnediately after the shootings,
schools throughout the country
were closed by a national strike in
protest of the expansion of the
Vietnam War and in mourning
over the deaths of our fellow
students.
I find it difficult to express my
shock and disbelief when your
reporter, Mark Fischer, used a
poem, "Four Dead in Ohio," written
by Neil Young in memory of the
slain Kent State students as the
opening lines in a story about the
upcoming Michigan-Kent State
basketball game (Daily, Decem-
ber 10). Fischer adds, "If the
Blue cagers have their way,
there will be 'four dead in Ohio'
when the season's over. Four,
dead hoop squads, that is. You
see Kent State is only one, of four
Ohio teams that Michigan hoop-
Band reserv
To the Daily:
As a member of last year's
Michigan Marching Band, and a
true band fan, what's happening
to some members of this year's
band concerning the Rose Bowl is
disgraceful, disgusting, and
downright unfair. For those of
you who don't know, the band is
divided into the "Main Block"
(the people 'you see performing
during football games) and the
reserves. Reserves are members
of the band who put just as much
time in, are required to be at all
the practices and performances,
but don't get to perform unless
someone in the Block is ill or
otherwise unable to attend the
performance.
Last year the entire band,
reserves and all, went to the
Gator Bowl, but this year, 19
members of the band (who are
reserves) won't be on the plane to
California. Instead, they'll be sit-
ting at home watching the game
on TV because Don Canham
won't put out the extra money for
these people to go.
Unfair, you say? Yes.
Especially when they were told at
the beginning of the season by

sters play this season ..."
It is probable that Mr. Fischers
and the editor of the Daily who,
approved the story are too young:
to sympathize with the sense :of'
grief which the incident at Kent
State left on students ands
teachers at that time. However it
is completely tasteless and: in-,
considerate to equate Miehigant
basketball victories with the
murders at Kent State. This ar-
ticle is an unfortunate example g.
the insensitivity and politic4l
apathy that appear to be .n0
creasing on college campuse
today. I did expect more of the;
Daily. I think you and Mr'
Fischer owe your readers an
apology.
-Carl Simon
Departments of
Mathematics and
Economics
December1
Editor's note: The Daily
regrets the insensitive nature
of the story. An apology is on
Page 1.
es degraded
Eric Becher, the conductor, that
wherever the rest of the band
went, the reserves would go too.
It wasn't until after the Ohio
State game that these people
found out otherwise. What's even
more degrading is that everyone
in the band, including these 19
people, had to write a thank-you
letter to Don Canham for
"allowing" the Main Block to go
to the Rose Bowl! My, that was
big of him.
Just think how the
"prestigious" University' of
Michigan would look if one of the,
best bands in the nation didn't get
to follow its football team to the
biggest of all bowl games! Fur
thermore, even though these'
people won't be enjoying Califor
nia, they are still required to at-
tend all practices until the Band
leaves, just to pass the class. To
Don Canham and the rest of the
athletic department, I hope the'
money you save from those 19
people does something fantastic
for athletics at Michigan!
-Heidi R. Smith
Michigan Marching
Band Alumnus
December 5

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4

Women 's right to control

To the Daily:
I have a few comments to make
on the issue of abortion. Pro-

a woman's alternative to these
circumstances, you are taking

- -- -Il v I ioll

J

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