Page 4-The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, December 11, 1990
EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
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Editor in Chief
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Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other cartoons,
signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
IIT- MI MS
Don't let focus expand beyond the Gulf crisis
AS THE THREAT OF WAR IN THE
Persian Gulf looms ominously on the
horizon, students around the University
are grappling with their own personal
opinions as to the feasibility, wisdom,
and morality of the impending conflict.
While there is some support among
students for our government's actions
in the Gulf, the growing anti-war
movement on campus clearly has
begun to sweep the campus. And it
The anti-war movement is justified
in its criticism of possible U.S. military
action in the Gulf. But problems arise
when the anti-war movement, neces-
sarily a broad coalition, begins to lose
its focus and becomes preoccupied
with alternate issues, however valid.
This danger is evident in the current
movement on campus.,
Inherent in the idea that the campus
movement is an anti-war movement is
the notion that it is primarily motivated
against a war. Just as a speech loses
credibility when it digresses from its
topic, a movement is strongest and
most credible when it concentrates on
the single issue that is its stated focus.
The leadership of the anti-war coali-
tion has, to a large degree, allowed
members of the Palestine solidarity
movement to associate their cause with
the movement against the war. And, as
valid and important as the demands for
Palistinian self-determination are, the
connection between pro-Palestinian
leaders and the anti-war effort will only
serve to damage the latter.
Anti-war sentiment on campus is
quite strong. However, it would be in-
credibly naive to assume that all of
these students also support a free and
independent Palestinian state. A con-
nection between the two groups would
likely lead to the alienation of many
students who are against the war, but
don't necessarily take a pro-Palestinian
stance. The alienation of those people
weakens the anti-war cause.
In fact, the connection between the
anti-war cause and Palestine solidarity
could have even more dire effects.
Imagine two opposite anti-war groups,
one sponsored by Zionists, the other
by supporters of Palestine.'
The leaders of the anti-war coalition
on campus must act responsibly to pre-
vent any split in the ranks. By concen-
trating on one issue, and avoiding close
association with any other, the move-
ment against U.S. action in the Persian
Gulf can only flourish.
D SAN4TA BUSH!
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New legislation does nothing but aid the NRA
THE MICHIGAN STATE LEGISLA-
ture adopted anew firearm legislation
package last week which, if signed by
bovernor Blanchard, will even further
water down the already thin require-
ments for purchasing guns.
The first of three bills prevents local
governments from increasing require-
ments for the purchase of firearms. It
states that no local government can
pass laws regulating the sale of hand-
guns that would be stronger than any
statewide gun-control legislation. For
dxample, no local government could
han pistol sales, since this would sur-
pass state law in strength. One notable
lbcaf law which would be struck down
by the new state preemption bill is De-
ttoit's Gun Safety Training Require-
mtent. This law requires that anyone
purchdsing a firearm in that district
would have to enroll in a safety course.
While local governments would still
Dave some jurisdiction over the regula-
tion, of discharge, use, and possession
of firearms, the right to control their
sale is lost. This bill only capitulates to
the massive lobbying power of the Na-
tional Rifle Association (NRA) which
finds it much easier to lobby one state
legislature than to approach many local
The second bill, would require
Orospective gun buyers to take an un-
failable test before purchasing a hand-
gun. The legislation calls for the cre-
ation of a Pistol Review Board which
Would create a "Basic Safety Question-
naire" for all who wish to purchase a
handgun. The questionnaire would at-
tempt to test knowledge in such safety
procedures as the loading, storing, and
cleaning of handguns. Implementing a
safety test is an important first step in
regulating handgun use.
This test, however, will be worth-
less in terms of regulating handgun
purchases and instructing users on
safety. If an appli ant gets less than 70
percent of the questions correct, they
are informed of which questions they
missed and then may take it again -
immediately. If the applicant is still
struggling with this rigorous exercise,
they needn't worry - there is no limit
to the number of times a person can
retake the quiz.
The final piece of this legislation
attempts to ban the manufacture and
importation of "cop killer" bullets that
can penetrate bullet-proof vests. Unfor-
tunately, there are major loopholes in
this bill. The bill ignores any regulation
of the use, sale, or possession of these
bullets. It also prohibits the prosecution
of gun dealers by stating that the law
does not apply if "license revocation"
will occur. The bill would only effect
basement and back alley ammunition
Currently, Michigan's gun laws are
already quite weak, considering their
fragmented nature. There are no re-
strictions on the purchase of shotguns.
There is no mandatory waiting period
to purchase a pistol. Convicted felons
are the only people barred from pur-
chasing handguns, and there is no ef-
fective mechanism to check up on who
is and who is not a convict. This new
package does nothing to improve on
these lax requirements. '
Governor Blanchard should veto
this legislation. It will prove ineffective
in improving handgun safety and will
stem progress by undercutting local
Don't dream it, be it
To the Daily:
I wouldn't normally write a letter to
the Daily regarding a movie, but I felt
compelled to after reading Mark Binelli's
idiotic and narrow minded review of "The
Rocky Horror Picture Show" (11/29/90).
It would be impossible to convince him of
the music's strength, however. Failing to
take note of Tim Curry's incredible per-
formance as Frank-N-Furter and disregard-
ing the hilarious campy quality of the
movie reveals Binelli's inept abilities at
tackling movie criticism.
The movie's dialogue is meant to be
"stupid," the acting deliberately overdone.
He overlooks the originality and the
"message" behind the movie - it is so
popular because it allows people to
escape, to do something they might nor-
mally be reluctant to do - if that means a
male wearing fish-net stockings so be it.
As one songs states, "Don't dream it, be
it." If Binelli ever thought to open his
mind, as do the characters Brad and Janet,
he would find an amazing open world out
there that rises above and "deviates" from
the standard, "everyday" life.
I urge him to see this on the silver
screen - it was meant for this format be-
cause it is larger than life. This movie,
would not be popular with so many peo-
ple simply because it affords them the op-
portunity to act obnoxious. It is popular
because it speaks to a large number of
young and old individuals who want to
flee from this stifling, conformist society.
It shows one that it is acceptable, and
great, to deviate in order to make the most
Israel won't negotiate
To the Daily:
The story that ran about the Arab coun-
tries' decision to stop trying to remove Is-
rael from the United Nations, entitled
"Arabs end attempts to rid UN of Israel"
(11/20/90) included a serious misstatement
concerning Israel's negotiation stance on
the occupied territories.
The article claimed that Israel has
"expressed willingness to negotiate over
some of that land in bilateral talks with its
neighbors." I wish that were so.
The current government of Israel is
committed to maintaining Israeli sove-
reignty over the area. Prime Minister Yitz-
hak Shamir reiterated that just a few days
ago. Public opinion polls might show an
Israeli public more willing to negotiate
land for peace - but the current right-
wing coalition government has firmly re-
And as to talking with neighbors, that
only applies if you ignore Israel's imme-
diate neighbors - the Palestinians. Israeli
governments have consistently rejected
any discussion of Palestinian statehood
since at least 1967, when Israel gained
control of the occupied territories.
It's important to make news stories ac-
curate on an issue like this. All of our per-
spectives on who is "rejectionist" and who
is "reasonable" rest on beliefs concerning
who is willing to negotiate in good faith.
I don't believe that the current Israeli gov-
emment has indicated any real willingness
to do just that.
Readers comment on GulfT
To the Daily:
Despite recent peace initiatives, war in
the Middle East remains imminent. Cer-
tainly, every reasonable effort should be
made to resolve the current conflict. But
the more important question is: should the
U.S. continue to play this kind of role in
the world, and are we psychologically pre-
pared to relinquish it? Let's face it, we are
fast becoming a second-rate economic
power (perhaps we already are...) and there
is little that can be done in the short run
to change this.
Should we (foolishly) choose to con-
tinue to brandish the "big stick" world-
wide, then we will also rely increasingly
on the same type of mercenary payments
we have extracted from our allies in the
context of Desert Shield. This sad state of
affairs only serves to underscore the in-
congruence of our emerging economic
stature and our desired role in world affairs.
One might conclude that American pros-
perity of the last 50 years was more an
anomaly than a birthright.
Like nouveau riche children, we have
squandered our inheritance in rampant ma-
terialism rather than re-invest it in the
mechanism which originally generated our
great wealth. Eventually, our indebtedness
overtakes us, and we are stripped and
enslaved by our creditors. The pitiful shell
of our nation's former grandeur mocks us
cruelly. With this as our future, would
you expect anything different of the ad-
ministration than to ascend the "bully
pulpit" for one last hoorah?
W. Clayton Hubner, Jr.
Rackham graduate student
No peaceful solution
To the Daily:
I am becoming increasingly distressed.
with the proliferation of opinion page arti-
cles emphasizing the need for a peaceful
solution to the Persian Gulf crisis. Specif-
ically, I am referring to talk of a "negoti-
ated settlement," possibly including a res-
olution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. People
think that a "face-saving" solution should
be sought to allow Saddam Hussein to
withdraw his forces from Kuwait. This is
exactly what the U.S. should not allow to
Any settlement that appears to com-
pensate Iraq in any way would, in effect,
reward aggression. The basic ingredient of
any settlement must be the humiliation,
or at least the absence of even a shred of
success, of Saddam Hussein. Allowirig
President Hussein to claim a victory in the
Arab-Israeli conflict, as well as any overt
compensation, would do just that.
The world can't afford to allow an
indignant Iraq, armed with chemical and
nuclear weapons, to undertake similar ven
tures in the future. Any such aggression
must be discouraged now, when the world
has the will (I hope) and the means to d6
Unfortunately, this limits the resolu-
tion of the conflict to two scenarios: either.
Iraq unconditionally withdraws in disgrace,
or it is forced out by-sanctions or military:
force. Since the chance of Saddam Hussein}
willingly withdrawing his forces is near,
zero, the only acceptable outcome would
be his forcible expulsion, from Kuwait.
Will it be peaceful? I wouldn't bet on it.
PLO supports Iraq
To the Daily:
As Arab civilians and soldiers attack Is
rael from Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, the
silence of those who are anti-Israel is deaf;
The steadfast support the Palestin'
Liberation Organization (PLO) has shown"
for Saddam Hussein in words has now
turned to actions. Hussein and the PLb
use their supporters to attempt to draw Is-
rael into battle by attacking from all sides.
By attacking Israel, Hussein and the PLC'S
hope to draw attention away from tl'
atrocities they are committing in Kuwait
and weaken the alliance opposing Iraq. '
The hypocrisy of those who criticize
Israel while not protesting what Iraq and
its supporters have done to- Kuwaitt
schools and school children is noted. Why
doesn't MSA send a fact-finding delegation
to Kuwait? Perhaps the Palestine Solidar-
ity Committee shanty now littering the
Diag should represent those killed, tor-
tured, and brutalized in Kuwait.
As the PLO once again demonstrates
its true colors by supporting the enemies
of the West, Americans have come to un-
derstand what type of terrorist organization
the PLO is. Instead of assisting in the
peace process, the PLO has chosen to sup-
port the Butcher of Baghdad. As American
soldiers return from the Gulf in body bags'
let us remember the PLO's support of
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tY NAME. 114 C.
are white males and one is a white
How does this represent a solution to
problems like racism? I don't believe it is
a solution at all, but rather a possible cata-
lyst for more conflicts. We must fight the
installation of this force before it gets out
Letter proves bigotry
To the Daily:
Though Michael Corbin would have
readers believe otherwise, in his piece enti-
tled "Gay discrimination is right for U.S.
forces" (12/6/90), the U.S. Constitution ?
does not mention sexual orientation, nor'
Business graduate student
widespread discrimination against bisexn41
als, lesbians, and gay men. We belie
any lesbian, gay man, or bisexual wishs
to join the armed services should have
same right to do so as heterosexuals.
Corbin seems to be a bitter young
man, who needs to realize that if he
chooses to be homophobic, (yes, we be-
lieve it is a choice, not a tendency from
birth) then he should accept the conse-,
quences of his actions; that he is partici-
pating in the oppression of a significant
part of the population that includes people
from all walks of life, including servike
men and women who have managed'to
Corbin needs to see that he is welco '
to his sexual orientation, but the fact
mains that 10% of the population is g
Corbin should just accept it and stop m
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