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w S C THE PALM BEACH POST THURSDAY. DECEMBER 4, 1997 19A IPPiM (W few y fN - - I t 1 N ON i 1 - 1 v ...... -1 V 1 I Trigger locks, gun licenses limit the right to bear arms In response to E.J. Dionne Jr.'s Nov. 12 column "NRA shot down handgun safety": When the "gun control crowd" insists that people buying a gun should have to get a license, just as car buyers must get a license to drive, they forget one important thing. There is no constitutional right to drive, even a wagon, much less an automobile. Driving is a privilege, not a right. The Constitution gives one the right to "bear arms," not Fords or Chevies. Also, the trigger locks that handgun control ad Right to trial by jury seems in jeopardy i regal vocates want to put on our guns are dangerous. The average, law-abiding citizen who needs to use a gun needs it now. He does not want to have to fiddle around trying to release a lock. And remember, just turned. Let us not give such power to any one individual. Tom Bur Hobe Sound Judge didn't listen to his conscience In future years, Louise Woodward will assume a metaphorical status via name recognition in the ignoble tradition of Lee Harvey Oswald and Sirhan Sirhan. Like those beasts masquerading in human incarnation, Woodward has managed to become associated with an act of utter repulsion. Notwithstanding defense attorney Barry Scheck's histrionic pugnacity that evidently intimidated Judge Hiller Zobel, the lesson in Matthew Eappen's tragedy that must not be bullied away is our eternal need for conscience, which even more than morality is the active ability to discern right from wrong and not the conscience of which Judge Zobel writes that reduces punishment to the state where it becomes a de facto acquittal. MylesKantor Boynton Beach The legal system in this country has been on trial by the people for some time. Television has served the public well by broadcasting a few of the high-profile trials to help "enlighten" us. We watched O J. Simpson walk and then be found liable for essentially the same offense in civil court Yet the verdicts were rendered by juries and were not overturned by an individual, a judge. Americans, for the most part, are not knowledgeable about our judicial system perhaps because attorneys and lawmakers continue to complicate it. Yet we are not so naive as to accept a radical change that endangers our right to a fair trial by our peers. The overturned verdict in the recent Massachusetts au pair trial, if allowed, could take us down a dangerous path. Whether you agree or disagree with the original verdict is immaterial. Do we want our fate decided by any single person with the same human frailties common to all of us, regardless of his or her position? The right of appeal exists for situations such as this and can allow for another trial by another jury if the original verdict is over because voters in Washington state defeated Initiative 676, which would have required trigger locks on every handgun transferred in the state and every handgun owner to be licensed, do not for a minute think that they have given up. Sarah Brady and company will go wherever they can to infringe on Second Amendment rights. Americans are very fortunate to have an organization such as the National Rifle Association to fight for our rights. George Faas Belle Glade Help West Palm fight wasteful 1-95 plan The Florida Department of Transportation plans to build a gigantic flyover with extravagant landscaping at Interstate 95 and Okeechobee Boulevard. In addition, it wants West Palm Beach residents to pay up to $11,666 a month to mow and weed it Also, after condemning property, the DOT plans a huge airport interchange. Our city government needs residents' help to sway the DOT. Please write to Mayor Nancy Graham and let her know your thoughts. Alan S. Levine West Palm Beach Design schools to be cost-effective For months, we have heard that the Palm Beach County school system needs $1.2 billion for new schools. Taxpayers are not in a position to question the need for this, but we certainly should demand that any new schools be built in the most cost-effective manner possible. Looking at the recently built Poinciana School in Boynton Beach gives cause for concern. It is a sprawling, single-story, dark red brick building with a deep blue roof no doubt costly to build and to cool. Many of us can well remember attending school in a two- or three-story building (such as the old Boynton Beach school still standing near Boynton's City Hall), and this should give us some clue as how to proceed. We should insist that a standard design for light-colored, well-insulated, modular, multistory schools be developed. This would result in tremendous savings for taxpayers. , R.W. Maier Boynton Beach Involved parents key to better students The solution to problems in public schools is positive parental involvement. As a substitute teacher for four years, I have observed parents' attitudes and corresponding student behavior. When a student gets sent home for wearing beads, a Budweiser shirt or other offensive clothing, the parent should not to call or come to the school to complain. Why not ask your children if they did their math homework this week? Public schools will never rival private schools unless the parents work with teachers and administrators. Parents who back the public school system and stay involved in their children's education will work wonders. Charles Metcalf Wellington Vacant stores just waiting for students Do we need more classrooms in Palm Beach County's schools? Yes! Then let's use the vacant shopping centers. These buildings have electricity, water and sewer service and large parking lots for Write us The Palm Beach Post welcomes letters from readers. All letters are subject to editing for brevity and clarity. Even e-mail and faxed letters must include the writer's name, address and daytime telephone number. You may receive a phone call for verification. 'Open letters' or letters addressed to a third party will not be published. Our addresses: Letters to the Editor The Palm Beach Post P.O. Box 24700 West Palm Beach, FL 33416-4700 Fax: (561) 820-4728 Internet: letterspbpost.com was a student, but I can honestly say it is a far better school today, with much more to offer. Principal Dave Cantley has more good ideas in the morning than most folks do in a career. The adult education program under Bill Abel (a former teacher of mine) is first-rate, and God bless the administration for naming the new building for the late Gillian Hamblin, a dear, devoted educator. I was one of the students mentioned who cut class the day it snowed in 1977 and went to Grandma's Bakery for coffee and doughnuts. The school was closed the next day due to lack of heat Now I am the parent of a Logger's Run Middle School Lumberjack, but in my heart I'll always be a fighting Trojan. James Lynch Greenacres playground and parking. If these buildings were cleaned and redecorated with new restrooms and lighting, they would be ready to use and cost much less than all-new buildings. These buildings would be a big improvement over the portable classrooms now in use. William Bodley Lake Worth Here's a Trojan cheer for LWHS story Thank you so much for the wonderful Accent article on Lake Worth High School ("Our beautiful school on the hill," Nov. 9). Having been back to 'Trojan Country" in various capacities over the years, I'm aware of the school's rich history, but it's great that The Palm Beach Post shared that history with readers. 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