Philadelphia Daily News from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 12, 1993 · Page 24
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Philadelphia Daily News from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 24

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Friday, March 12, 1993
Page 24
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PAGE 24 THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS FRIDAY, MARCH 12, 1993 GDOQ Readers are welcome to submit proposed "Guest Opinion" columns to the Editorial Department, Daily News, 400 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19101 or fax to 215-854-5691. All submissions are subject to editing. ROBERT J. HALL, Publisher ZACHARY STALBERG. Editor RICHARD AREGOOD. Editor, Editorial Page BRIAN TOOLAN. Managing Editor ALICE L. GEORGE, Deputy Managing Editor If they don't agree, shoot 'em dead Ugly rhetoric can kill. It killed this week in Pensacola, Fla., where a 47-year-old physician who walked with the aid of leg braces was shot to death by a burly 31-year-old chemical worker. He prepared for this form of heroism by harassing teen-age girls as they entered abortion clinics. The rhetoric wasn't his. It comes from reprehensible creeps like Randall Terry, chief thug of Operation Rescue, who first called the shooting "inappropriate, repulsive," then added that "we must also grieve for the thousands of children he the victim has murdered." It was inevitable that some moron with a gun would take the words of somebody like Terry literally, consider the opposition inhuman, adopt the Nazi rationale of the end justifying the means, anoint himself God's avenging angel and shoot down enemies of his idea of what everyone else should do, waving a Bible and a 38. Let us hope there are not such self-righteous delusionaries on the other side who might pump a few hollow-points into Terry's own personal chest. That would be inappropriate. Dr. David Gunn, the victim, was found guilty and executed for a "crime" that is perfectly legal. Abortion is legal in Florida. But he was listed in a wanted poster by Terry's merry band of vigilantes as an appropriate target for harassment, threats and other "techniques." This has become a clear strategy of the lunatic fringe of the anti-abortion movement drive the doctors away by any means necessary. Wednesday, those means included cold-blooded, premeditated murder. It's part of a trend. Violence against abortion clinics more than doubled last year. Arson tripled. True believers have mistaken themselves for God and have attempted to ruin as many lives as possible, all in the service, of course, of a presumed greater good. The Pensacola killer even prayed publicly for his victim the night before the murder, an act of cynicism as well as blasphemy. But, although there is an argument about abortion, there is universal agreement that murder of the already born is wrong. Arson too. Vandalism, harassment, bombing, burglary and assault are also illegal, even though they are more and more frequently used as techniques against those who do not share the moral certainty of the self-appointed guardians of morality. It's hard to claim the moral high ground when one's troops are killing and burning. Anti-abortion forces, although having struck real fear in lots Childwatch Twenty of the city's 167 Department of Recreation centers and playgrounds are not staffed. The proposed budget for next year would reduce operating hours in 11 playgrounds, and reduce staff hours at three pools. of clinic workers, might consider the example of the anti-Vietnam war peace movement. Once the self-righteous crazies started blowing things up, the average person stopped listening. It's hard to sympathize with terrorists. There are sincere, good people in the anti-abortion movement The loony tunes are drowning them out. And until this society starts considering crimes against those performing a legal service to be as serious as any other and locks people up for their crimes, they will continue to be drowned out If the state of Florida doesn't execute this punk, how can it ever justify killing any other murderer? Driving Mr. Ernie If you're outraged at the income of state Attorney General Ernie Preate's driver, dont be. True, the nearly $94,000 Ralph Reed received last year (more than half in overtime) makes him one of the state's highest-paid workers his boss got less but the poor devil has to spend all that time with Ernie. He deserves every penny he gets. Richard , Aregood Don Harrison Elmer Smith Carol Towamicky J Signe Wilkinson Linda Wright Moore Jack McKinney Caring for Emily Pi Jean Walsh ver the past 10 years, I have known a woman who has taught me a painful lesson in life. Her name is Emily, and she lived I alone in an apartment building next to my house. She is 90 years old, and from her I have learned what it is really like to get old. The way she slowly lost her independence and dignity was a very sad thing to watch. When I first met Emily, she was fairly independent She cooked, cleaned and did most things for herself. I learned from her landlady that she was a widow for more than 20 years, and she never had any children. Emily and her husband were from Germany, so they had no rel atives in this country. Emily was very proud and stubborn. If I offered to go to the store for her or do some oth,er small favor, she would refuse. At Christmas, if I gave her a gift, she would give it back. From her kitchen window, she watched my children playing in our yard, but if I waved to her, she would back away. Several times I invited her over for tea or lunch, but she never came. As time went on, she became forgetful and weak, since I was home during the day with my children, her landlady asked me to look in on her while she was at work. Daily things life making lunch and taking her pills were too much for her to deal with. If I helped her, she would try to pay me. When I refused, she would insist that I take a box of cookies or a jar of applesauce. She always told me how nice I looked and how glad she was to see me. Even though she would forget what day it was and sometimes even my name, she never forgot to say thank you. Eventually, she needed constant supervision. She had fallen a few times, so I started to use an old baby monitor to listen for any noises or cries for help coming from her apartment Her stove had to be disconnected after she melted a plastic dish on it, and then all of her meals had to be brought in to her. I know she hated having to depend on me, but I always found her waiting patiently for me to bring over her lunch. The first time her landlady and I had to bathe her, she was so mortified that she cried. That Sunday, before I went to church, she asked me to pray that God would take her to heaven to be with her husband. The day she left for the nursing home, I cried. I thought I would be relieved, but I was sad and somehow felt guilty. After she was at the home for a few weeks, I visited her. She didn't even know who I was. I wish that I could have done more for her, but most of all I pray that I don't end up the way that she did. Jean Walsh is a housewife attending Community College of, , Philadelphia at night.

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