Letter week of March 5, 2009

Stop Demonizing Guns; Just Enforce the Laws

In response to your opinion piece ("Recent Murders Point to the Need for Stricter Gun Laws," Feb. 26), criminals are not law abiding; that's what makes them criminals. No amount of new gun laws will change that. In fact, we have enough gun laws that are not being enforced.

The recent murders of Philadelphia police officers have a commonality: The perpetrators have a long history of violent behavior. Yet, they were all out on the street. The justice system is charged with keeping society safe. It has failed. If these individuals have the audacity to assassinate police personnel, how does that bode for the rest of us?

It's easy to demonize "guns." It's much harder to change the attitudes that lead to violent behavior.

Ted Silver

The Local CAJE Has No Plans to Close Its Doors

You might have seen or heard the announcement that CAJE (The Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education) is closing. We want to assure the Philadelphia Jewish Community that ACAJE (The Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education, located in Melrose Park) is alive and well, and that it has no connection or affiliation to CAJE, other than the coincidence of a similar acronym.

ACAJE will continue to provide high quality educational services and resources to the Greater Philadelphia Jewish community in pursuit of our mission to enhance the Jewish identities of our young people and their families, with the goal of lifelong Jewish living and learning.

Helene Z. Tigay
Executive Director

David Smith

Obama's Taking the Word Naive to New Heights

I wanted to comment on your editorial "Lines in the Sand" of Feb. 19, especially in regard to the Obama administration's decision to participate in the U.N. conference on racism.

As the editorial states, the rational for conferring legitimacy on this hate-fest is the desire to change the direction that the gathering undoubtedly will pursue.

As the Exponent notes, this "human rights and anti-racism" event is being led by such human rights and anti-racist states as Iran, Cuba, Pakistan and, of course, Libya. This is the equivalent of assigning the foxes, wolves and cougars to protect the chicken coup and hoping you can talk them out of doing what their natural instincts direct them to do.

If President Obama really believes that he can change the direction of this conference, then he has elevated the word naive to new levels. If he is acting to undercut both Israel and Canada, neither of which will participate in this sham, along with the European countries who are still on the fence, then he has elevated the word deceitful to new levels.

Either way he has provided diplomatic cover and conferred legitimacy on a conference whose sole purpose is to isolate and viciously slander the state of Israel.

Steve Heitner
Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.


It May Be a Small Point But It Has Implications

In reading the cover story "Pope Benedict XVI: Is He Good for the Jews?" (Feb. 19), written by Ruth Ellen Gruber of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, I was startled by the use of the word "only," without quotation marks, in the statement "[Bishop Richard Williamson] denied the existence of Nazi gas chambers and claimed that only 200,000 to 300,000 Jews had been killed in the Holocaust … "

If Ms. Gruber had put that word or, better, the whole sentence, in quotes and attributed it to Williamson, I could accept it; but the way it stands, it could just as well be her opinion — that the murder of 200,000 to 300,000 human beings was so unimportant as to be almost negligible.

Perhaps I'm being too pedantic about a seemingly small point, but that's the way it struck me.

Alex Weinbaum
Elkins Park, Pa. 


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