From the week of January 11, 2001

Beagle Mania

Puppy love: I was electrified by your "bombshell" on the puppy and mother-dog experiments at St. Joseph's Hospital and Barrow Neurological Institute ("Screwing the Pooch," January 4). James Hibberd did an excellent job. He simply must do a follow-up, as this cruel scenario has not played itself out yet. I think the cross on top of St. Joseph's should be replaced with a swastika. Only that will symbolize what is happening to animals in its basement-dungeons/concentration camps.

I am an animal rights activist who, along with others, organized the demonstration against Dr. Michael Berens' canine experiments on December 29. Finally, the public knows the secret, sick tormenting of gentle pups. It is like the gates of Hades have been opened at last. I have been doing these pickets for almost three years, along with many other dedicated, wonderful activists. These people deserve all our admiration and gratitude. I hope at some future date they can be given medals for their sacrifices in aid of these animal-slaves.

Cures for humans are not found using animals. These agony-producing abuses are only done to get grants, to enrich an institution financially, to protect companies from patients who sue them in court for injuries, to get promotions, to publish papers and to obtain sadistic pleasure from infliction of pain on helpless, innocent animals.

Shanie Aero

Dog daze: Joan Shapiro, vice president of Barrow Neurological Institute, states that "people could be very seriously injured by me because I will do something first and ask questions later." It appears to me that is exactly what she and Michael Berens have been doing all along. While millions of Americans cannot afford to go to a doctor or get a prescription filled, it is a blessing, not only for the innocent animals that have been tortured and killed in the name of science, but for all of us, that this project may end this spring. Maybe then our tax dollars can be spent on science that can truly help humans. A quote to think about: "There will come a time when the world will look back to modern vivisection in the name of Science, as they do now to burning at the stake in the name of Religion."

Margaret M. Loos

Shooting Spree

Off target: In Jeremy Voas' exposé on Alan Korwin ("Second Thoughts," December 21), the author took the time to explain that he was an experienced gun owner. Yes, he worked very hard to show us that he had no ax to grind. He spent the first 20 percent of the column to convince us. Then he spent the next 25 percent of the story setting up Korwin as the straw man. Nearly half of the article goes by before Voas allows Korwin to utter his first disembodied, out-of-context syllables. Even then, Voas treats himself with the honor of explaining Korwin's positions, when perhaps Korwin might be more up to the task. This includes a third of the article which is dedicated to Voas' vapid interpretation of the Constitution and criminology.

First, Voas blames guns for 30,000 people dying each year. He fails in his omission that two-thirds of these are suicides. Study after study shows that gun control laws do not reduce suicides, gun or otherwise. Japan has the strictest gun control laws in the world and 1.6 times more suicides, some years without any guns being used. Voas also includes more than 2,000 justifiable homicides by citizens and police. My guess is that Voas considers it to be more moral to find a woman raped and strangled with her own pantyhose than to find her attempted rapist with a bullet in his chest or crap running down the side of his pants from the fear of seeing an armed woman. That's Voas' choice. It doesn't have to be hers.

Voas also assumes that Britain's low homicide rate is because of its recent gun control. That is, gun licensing, which led to gun registration, which led to gun confiscation. Problem is, England's homicide rate was always low, and had been for the last century, when it was equivalent to America's homicide rate. One cannot say that its recent gun control measures are responsible for that. Homicide has never been an answer to British criminals' problems. It is to American criminals. I will not be disarmed for that very reason.

The London Sunday Times reported last year that Britain's criminals (living on an island nation) are now heavily armed with three million firearms. Gun control appears to work no better than the war on drugs. Switzerland, on the other hand, has more guns and more machine guns than America and the lowest crime rate in all of Europe. It ain't the guns. America always had guns.

Voas says he doesn't "see the Constitution as inviolable." Webster's defines that as being "incapable of being violated." He is quite correct. Under the watch of people like Voas, the entire document is under threat, not just the Second Amendment, which, as Justice Joseph Story wrote, is the "palisade of liberty." I will work to protect the entire Bill of Rights and the Constitution, not just those that are politically correct at the time.

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