Following so closely on the heels of the John Lennon murder, this latest assassination attempt on an American president is sure to raise a great hue and cry for laws against fire-arms. What about the people who pull the triggers? Is it not a cop-out to zealously attack an easily identifiable object and ignore the complex psychological/social problems that cause these people to become assassins? -WESLEY VAN NEST,
Your account of the attempted assassination of American President Ronald Reagan clearly reveals the urgent need for greater regulation of the sale and ownership of handguns in the U.S. Until such time as the American people come to temper their constitutional right to bear fire-arms with an effective guncontrol program, prominent figures will soon be forced to don bulletproof vests at all public appearances.
-MIKE MASTROMATTEO, Toronto
I am writing to protest as forcefully as I can your magazine’s one-sided and completely baised report on our molybdenum mine development at Kitsualt, B.C. ( Toxic Sludge in Davey Jones ’s Locker, Environment, March 30). I do not deny your right to print statements and claims issued by opponents to our project, but I suggest you have a right to present both sides of the case to offset the emotional, hysterical misrepresentations which our detractors make. Your writers elected to report our mill tailing as “toxic sludge.” The tailing is ground-up rock from the surrounding hills. Heavy metals constitute a small part of the total output. In addition, the tailing will be deposited 50 metres below the surface of Alice Arm, below the upper surface areas where fish life exists. As far as your reference to “highly toxic radium 226, arsenic, lead and mercury” is concerned, this is another case where you have misrepresented facts. These metals are present in background levels only. Your reporters did not mention, either, that a mine operated in Alice Arm for five years up to 1972. That operation, as far as can be determined, did not affect the existing fish population. As a final note, you spelled my name wrong. —C. ALLEN BORN,
President, Amax of Canada Limited,
In an article in the April 6 issue (JobMarket Trials of Young Lawyers) Toronto lawyer Bruce Bailey was misquoted. Maclean’s regrets the error.
The defence never rests
Anyone who thinks there is a shortage of jobs for law graduates is taking a very narrow view of the employment opportunities available (Job-Market Trials of Young Lawyers, Law, April 6). True there are fewer positions as a traditional practising lawyer, but in exchange for a little flexibility there is a wealth of career paths for law graduates. A legal education is a valuable asset; it is a way of thinking that can be applied to many other disciplines. I think it would be a crime to deny future generations the right to this type of education simply because the traditional job market is flooded. The majority of Canadians seem to have lost sight of the fact that one goes to university for an education and not job training. If cutbacks are to be made, serious consideration should be given to making them at the articling or bar admission level, where lawyers actually enter the profession.
—CAROLINE J. HUNT, Toronto
The party’s over
Your article Islands in the Sun (Travel, March 23) covered an ever increasing problem with great insight. An ounce of foresight would tell most observers that sooner or later violence will break out between those islanders who live in poverty and the rich tourists who come once or twice a year to indulge in the good life and its vestiges. The tour operators, who face fewer and fewer profits, had better take heed and realize that they can no longer dismiss those hungry eyes behind the fence as just onlookers who will mind their own business. The cake has to be shared and the benefits distributed among everyone, or these islands in the sun are going to turn into another Miami. Guaranteed sunshine, but not much of a place to party.
— DOUG WARREN, Oshawa, Ont.
According to your article on islands in the Caribbean, most people don’t care about the standards of living or the problems that bedevil North America’s playgrounds. No amount of money can pay the price of not caring, which will lead to islands of discontent. No tourist should be terrorized, but some of them with a licence for everything seem to have become victims of their own selfish desires. —BERNIE SULLIVAN,
On behalf of the Canadian Amateur Swimming Association I would like to thank you for your story Eel-like Agony in a B.C. Pool (Sports, March 23). I would, however, like to clear up a misconception that may have arisen from your article. Competitive swimming, like any amateur sport, does require a tremendous amount of dedication if an athlete is to succeed on an international level. But at the same time, the sport is enjoyable and provides rich rewards for its participants. The athletes themselves will be the first to tell you they swim for the fun of it, not because some masochistic urge is driving them beyond the realm of human endurance to a gold medal that bears no monetary value. Working as part of a team, enjoying the company of their friends and the satisfaction that comes from selfimprovement are the major motivators for the excellent competitive swimmers in Canada today. —DAVE STUBBS,
Manager, Media Services, Canadian Amateur Swimming Association, Ottawa
I am sickened by the lies and bias in your article Toward Joints Without Jail (Canada, March 30). It is not a piece of news but a piece of propaganda. The elimination of prison sentences for possession of marijuana is in no sense “long overdue.” The laws do not need to be weakened, but enforced as they stand. It is time that people learned that there is no free lunch; they must accept the consequences of their actions. Once again, Maclean’s has proved that it is the hired lackey of the social anarchists bent on destroying society.
— DAVID SKENE MELVIN, Toronto
Thy kingdom come
Unfortunately, in his article Bearing Witness to a Mass Exodus (Religion, March 16), Bart Testa neglected to mention the more than two million Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide who remain unscathed by the recent incidents in Lethbridge and Brooklyn. We are aware of these situations and their causes, and have been forewarned scripturally of them. At no time have we, as Jehovah’s Witnesses, preached guaranteed salvation or heavenly residencyin the end, who are we to say? I am surprised at the lack of balance found within the article and, in my opinion, the complete omission of many facts.
—V.J. ZALESKY, Sudbury, Ont.
I have one correction to make to your People section (March 23). James McIntyre is the acclaimed cheese poet of Ingersoll, Ont., not Guelph. I am not even certain Guelph would welcome this credit were it true.
—JANE NAISBITT, Regina, Sask.
The chosen few
I was very much surprised by a statement in your article A Riddle to the End (World, March 23) concerning the hijacking of a Pakistani plane. Your article only seemed concerned about the fate of the “three Americans aboard.” Does this mean that the rest of the passengers were expendable? Why are American passengers more important than passengers of other nationalities?
—J. RASOFSZKY, Montreal
From the frying pan into the fire
Why does Mark Czarnecki, as do most English-Canadian liberals, have to acquiesce to the misconception of Quebec separatists that they have been colonized by English Canada (Struggling Free of An Old Yoke, Books, March 16)? Quebec and the rest of Canada were colonized by Great Britain politically, culturally and economically up until the 1920s. Now both are colonized by the United States. Liberation from whom?
— JOHN B. BOYLE, Elsinore, Ont.
Not a pretty picture
Your picture of a Law Society of Upper Canada convocation ceremony showed a lamentably large league of lawyers. So many, so young ( Job-market Trials of Young Lawyers, Law, April 6). A frightening picture for those who tend to agree with Edmund Burke who said: “Law is injustice codified: it protects the rich against the exploited poor, and adds a new evil—lawyers.”
— F. SIMMONS, Sarnia, Ont.
Letters are edited and may be condensed. Writers should supply their full name and address, and mail correspondence to: Letters to the Editor, Maclean’s magazine, Í81 University Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M5W1A7.
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