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Crime Control By Birth Control?

May 29, 1988

Thank you for reviewing such an important book as "At a Tender Age" by Rita Kramer (Book Review, May 15). The failure to either "retrain or restrain" the violent young is exceeded only by the failure to retrain society's ideas about decent child care, quality education and effective public assistance.

Claude Brown writes (Los Angeles Times, May 17): "The humane solution to the problem of excluding young minorities from a stake in the American dream is . . . to include them." Such inclusion is impossible by the time they are old enough to kill if these kids have been raised by a single teen-age mother, attended inferior schools, and have had no meaningful role models, to name just a few handicaps.

We are veering dangerously close to a time when we'll have to resort to such drastic, inhumane measures as putting birth control in the water supply, where the prospective parent would have to take a prescribed pill to allow conception. Aimless adolescents on crack would be unlikely to take that kind of initiative, and the unwanted children, the kids who kill, would be far less likely to be born. Will such an un-American way be the only final solution?

J. E. MARTIN

LOS ANGELES

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