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Hunt for Sniper Raises Problematic Issues

October 22, 2002

Even though I am in favor of using as many resources as possible to track down and capture the Beltway sniper before he strikes again, I am against using military surveillance planes to find him ("High Degree of Terror Swayed Military to Act," Oct. 17). Though it may be tempting to use the military, it sets a dangerous precedent. According to federal law, the military is only supposed to be involved in foreign matters, not domestic affairs. There is good reason for this. For if the military becomes increasingly involved in domestic matters, it may try to control our country, as it does in so many other areas of the world. Capturing one criminal is not worth losing our freedoms over.

Kenneth L. Zimmerman

Huntington Beach

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If we are putting planes in the air to take pictures of the sniper doing his thing, then why tell the sniper we are doing this? Is filling time on the air and columns in the paper more important than catching the sniper?

Leonard A. Zivitz

Fullerton

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The Washington area is home to the FBI, Pentagon, CIA, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and a fairly great police force. Yet they can't find a sniper who is operating in their own backyard and drives a white Chevy Astro van with a ladder on it. Yet we're expected to believe that we will be able to find Saddam Hussein in a foreign country that we know little about over 10,000 miles away and who, unfortunately, doesn't drive a Chevy Astro. Is there something wrong with this picture?

Fred Ponzlov

North Hollywood

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Thank heavens for the National Rifle Assn. Without it to blame the Washington-area shootings on, I'd have to hold the individual gunman responsible for his own actions. And as a liberal, I just can't do that.

Peter Sacks

Aliso Viejo

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With all these shootings in the Washington area, perhaps we should have weapons inspectors here at home to disarm these threats to our way of life. Come to think of it, a regime change wouldn't be so bad, either.

Julie D. Taylor

Beverly Hills

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Re "Enact Law in California to Match Guns to Owners," Voices, Oct. 19: Craig Smith forgets one thing. The hand that pulls the trigger in a gun crime is seldom the same hand as the person who bought the gun. This would be the case whether or not the technical problems with his plan could be solved.

Arden Acord

La Crescenta

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