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NRA Cartoon Missed the Bull's-Eye

It seems that Jeff Danziger, in his Oct. 31 cartoon, is out to get the National Rifle Association, and any chance to twist the situation is grist for his mill of political fantasies. It is my observation that the NRA does not support criminals, much less criminals using firearms. The NRA supports people like me, who are gun owners, hunters, and those interested in shooting for sport as well as self-protection.

We are all on the side of liberty, justice, and freedom from fear. The NRA responds to my demands, both as a responsible citizen and gun owner, that something should be done about the problem of violence. Emmett Van Reed Tucson, Ariz.

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Danziger's attack of the NRA may be politically correct, but it is untrue. Of the 70 million Americans who own firearms, the NRA members are aware of the responsibilities that go along with rights. If someone misuses a firearm, the NRA position is that he be apprehended and prosecuted. We are part of a small but growing number who believe that everyone should be responsible for his own actions. Jack H. Ott Mancos, Colo.

A need for teachers, not computers

The article ``A Technology Revolution in the Classroom,'' Oct. 17, is an insightful summary of what I consider to be a misguided approach. Computer literacy is not a serious problem among our nation's youth. Average students, when they enter careers that require computer skills, will learn these skills almost as quickly as they have mastered the latest Nintendo game.

Further, it is more important for elementary students to learn to communicate with their peers than for students to become travelers on the information superhighway. Computers are an essential tool for modern scientists, but a good teacher can convey the lure and grandeur of science without this tool.

Today's students need to learn to be responsible members of an organized community, to respect the authority of superiors, and to be entertained merely by written words and our own creativity. These skills, as well as nurturing human contact, will never be conveyed by an inanimate computer screen. Lane H. Seeley Bozeman, Mont.

The importance of free trade

I take exception to the authors' views in the opinion-page article ``Let the People Participate in Shaping Free-Trade Policy,'' Oct. 17. The authors state that for 47 years, ``GATT has rested on a weak legislative foundation, with little public debate and no popular constituency.'' Their assessment may have some validity for the last 20 years, but definitely not for the previous 20.

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From 1954 to 1974, the Committee for a National Trade Policy led a broadly based coalition in a public education campaign on the importance of freer trade to the public interest. CNTP brought this message not only to Congress but to the public. When its major corporate contributors decided to concentrate their financial support on organizations more attuned to the special interests of these companies, CNTP was dissolved in 1974 for the lack of adequate funding. Sic transit gloria for a worthy effort to generate broad public understanding of national, indeed nationwide, needs in a rapidly changing world. David J. Steinberg Alexandria, Va.

Cranberries leave tart memory

The article ``Harvesting the Exuberant Little Cranberry Ball,'' Oct. 13, reminded me of the summer and fall of 1942. I was working in South Jersey in Whitesbog, not far from the Pine Barrens where the author had visited. I was with what was then called the Home Missions Council of North America, ministering with agricultural migrants. In those days, people harvested berries with scoops. Men lined up and went across the drained cranberry bogs scooping the berries off the vines. It was back-breaking work - hard manual labor, with lots of sweat and toil.

As a result of that experience I made a vow to myself - never again at Thanksgiving dinners would I eat anything with cranberries in it. That was in recognition of the conditions under which those people worked. I haven't broken that vow yet, nor will I this year. Eugene A. Turner Jr. Blue Bell, Pa.

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