Shaky Ground for Supporting Crime Bill

Your editorial ``Senate: Pass Crime Bill,'' Aug. 23, recommends passage of the Crime Bill with its ban on 19 types of assault weapons. This leaves me to wonder if you are now indulging in a form of ``situation ethics.'' I fully agree with your objective to remove these weapons from the streets but wonder at what point you would be willing to disregard the plain English in the Bill of Rights.

In language intended to limit the powers of government, Article II clearly states: ``The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.'' Are you now advocating that this be disregarded because our present situation makes it uncomfortable? Do you feel that the other Articles, including prohibitions against limiting a free press, can also be ignored by the state when situations make it uncomfortable?

If you disregard the strength of the foundation, beware that you do not undermine the entire structure. Stand for the principles underlying man's freedom, even if the situation is difficult. Richard P. Radcliffe, Wheaton, Ill.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published, and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ``Readers Write,'' and can be sent by Internet E-mail (200 word maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115

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