Another view on gun lawsuits Your editorial regarding the recent rash of lawsuits against the gun industry ("The gun lawsuits," Feb. 2) should have included two more factors that may bear on the outcome of those lawsuits.

First, well-documented research shows that in states where gun ownership has expanded because of new laws allowing citizens to carry a concealed gun, violent crime actually goes down. This runs counter to the old argument that gun ownership promotes crime.

Second, some city and state governments are actually responsible for creating a black market for guns. If one observes how black markets form and develop, it's easy to see how some overly restrictive gun laws may encourage otherwise law-abiding citizens to purchase a gun on the black market.

If the plaintiffs in these cases were to honestly assess the impact of their past actions, they may have to name themselves as defendants in their own lawsuits!

Bob Rodachy Amherst, Ohio

Needed heat on global warming Your article "Scientists call for action on global warming" (Jan. 29) throws much- needed heat into the flame of urgency that's required to change the way people think about climate change as a timely and critical issue.

That and our springlike days of winter just may be able to jump start public understanding of how consumption continues to drive the skyrocketing use of fossil fuels.

While outspoken critics - paid generously by the coal and oil industries - will certainly beg to differ, statements of this caliber stand to quiet those striving to keep global warming a nebulous concept.

Not only will the Senate step up to the task of ratifying a greatly-delayed US commitment to reduce emissions, but ordinary citizens will increasingly be reminded of this looming issue only faintly signaled today by early-rising spring bulbs, unfrozen waters, and warm walks through the parking lot on the way to the car.

Lynn Zanski Cambridge, Mass.

Tuition tip

Regarding "Preparing for the tuition test" (Feb. 1): One option for paying for college was missing from your story: putting yourself through school. As a "nontraditional" student, I did not begin my college career until I was 27 years old. Paying my own way made me think about what I was doing and why I should take my classes seriously, no matter how mundane or inapplicable they seemed at the time.

Jeff Slahor Morgantown, W.Va.

Dictionary, please I can't resist. I just finished reading "Communities prepare for Y2K" (Jan. 27) only to come to the very end and find that "Larry Shook is ... nonplused by the possibility of a non-event." Nonsense! Surely she meant that Mr. Shook was nonchalant, or not concerned, or maybe neutral. But nonplused?

In my dictionary, nonplused means perplexed. Suffice it to say, I'm nonplused by her choice of the word nonplused. Sheila Globus Sudbury, Mass.

Newspaper in the classroom I am a Peace Corps Volunteer teacher in Bulgaria. The Christian Science Monitor has been a lifeline not only with US news and opinion but also with everyday life.

I use articles and information in school where I teach, as well as for my own benefit, and sometimes share issues with colleagues. I have developed a term course for teenagers in which I teach about how a free market economy works. The article "Thinking about a tattoo?" (Dec. 30) was great as an illustration of "fads," and others have been useful also.

Judy Knop Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

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