Maryland's gas tax will hurt low-income workers

Re: "Assembly pushes through O'Malley's liberal agenda," April 9

I just took a moment to count my blessings. I am a resident of Howard County, and I am certain that Maryland's gas tax increase will not change my lifestyle. What are a few hundred dollars a year more spent on gas to those in my salary range and above? A night out with dinner and a bottle of wine?

A few hundred dollars doesn't go far these days. It hardly gets you out of coach on most flights. If this gas tax had not been such a topic of debate, I probably would not even notice the price increase at the pump.

But the higher gas tax will affect workers who hardly make more than a few dollars over minimum wage.I just do not see how it is fair that someone with a six-digit salary should be paying the same tax on fuel we all need and use as someone on minimum wage. This is a low blow and a horrible means to fund transportation.

There has to be a better solution.

Beauyn Kodani

Fulton, Md.

Millions support legalizing assisted suicide

Re: "Selling suicide with George Soros' money," April 5

This op-ed makes erroneous claims that ignore the right of a dying person to decide how much suffering he or she should bear. Aid in dying is not suicide because it only applies to terminally ill patients with less than six months to live who are mentally competent.

To claim that there is no grass-roots movement for legalizing this option is absurd. Thousands of people have signed petitions, contacted legislators and local papers and traveled to the Connecticut Capitol to give testimony in support of death with dignity legislation there. Millions of voters approved death with dignity referendums in Oregon and Washington.

The Open Society Foundation does not contribute to political campaigns. The money it donates cannot be used for lobbying. Compassion & Choices is proud to receive this funding, recognizing that better care and expanded choice at the end of life is a core human rights issue.

Gwen Fitzgerald

Director of communications and marketing,

Compassion & Choices


Handguns, shotguns no match for SWAT teams

The Founding Fathers did not make the Second Amendment part ofthe Constitution so that a bunch of farmers could hunt -- or even defend their property. They did it to prevent government from subjecting a defenseless people to tyranny by a king, dictator or governmental gone mad with power. At that time the amendment leveled the playing field in the event of armed conflict.

But now the weapons of the police and military are so powerful that handguns and shotguns would be no match for Homeland Security and SWAT teams -- who can bust in your door any time of the day or night without a warrant -- or a rogue president who can impose martial law at the stroke of a pen without congressional approval.

Withthe Department of Homeland Security'spurchase of a billion-plus bullets, one has to wonder if our government is planningto subject its citizens to a new kind of government -- which is why the people should be allowed to possess any kind of weapon they can get their hands on.

Russell Bettini

Fort Collins, Colo.