The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 20, 2000, Page 4, Image 4

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    Opinion
Good, but not
good enough
Smith & Wesson deal holds
promise, but more is needed
On Friday, the Clinton administration entered an unprece
dented deal with Smith & Wesson, the largest of America’s eight
major gun manufacturers.
In what Clinton and others herald as a historic advance in the
fight against gun violence, Smith & Wesson agreed to continue
many of the safety initiatives it was already working on.
The details of this agreement are not as important as the fact
that an agreement was reached at all. It is encouraging to see a
major player in the gun industry volunteer to improve its guns.
In exchange, federal, state and local governments have
agreed to drop pending lawsuits against the manufacturer.
In their lawsuits, cities and other governments assert that
gun manufacturer^, among other things, have been negligent in
marketing and distribution and failed to properly warn con
sumers.
Already
Smith &
Wesson has
been
rewarded for
this deal by
several cities
that
announced
they would
give the gun
maker
preference
when
supplying
their police
forces.
Up until Friday’s announcement,
major gun manufacturers had held
together in negotiations with the gov
ernment. By breaking ranks with the
industry and negotiating its own deal,
Smith & Wesson has taken an impor
tant step ahead.
The government has pledged to
press the litigation against the other
gun manufacturers. However, it is
likely that other gun companies will
now seek similar deals.
Many of the terms of the Smith &
Wesson agreement require it to con
tinue some safety practices that are
already common in the industry.
Smith & Wesson must include
gun locks with every gun - some
thing it has been doing since 1997.
The company was also mandated
to develop “smart guns” that can only
be fired by an authorized user. Nearly
every major manufacturer is already
working on these designs.
Smith & Wesson also agreed to
sell only to distributors who adhere
to a code of conduct that includes
gun show background checks among
other things.
Already Smith & Wesson has
been rewarded for this deal by sever
al cities that announced they would
give the gun-maker preference when
supplying their police forces.
Headline-grabbing gun violence
has seemed ever-present in recent
years, ana many people nave struggled to rind its cause.
Any effort to curb this violence is welcome, but it is impor
tant to remember that violence involves more than guns.
Reformers should also look at the people involved in and cir
cumstances surrounding the violence.
Editorial Board
Josh Funk (editor) • J.J. Harder • Cliff Hicks • Samuel
McKewon • Dane Stickney • Kimberly Sweet • Lindsay
Young
Letter Policy
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief letters to the editor
and guest columns, but does not guarantee their publication.
The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to edit or reject any
submissions. Submitted material becomes property of the
Daily Nebraskan and cannot be returned. Anonymous mate
rial will not be published. Those who submit letters must
identify themselves by name, year in school, major and/or
group affiliation, if any.
Submit material to: Daily Nebraskan, 20 Nebraska Union,
1400 R St., Lincoln, Neb. 68588-0448 or e-mail to: let
ters@unl.edu
Editorial Policy
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of the spring 2000
Daily Nebraskan. They do not necessarily reflect the views
of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, its employees, its
student body or the University of Nebraska Board of
Regents. A column is solely die opinion of its author. The
Board of Regents acts as publisher of the Daily Nebraskan;
policy is set by the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. The
UNL Publications Board, established by the regents, super
vises the publication of the paper. According to policy set by
the regents, responsibility for the editorial content of the
newspaper lies solely in the hands of its student employees.
The Daily Nebraskan strives to print fair and accurate cover
age; any corrections or clarifications will be printed on page
three.
Obermeyer’s
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Letters to the
EDITOR
Banning ballet
In the arguments over the city’s
ban on sexual touching in businesses,
ballet has been brought up as a legiti
mate art form which may fall under
this new city ordinance.
I am a male who has studied ballet
for several decades. In that time, I
have been fortunate to partner many
talented, intelligent and lovely
women. Among them are: a practic
ing attorney, an employee of die state
who is responsible for keeping the
sex offender registry, several women
of deep religious convictions and a
novelist who believes in vampires.
Furthermore, my teacher/choreogra
pher hails from a tough New York
neighborhood.
Had I ever touched any of these
people inappropriately, by now I
would have been sued into poverty,
branded nationally as a deviant, con
signed to one of the lower rings of the
netherworld, had my blood veins
sucked dry and been told in colorful
language tinged with an Eastern
accent where to go and how long to
stay there (not to mention what my
dear wife would have done to me).
Seriously, partnering in dance
demands trust and respect between
the dancers, and that is obviously not
achieved by crude behavior. What
you see on stage is an illusion with an
artistic end. If the dancers seem inti
mate, it is the intimacy that arises out
of years of working together toward a
common goal.
I really don’t see what any of this
has to do with what goes on at a “gen
I
tlemen’s” club.
Clifford Bettis
professor
physics and astronomy
Sometimes on wheels
NU on Wheels is out for the pro
tection of UNL students, right? So
why is it that the one time in college
students’ lives when we drink the
most - spring break - our lovely cab
service is not in service?
It’s ridiculous that this free ser
vice that we are going to pay for is not
available to us when we need it most.
Because of this, many UNL students
drove home drunk this weekend and
endangered the lives of hundreds of
Lincoln residents.
What’s the point of having the set
vice if it’s not servicing students
when they need it most? NU on
Wheels really needs to rethink the
whole idea of existing if it is not
going to provide the service that it has
been so persistent in promising us
everyday.
Thanks for saving so many lives
this weekend.
Vickie Zulkoski
senior
elementary education
Rethinking transfer
I am a college student who has
been considering transferring to UNL
next fall; however, after the events
this weekend, I am seriously recon
sidering.
I came to town to visit a friend of
mine who attends UNL. We decided
to spend Saturday night out on the
town, thinking that many students
would be back from their spring
break vacations. We figured we
would probably drink more than we
should if we were going to drive, so
we had a friend drop us off on O
Street and planned to call the NU on
Wheels program for a ride home.
We saw many UNL students out
enjoying their last bit of freedom
before the return to the normal school
time routine. When we were ready to
go home, we called to have the NU on
Wheels people come pick us up.
However, they said they were not
available due to spring break.
In my view, spring break is the
biggest party time of the year for col
lege students. Therefore, the program
should have been extended to be
available for the entire week rather
than not having it at all. By not having
the program running during this
weekend, they put many unsafe dri
vers on the streets of Lincoln for no
good reason.
It is not a good idea to drink and
drive, and the NU on Wheels program
is a good idea - but only if it is avail
able when the students need it.
If you are going to promise a ser
vice, please provide it.
Stacey J. Weaver
McCook
.
PS. Write Hack
Send letters to; Daily Nebraskan, 20 Nebraska Union, 1400 “FT St., Lincoln,
NE 68588, or fax to (402) 472-1761, or e-mail letters@unl.edu.
Letters must be signed and include a phone number for verification.