THE MAIN reason Michael Nutter surged past Tom Knox to win the mayoral primary is that Nutter has the best plan for combating our ever-increasing homicide rate.

Crime is the number one concern of the citizens in this city, and, as a black man, it amazes me that certain members of my own community are saying that Nutter's stop-and-frisk program is racist and violates constitutional and civil rights.

How can it be racist if a majority of the violent crime is in black communities, and that's also where most victims and the perpetrators of these crimes live?

Nutter's anti-crime program has been long-awaited in this city. And I hope that by November there's a ballot question that asks, "Should Philadelphia have its own gun laws?" because that is also what we so desperately need.

Charles "Chuckie" Miller

Philadelphia

Guns & history

Pete Durantine states in his May 16 op-ed "Guns Yesterday, Guns Today, Guns Forever?" that "History's despots, from Caesar to Saddam, were not really defeated by weapons but ideas."

Really? I can't recall one time when an idea that was not backed up by force changed anything, from government to wars.

Why didn't historian Durantine name some real examples of nonviolent overthrows of despots? I guess Hitler actually was hiding in his bunker from a stream of ideas that were invading Germany. Those ideas forced him to take his own life.

Stuart Caesar, Philadelphia

Single-payer health care

I'm not buying what Lance Haver is peddling in his op-ed in support of the governor's RX4PA program!

Gradual steps do not find us closer to single-payer health care! Some examples of reforms that STILL have not led us to single-payer health care: Hawaii in 1974, Oregon in 1989, Tennessee in 1992, Minnesota in 1992 and Maine in 2003. They show that incremental reforms have failed to marshal in any meaningful reform over more than three decades of trying. These incremental reforms divert attention from the real problems and compromise the ability to enact real solutions and reform.

Thanks, Gov. Rendell, for your Rx, but it is not the pill that will cure our health-care financing woes and provide care to all Pennsyvanians.

I support the Family and Business Health Care Security Act, a single-payer solution for health-care financing in Pennsylvania. Now there is a choice and a prescription for real health-care reform.

Sandy Orr, Director

Just Health Care/Pennsylvanians United

for Single Payer Health Care

Pittsburgh

The real war on terror

Stu Bykofsky hit the the nail on the head with his column on the war on terror. People just don't get it, but then again we are asked to make no sacrifices in this war, much like Vietnam, and for the most part just go about our daily lives.

We have to realize that America and we Americans are in the crosshairs of this Islamic terror war. Bush may have screwed up the situation in Iraq with a bungled policy, but the war with the United States was started long before, with the first attack on the World Trade Center.

Buzz Griffin, Haddon Township, N.J.