Readers Write: Part of the problem
August 15, 2008
One of the things I have always appreciated about the Sierra Sun is this paper’s unswerving dedication to upholding the right of any citizen to make themselves look foolish and petulant in public.
Such is the case with the Aug. 12 guest column “Cops: Protectors or public nuisance.” It is hard to know where to begin in refuting this mindless diatribe. Should we start with decades of statistics regarding the pain, suffering and death caused by drunk drivers? Or the growing body of evidence related to accidents caused by driving while talking on a cell phone? How about the environmental degradation inflicted on our rivers, lakes and parks by hordes of drunken partiers who leave trash and human waste for others to clean up, trample protected ecological zones, and disturb or even harm wildlife? Tell me, who is really the nuisance here?
I would remind the author of this column that laws against public drunkenness, driving while drunk, and driving while talking on cell phones where enacted precisely because there was a demand for them at the citizen level. I also would remind the author that we as a society have charged our police officers with upholding these laws precisely because too many people will violate them with impunity if they are not enforced.
Let us never forget that there isn’t a single law on our books that wasn’t put there for any reason other than someone did something they shouldn’t have done, and someone else got hurt because of it. Do not blame the police officers for enforcing these necessary laws ” blame your fellow citizens for their irresponsible behavior which necessitates that enforcement.
Or better yet, blame yourself ” because your assertion that you can drive safely while talking on the phone is categorically wrong, and marks you as part of the problem.