Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Editorial: "Tough laws better for impaired drivers"

Drunk driving is dangerous and stupid, and we need strong measures to stop it. On that I agree with the Courier editor here. Where we differ is that I think those measures should also be effective, and they should address the real problem.

Stopping a drunk driver by putting a lock on his car may stop the car from moving, but not the drunk. People share and borrow cars all the time, so while the innocent wife of the drunk is trying to get a balky machine to allow her to go to work, hubby is out in his brother's truck making mayhem unimpeded. The car is not the problem, it's the driver.

I wonder how the Courier would react to legislation proposing that the state put a breathalyzer interlock on a drunk's gun.

If a person is convicted of endangering the public with any deadly weapon because of substance abuse, that person must be prevented from doing it again until the substance-abuse problem is clearly eliminated. If that means physical restraint, so be it. The real problem here is that neither the drunk nor society takes this issue seriously enough. We're doing essentially nothing about the root cause, which is the easy availability of an addictive drug and a culture that encourages its abuse. If the Courier editor had thought to include some stats, it might have helped.

Lambro: "How did Tech gunman escape notice?"

Today's Lambro focuses like a laser on school officials for failing to have Cho illegally committed, or something. I checked the original, titled "Lessons of Virginia Tech," and while it's about 100 words longer than the Courier version, it unaccountably contains no mention of the guys who sold the weapons to this wacko. Maybe it just slipped Don's mind in the flurry of Republican talking points flying out of his ass.

Letters: PC, global-warming lies, and water

In today's letterbox -- oddly enough, all from locals -- Jeff Tate stands up courageously for the right of rich broadcasters to insult innocent women, Ronald Kotfila stands up courageously against worldwide scientific consensus, and Jim Hamm asks whether, given that we're short of water, we ought not to stop dumping so much of it in the garden. Dumb question, Jim.

B1, Jackson: "Surprise: NAU is in Prescott, too"

Jerry's inside column isn't meant to be serious, I know. But breezy folksiness can be taken too far.

I and the rest of the YC Performance Hall crew appreciate Jerry's giving us some credit, but please don't connect us to the performance on Saturday, that was largely an embarrassment. The Ink Spots did okay, but the Four Lads were losing it, Marilyn King gave us nothing but pathetic croaking, and Pete Barbutti's act was totally Naugahyde lounge.

A1: "The Luer rocket lives on"

Online readers saw this earlier in the month, and it's sort of interesting, especially to old-vehicle crazies like me. But I'm old-fashioned in another way as well: I'd much rather see actual news on the front page of my local newspaper. These regular fluffy photo pieces are a waste of valuable space that should be working to inform the reader.

A1: "Amendments help protect victims"

I suspect that the editors tried to punch up Mirsada Buric's relatively dry summary of detail changes to victim's rights legislation. Instead they punched it out -- out of bounds for a news story, anyway. The headline, lead and bits inside take a clear editorial position, soft-pedaling the downside of the changes that Mirsada details farther down.

A1: "Sunday stabbing victims are recovering"

Two guys using knives inappropriately on the same day does not make a connection between them. I beg you, Mirsada, stop knitting unrelated crime stories together, it just creates chaos on the page.