Thank you for Dan Huff's informative article about Jamie Roinick, the Emily Gray school and our justice system ("A Conspiracy Of Dunces," February 10).
Before reading your article, I had wanted to know about some of the things which lead to this situation. You expertly filled me in on that information.
However, this is the first time I've read an editorial that supported one side of an issue but sold me on the other side. Were you given the task to represent something you didn't believe in and put it down on paper for all of us to read?
Jamie was in the wrong place at the wrong time. His principal did warn the entire school not to be there. Our community was on edge because of the Columbine shootings and the "copy cat unit" was doing exactly what it was there to do. Furthermore, Judge Chavez was acting on his best judgment, which sounded pretty good to me. Jamie probably was acting out a stupid teenage stunt, but it was stupid. I would have kicked my son's rump if he had done the same thing. It cost Jamie's mom and dad $20,000 in legal fees, but what did it cost our community in dollars and fear?
-- Jack K. Belin
To the Editor,
Regarding Dan Huff's "Conspiracy Of Dunces" (February 10): It is always a fine day when an independent reporter can shed light on the reality of a situation that the local "news media" never quite seems to get right.
After reading the article about Jamie Roinick and his family's ordeal, I immediately thought of how the majority of the law enforcement personnel and school administrators, in their haste to protect the innocent students, succeeded in only stroking their egos by proclaiming to all who would listen how they would "protect your children." Damned be the rights of those involved if we can make ourselves look good in the eyes of the community and our peers. It's a way of justifying the money and resources allocated to our existence.
I was also reminded of an appropriate allusion to Nietzsche created by all this histeria and paranoia: "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster." It's clear that a few factions (read: Special Task Forces) should take heed of this. Their behavior in the activity described in your article are clearly borderline monsterlike. I am definitely in favor of the protection of all citizens from violence, but is there not a better way than perpetrating it against citizens?
In the future, I hope reason and rational thinking can be a greater part of any investigation involving any threat, perceived or real. I hope some lessons have been learned by the law enforcement and school district personnel so they can protect us from real violence, and we don't have to worry about protecting ourselves from them.
-- Jon Davison
Incredible! Dan Huff's "Walkout on Walkup" (January 27) is truly bizarre. The El Con neighbors are no "pleasant mix of genteel." They are would-be elitists living in run-down, drab houses whose only value is the convenience to shopping. And why do you buy into the fiction that the area is "in the heart of the city"? El Con, in fact, put downtown, the heart of the city, out of business.
-- Herbert A. Shatz
I picked up the Tucson Weekly and saw what I think is one of the most discriminating ads I have ever seen. What gives you the right to put peoples' pictures of any crime in the paper (January 27)? First of all, I do not condone prostitution, for it is illegal, but what about all the other crimes that are committed? Rape, murder, assault, child abuse, or any kind of abuse for that matter. I don't know if anybody else feels the same way that I do, but I would much rather see a prostitute walking a street then some homeless bum holding a cardboard sign. In fact let's compare the two. Both are bad elements, both use money for drugs or alcohol, and neither one pays taxes on what they make. So why is one legal and the other not? I will say this, if the government regulated sex in this country as they do in, let's say Amsterdam, there would be a lot less sexual crimes in this country. In short, whether it was your choice or not I think it was a wrong one.
-- Gene Bidwell
To the Editor,
I was shocked and revolted when I opened a recent issue of The Weekly and saw a full page "ad" that the City Attorney's Office had taken out in order to publish names and photographs of men apprehended with prostitutes (or, more likely, who were entrapped). What kind of city is this which would do such a thing, and what kind of paper would agree to print it? And where were the photographs of the prostitutes themselves, or should I say, the policewomen who were dressed as hookers to entrap unsuspecting males. Why doesn't the City Attorney's Office and The Weekly publish photos of drunk drivers, or those found guilty of domestic violence? Or of people found guilty of some real crime? What will we see in the paper next? Photos of men entering X-rated bookstores?
Prostitution has been around for centuries and it's not about to disappear because a handful of right-wing religious nuts try to surpress it. And, contrary to what the City Attorney's Office states in its ad, prostitution is in fact a victimless crime. Any basic criminology textbook will bear this out. It's a simple transaction between consenting adults. Everyone should have the right to be with a prostitute. Not every man can find himself a desirable girlfriend. Not every man wants one. It isn't necessary that all males be in some "relationship." Let's face it, for a lot of men the prostitute is exactly what they want and need.
However, if the City Attorney's Office is really going to prosecute and attempt to surpress prostitution, then let them do it equally, so that the burden of their efforts doesn't fall only upon those of lesser means who frequent streetwalkers. What about the more affluent crowd who makes arrangement for outcall on their cell phones and has an expensive "escort" visit their homes? (For instance, the escorts who advertise in this paper.) As with most other crimes, the rich rarely suffer the consequences of their actions. The burden of America's bogus moral outrage falls heavily on the poor and disinfranchised, and nowhere is this more prevalent than in Arizona, where all the self-righteous, Bible-thumping moral zealots eventually come to roost.
-- James W. Bradey