Tom fights the law, and nobody's a winner

In the matter of things legal:

· I've learned over the years that just about every issue has two sides. But when I heard that pervs were going to the public library and using computers to look at porn while little kids walked by looking for the Harry Potter section, I figured that here was an issue that had but one side.

There's no way anybody was going to stick up for the public wankers. It was like what Robert Wuhl said in Good Morning Vietnam when reading a letter complaining about the guy who had temporarily replaced Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams): "Hey, Houk, you suck. Eat a bag of sh-t.' (Pause) Not much gray area there."

But then I saw that both the Arizona Daily Star and the Tucson Citizen came out with editorials trying to make it a First Amendment issue. One of the first things one learns about the Constitution is that all of the amendments have limits. (Yes, gun nuts, even the second one.)

There are lots and lots of restrictions on what is commonly referred to as "free speech."

Despite my ghetto upbringing, my long and mediocre athletic career, and my exceedingly big mouth, I can honestly and proudly state that, in my entire life, I have never struck another human being in anger. But if I'm in a public library with my kids, and some guy is using a public computer to look at porn, I'm beatin' somebody's ass.

Now, I'm not a big fan of porn, but different strokes. (Pun unavoidable.) Look, this is like the voucher vultures. The government owes you police and fire protection, roads and public schools, and national defense. That's about it. There is no right to go downtown and hold up a computer screen with one hand.

However, if you want to buy a computer, pay for Internet service and whack away in the privacy of your own home or your mom's garage, knock yourself out. As long as the porn involves adults who were not forced into the acts portrayed, I hope your forearm gets as big as Popeye's.

Meanwhile, I'd like to know if the people responsible for those reprehensible (and just plain wrong) editorials have:

a.) Children.

b.) An understanding of the Constitution.

c.) The ability to make children.

d.) A lick of sense.

I hope that Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll keeps up the fight to ban porn from the libraries. When it comes down to a choice of protecting children or catering to the base desires of a few selfish adults, there is but one choice. If we, as a community, cannot recognize the clarity of this matter, then shame on us all.

· Lourdes Lopez, who overcame many obstacles to become a lawyer, only to piss it all away in an impressively extended blaze of stupidity, added to her resu-mea culpa by getting popped for drunk driving after driving on the wrong side of the road and crashing head-on into another vehicle. OK, the alcohol explains the driving, and l-o-o-o-o-v-e explains the incredible lapse of judgment for not ratting out her homicidal squeeze, but how do you explain that hair?

· Several firefighters with whom I spoke told me that, sadly, it was the right call to cite the guy who was driving the fire truck that tipped over at Stone Avenue and Fort Lowell Road last week, even though he was swerving to avoid hitting a cross-traffic car that was stopped right in the middle of the intersection.

They also confirmed what I've long believed--that the average Tucson driver is (choose any three) rude, dangerous, uninformed as to the law, high, drunk, unable to control his vehicle, talking on the phone, fatigued, sketchy at speaking or understanding English (as in "Please pull your car over to the right side of the road ... no, the other right ... no, the side ... no, your car ... "), angry, in a hurry and/or wildly overconfident in his/her ability.

Drivers will ignore the sirens and the lights; they'll pretend they don't see anything; some will actually refuse to get out of the way. Apparently, there are people out there who believe that fire trucks roar down the street just to inconvenience the citizenry, and that they're not really rushing to the scene of an emergency.

Other people will grudgingly get out of the way and then tailgate the fire truck in an effort to save gas or beat the traffic lights. Some even try to pull alongside and talk to the firefighters. At least one pathetic Tucsonan thinks it's funny to ask, "Hey, where's the fire?"

· Finally, just so you don't think that Tucson has a monopoly on morons, there's this. Eddie Griffin (NOT the comedian, but rather a member of the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves) was involved in a crash when he plowed his monster SUV into a parked vehicle. Eyewitnesses say he appeared drunk and/or high, but we'll never know for sure, because the fawning police neither arrested him nor administered a Breathalyzer test.

What we do know is that he was driving along and pleasuring himself as he watched porn on an illegally installed DVD player in his dashboard.

Too bad he couldn't have crashed into Lourdes Lopez.

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