Letters to the Editor

    Hillcrest Hospital Move a Mistake

    Dear Editor,

    It seems to me that UCSD is making a big mistake in closing the Hillcrest hospital. Why is UCSD moving resources away from the largest growing population and into La Jolla? Last time I checked, there are many quality hospitals fully equipped with inpatient services within minutes of campus.

    UCSD is ignoring the fact that the lower class residents in South County won’t have access to health care while we’ll have yet another hospital campus nearby. And their solution is to tell residents of that area to find transport up here? As if traffic around campus isn’t already a problem during peak hours. The editorial in your paper (“Economical Hospital Move Will Hurt Needy,” Oct. 12) notes that by the time UCSD closes all of the beds at the Hillcrest hospital, south and central San Diego will be over full capacity for care, so where will all the people go? The bottom line is that we don’t need an addition to Thornton here in La Jolla, and people in south San Diego need access to a full-service hospital close to their homes. UCSD needs to stop thinking about making money and consider the impact on the community instead.

    — Chris Dring

    Sophomore, Thurgood Marshall College

    Need Jobs? Let’s Give Students Guns!

    Dear Editor,

    “It is a melancholy object” that those citizens whose children are of school age must again be made aware of the dangers that lie within these academic institutions. The events of the past week have, for some citizens, reopened wounds left by the tragedies that occurred at Columbine High School seven years ago.

    These events, though tragic, have also served to galvanize some of these citizens to causes whose efforts are occasionally classified as being “anti-gun.” This galvanic aftershock, however, has also drawn the attention of other citizens away from these tragedies, and instead, spurred them to focus their energies and efforts to protect what they believe to be threats toward their right under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    Unfortunately, these initial reactions bear the telltale signs of politicization — and so provide little hope that any meaningful change will come for those remaining citizens who merely ask that the safety of their children be considered.

    But, rest assured, I intend to do more here than simply provide a narrative of these events.

    I, for my part, having turned my thoughts upon this important subject, and weighing several possible solutions to prevent further tragedies from occurring, have derived a proposal that is mutually beneficial for citizens on both sides of this debate.

    Instead of investing time and money in keeping guns out of schools, why not simply enact legislation that would require each child be provided with a handgun as they arrive at school each morning, and each gun collected as each child leaves in the afternoon? This policy would ensure the safety of this nation’s children (not to mention protecting their Second Amendment rights) by enabling each child to defend themself from anyone who wished them harm.

    This policy would, in addition to the issue it is intended to address, provide for a potential increase in domestic economic growth at a time when many U.S. industrial manufacturing jobs are being outsourced to nations overseas. According to the Consumer Federation of America Foundation, in 1997 alone, the U.S. gun industry domestically produced 3.6 million guns — 1.4 million handguns, and 2.2 million rifles and shotguns. The revenue garnered by these sales, if added to the sale of ammunition, totaled over $1.3 billion.

    Based on statistics gleaned from the 2005 census, it is estimated that the total number of preschoolers (under age five) in the United States is 20.3 million, elementary-age children (5-13): 36.1 million, and high school-age children (14-17): 17.1 million.

    Therefore, we may say that approximately 73.5 million school-age children live within the United States. As of 2001, employment in the small-arms industry had leveled off at approximately 7,000 employees (earning approximately $16.75/hour). If the proposal described here is adopted as an article of legislation, an immediate demand would be created for an additional 73.5 million small arms — which could potentially generate as many as 14,300 new jobs.

    — Priyan Weerappuli

    Psychology Graduate Intern, UCSD

    Shady Politics Behind Marijuana Ban?

    Dear Editor,

    I’m writing about: “Let’s Face the Truth, America: A War on Drugs Is a War On Ourselves” (Oct. 12).

    Beyond just the use of marijuana as medicine, why do so many of our politicians want to keep a natural herb, that has never been documented to kill a single person, a criminalized substance? Why do apparently intelligent people want to arrest and jail other people who use or sell an easy-to-grow weed?

    Perhaps to understand their position we should study the history of U.S. alcohol prohibition. The notorious gangster Al Capone made most of his illegal money from alcohol prohibition. Capone often bragged that he “owned” the city of Chicago. Obviously, he didn’t own all of the city of Chicago; however, he had most or all of the politicians and police who ran the city on his payroll. Al Capone was a successful businessman and it is not unreasonable to suspect that the drug cartels of today are following his business model.

    It’s also not unreasonable to suspect that the drug cartels may have many high-level politicians and police officials on their payroll. Obviously, the type of politicians the drug cartels would have on their payroll are those who advocate the continuation of the status quo of drug prohibition, which is making the drug cartels so fabulously wealthy.

    I’m not saying that any specific so-called “drug warrior” is on the payroll of the drug cartels. I’m just a little suspicious of the motives of all of the drug-war cheerleaders.

    — Kirk Muse

    Mesa, Arizona

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