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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday September 3, 2003

Not all will follow UA's weapons-free zone rule

This letter is in response to Kendrick Wilson's article lauding the weapons-free status of our campus. There are several pieces of fallacious reasoning that I would like to take issue with.

First, he indicates that any armed person is somehow prone to shooting others over academic arguments and petty theft. Anyone who would react this way is clearly dangerously unstable and incredibly violent; yet, interestingly, he believes that this sort of person will be deterred from even entering campus by a 3-foot-high brown sign admonishing them to keep their weapons off campus.

Second, his article states that "weapons-free zones make it easier for police to identify a potential threat." This would be true if muggers walked around with their pistols openly displayed instead of concealed under their clothing. Again, he concludes that someone who is going to use a gun to commit a crime will be bound to carry their weapon so it is visible as the law specifies.

Third, he believes that it is best to trust our security to the police, rather than taking responsibility for it ourselves. I have been a victim of a criminal twice, and both times it was on a college campus.

As a final point, I would advise Mr. Wilson to visit some of the other areas of our country where only criminals are armed ų the fine city of Washington, D.C.. (murder capital of the world for much of my lifetime) comes to mind. Doesn't it feel great to know that when you step on to campus only the bad guys (and three cops) are armed?

Kendrick, your columns are always great for a laugh, please keep up the good work.

Dave Homes
mechanical engineering graduate student

Affirmative action őcheapens' education

I take issue with Reuben Goodman's letter on Thursday ("Affirmative action is necessary force in university considerations, admissions"). Mr. Goodman makes the sad mistake of confusing racial need to financial need. The fact is that the pre-college educational situation that Mr. Goodman described is not just a reality for minorities but also that of poor or rural white people. However, they are not receiving any special consideration for their plight, simply because of their skin color. That is blatant, albeit politically correct, racism.

In addition to this fact, affirmative action cheapens the value of all of our degrees and academic successes. When a degree is given to someone fully or partly based on their race, and not their academic pursuits or standing, the degree looses a substantial part of its meaning, importance, and relevance. Affirmative action hurts everyone in the academic system.

Everyone who supports affirmative action in its current form supports a form of racism, and should be ashamed.

Silas Montgomery
history sophomore

Chávez was more than just a Hispanic figure

Friday's article "Econ building to be renamed despite protest" left out basic crucial news facts, which may badly mislead students.

Although the article makes all too clear that Caesar Chávez, after whom President Likins wishes to rename the Economics building, is Hispanic, the article never reveals who he was or why he is infamous ų as if his race was story enough. Chávez was a union organizer, a California labor activist, who founded and led the first effective farm workers' union in U.S. history. Among his best-known activities was his United Farm Workers, AFL-CIO, staging of a five-year strike-boycott against a major table and wine grape grower. The article mentioned none of this.

Journalists have a reputation for slanting the news, whether by design or through neglect, and this article illustrates why. Sexy quotes to which the story's reporter/editor may be sympathetic are not substitutes for the basic news facts they are obliged on the honor of their profession to print.

Erik Flesch
geosciences senior
president, Student Objectivist Society

UA increasing tuition for wrong reasons

Likins strikes again with another tuition hike for the students. What's the excuse he gives this time? Well, there's not much of a reason, other than that we must have about the same price as some other universities. So, while other institutions of higher education are raising their tuition to provide better professors, better supplies and maybe even classes, at the UA we're raising prices to keep up with the rest of them. Of course, Likins got the tuition raised in an effort to make higher education "more accessible." Why should he not also try this just-as-asinine justification for a tuition increase?

Kara Karlson
veterinary science sophomore

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Issue of the Week: Are tuition hikes justified?


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