Public does support end of war on drugs
The war on drugs has cost billions in tax money, funneled trillions of dollars into organized crime, cost countless lives and achieved zero results. But finally, after years of abhorrent waste, a group of former presidents formed The Global Commission on Drugs, speaking out for reform.
When the politicians claimed they couldn't find public support for such change, the global civil group Avaaz took action, with more than 600,000 members calling for an end to the war on drugs in just one week!
Maybe Avaaz cares more about society's health and happiness than do selfish politicians and corruptible DEA agents?
Stephen F. Uhl
Retired psychologist, Oro Valley
Shotgun-giveaway plan just plain terrible
Re: the March 26 article "Ex-Tucson mayoral hopeful plans free shotguns for high-crime areas."
It's no wonder Shaun McCluskey is an "ex-mayoral hopeful."
His idea on the shotgun giveaway is simply too ludicrous to believe. Another Republican pumping up the volume on fear.
Neighborhood watch groups have clearly been the most effective deterrent of crime in those areas designated as vulnerable. Having more people with guns to act as vigilante guards brings to mind the tragic Trayvon Martin murder.
"High crime" neighborhoods almost always are impoverished and have a large number of minority residents. To further stigmatize these areas with this "experiment" seems to me unacceptable.
There is no metric I know of that sheds any positive light on the idea of "more guns, less crime." Watchful, aware and connected communities are what is needed.
I wonder if McCluskey has ever been a resident in any of these areas, and is sensitive to the issues that create an environment of crime ... I think not. It's a terrible idea, and should be abandoned, much like his mayoral campaign.
Ronald C. Quintia
Oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Tucson
Child vaccines provide crucial protection
As a Tucson pediatrician, I'm worried that a local billboard is misleading parents about childhood vaccinations and putting our community at risk.
The billboard fails to call out the benefit of vaccines in preventing outbreaks of infectious diseases. Parents need accurate information particularly at this crucial time when our state is experiencing outbreaks of whooping cough. This one-sided campaign could erode efforts to adequately protect our children.
The Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AzAAP) encourages parents to ask questions and then trust their doctor's recommendation, which is based on evidence that today's vaccines are safer and more effective than ever. In fact, the greatest risks come when children are not immunized.
Vaccines are our best prevention tool and less costly than hospitalizations and serious public health threats. AzAAP urges parents to educate themselves and review information at www.whyimmunize.org online. Our children deserve no less.
Pediatrician, board member of the Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Tucson