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Re "Why Don't We Ban Stupidity?"

Friday, February 11, 2005

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Written by Rachel Thomas

I would like to say that I, for one, was offended by the contest entry of Scott MacKenzie, and I feel compelled to disagree with what he said, on behalf of myself and others who are also offended.

He asks, "why don't we ban stupidity?". I ask if he has ever met someone who has been injured in a winter recreation accident? I have. And you know what? It was most definitely not due to carelessness or stupidity that this individual is now a quadriplegic.

It is offensive that the author trivialized the issue, as well as the response that the government is supposedly taking. When a problem presents itself, like unsafe winter recreation, the idea is to prevent accident and protect society. It might not always work, but it is done with the best of intentions. His comment is that it is "another sickening display of society’s feeble attempts to find another scapegoat for its failures". It was not a failure of society that led to my friend being injured. It was an accident.

It also struck me(and probably most other CJPP/Soc majors reading it) as ridiculous that he could even suggest that "stupidity" causes crime and violence. While I acknowledge the liklihood of sarcasm, it's insensitive and careless to make a statement that encompassing.

I feel that contrary to Mr. MacKenzie's statement, he is downplaying the seriousness and tragedy of the accidents. I also feel that he might consider looking into the issue a little, as I would wager that this is not an attack on personal freedoms. No one is seeking to take away the right to toboggan, but merely to make it safer and reduce accidents.

And I think that if there is any doubt that winter recreation can be hazardous, Mr. MacKenzie should have a conversation with a young man I know who will never toboggan again.

Rachel Thomas


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