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Regarding Feb. 27 letter “Democrat Cartels”: The Explorer ran an interesting letter from Rick Cunnington about the proposed border wall. The gist of the letter was that a wall along the Mexican border “would stop the flow of illegal narcotics into the U.S.”—and the only reason the Democrats oppose it must be that they are on the take from the drug cartels! 

The premise of this lurid scenario is that most (all?) illegal drugs come into the U.S. on the backs of people crossing the desert on foot, through unguarded barren wastelands. In fact, it is well documented, including by President Trump’s Dept. of Homeland Security, that the vast majority of the drugs come through well-policed official ports of entry, such as Nogales. 

Democrats oppose the proposed wall simply because it would be a colossal waste of money and serve no useful purpose.

—David Steinberg, Tucson



As a scientist, aunt and member of our community, I am deeply concerned about the public health implications of bills that would expand vaccination exemptions in Arizona. The three bills that passed out of the House Health and Human Services Committee last week—in a contentious, 5-4 party-line vote—would likely lower vaccination rates across Arizona. Rates that are already dangerously low.

There’s no doubt that serious vaccine complications and reactions are terrifying and heartbreaking for the parents and children that experience them. But these complications are extremely rare. And the passage of these bills into law would put all of us at risk. 

We live in a community. One’s individual choices are not made in a bubble. Our decisions affect others. One parent making the choice to not vaccinate their child puts other children at risk. These bills, and their ramifications, would place parental “freedom” above the health and safety of children. Measles outbreaks have popped up across the country, likely related to vaccine exemptions. Bills like these would put Arizona at the top of the list for places at risk of an outbreak.

—Chesney Rictor, Tucson

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