Tolerance is a two-way street

Concerning the attitudes for other parties and people exhibited in the letters from Emil Franzi and Rick Cunnington published March 2, 2011 — tolerance is a two-way street.

I do not care if you are Republican, Democrat, Independent, black, white or purple. The fact is that most people call themselves tolerant and yet are not. I would like everyone to look at some of the stereotypes that many opinion articles seem to be saying. I have a few extreme ones I have heard from other people.

I once met a man who was very hard-core Republican. When I tried to have a discussion with him, he told me that Democrats were Mexican-loving people who drag our national flag through the mud (literally) and didn’t want a military for the U.S. I also met a hard-core Democrat who believed that all Republicans wanted to be basically nomadic people who wanted to live in anarchy and that they were mostly uneducated. Now whichever party you are, are you what I described? Are you a person acting like a 4-year-old or someone toting around a semi-automatic weapon just because you can?

So take these stereotypes that I have said and look at them critically. Perhaps you don’t have those same ideas but look around, look at yourself. I do not like people who believe in stereotypes, and I respect people who do not believe in stereotypes.

Tolerance means more than just saying that you’re tolerant, so prove it and gain respect from your fellow citizens.

Christy McDevitt, Oro Valley

Butt out of their world

Editor’s note: This letter was received in response to “Stop littering our world,” published Feb. 16, 2011.

I agree with your comment about littering as it is totally wrong and nobody should ever do it — no ifs, ands or butts! However, to blame it on cigarette-smokers is wrong as well because they are a very small part of this world’s littering problem.

I think your issue here is personal and directed at smokers, not littering.

I’m sick and tired of non-smokers and worst of all reformed ex-smokers whining about people who choose to smoke, and it needs to stop.

You stated in your article to smokers: “choosing to smoke is their business” when actually you are making it your business.

Believe it or not, non-smokers cost taxpayers more money than the smokers do. They hurt small businesses as well as corporate ones. If it wasn’t for smokers, who would pay for all of our schools, new businesses, recreational facilities, etc.

The taxes on cigarettes are through the roof, and here you are whining about a cigarette butt flying out the window.

Heck, when I first started reading your article I thought you were writing about a cigarette butt starting a brush fire in our quaint little town. Instead however, you chose to write about smokers in general!

I’m not condoning littering or smokers throwing cigarette butts out the windows of their vehicles, but give it a rest already.

I have many friends who smoke and are very considerate when they are around non-smokers. They comply with the new pathetic smoking laws, but you still think of them all as trailer trash.

One last note, I’ll bet you 10 bucks and a cup of coffee (and maybe a smoke) that you littered once in your lifetime. Everyone has, at least once.

A considerate ex-smoker Colin Fitzpatrick, Oro Valley

Editorial judgment is questionable

Last week's Explorer ran two editorials that insulted your readership with acrimonious, unsupportable accusations.

Example 1: from Rick Cunnington: "Over the past 40 or so years, few Democrats have offered a thoughtful, rational, reality-based solution to a problem."

2: Mr. Cunningham again: "... our deranged sheriff," referring to Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnick.

3: Emil Franzi: "The recent proposal from some Democrats to secede ... shows us how clueless most of them are."

4: Mr. Franzi again: "Whenever I see some batch of losers...."

These comments are clearly not designed to promote dialogue and problem-solving. Printing them, especially without comment, puts The Explorer's editorial judgment into question.

Ron Bechky, SaddleBrooke

Editor's note: I hear your message regarding name-calling and will take it into consideration when printing future letters. W. Miller


Let's pass enforceable gun laws

When I first came to Arizona, would-be cowboys were out to impress. One chuckled about shooting saguaros in the desert from the back of a pickup, that is, ‘til them dern conservationists made it a crime!

Others bragged about shooting Gambel's quails in the washes. Not for the protein - these brave frontiersmen looked well-fed - but - well, maybe just to flex their ... ahem, machismo, presumably.

America's love affair with guns is national, so perhaps it isn't fair to single out Arizona. Nonetheless, isn't it time we let the fake heroes and dead desperados lie peaceably beneath their tombstones? The movies have been made; the past is past.

But how do we change the mentality?

Because the recent Tucson tragedy looms large in many of our lives, isn't it more fitting to continue our conversation about how guns should be purchased and by whom? What about ammunition? How do we keep firearms away from the mentally unhinged?

Let's refuse to be intimidated by the long bony fingers of the NRA and instead pressure legislators in Washington, D.C., to pass and enforce sensible gun laws on a national scale.

As for the legislators in our Phoenix statehouse - they are still obsessed, so why bother?

Kathleen Pastryk, Oro Valley


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