The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 21, 1997, Page 4, Image 4
EDITOR Paula Lavigne OPINION EDITOR Matthew Waite EDITORIAL BOARD Erin Gibson Joshua Gillin Jeff Randall Julie Sobczyk Ryan Soderlin Our VIEW Gun control Citizens should let police watch speeders In a country ruled not only by the people, but also by the people’s attitude toward the law, the serene peace of everyday life is liable to break into mad chaos at any moment And in North Platte, chaos has arrived in the form of gun-wielding citizens. These guns don’t fire anything truly lethal; they only measure speed. But these guns, normal ly reserved for use by police, are now in the hands of the general public - and there is rea son to be afraid. As part of the city’s community policing program, North Platte citizens have been handed radar guns to track down speeding vehicles in their neighborhoods. For the gun-toting few, there is little they can do in the way of truly effective law enforcement. They cannot chase down viola tors or hand out tickets. All they can do is write down license numbers and send them to the police department. From there, the police department sends letters to the speeders reminding them of res idential area speed limits. Nothing more is done. And although this system hardly tits the mold of vigilante justice, the fact that ordi nary citizens can volunteer to step into shoes normally filled by trained police officers is sort of... well, weird. Speeding is a valid criminal offense, and ' these people may have the best intentions in 'nfi|ipMien they set out to stop this crime from taking place. But to the majority who do not wield the almighty radar guns, this situa tion has to seem flawed. Especially when Mr. Andersen is the one doing the policing. Every neighborhood seems to have its version of mean old Mr. Andersen, the 85 year-old widower veteran who has a grudge with the world and an interminable pride in his lawn. In the past, mean old Mr. Andersen was left to scare tactics that were strictly private sector. Clad only in a bathrobe and fiizzy slip pers, he was forced to scream at local youths from behind an aluminum-framed screen door or - in extreme situations - turn the gar den hose on the little whippersnappers. Now Mr. Andersen has the Gun. God only knows what kind of grudges could spark the mean old Mr. Andersens of this world to write that letter to the local police department - missing garbage cans, stepping on the lawn or the sneaking suspi cion that “that Bobby kid” kidnapped his cat. And even though “that Bobby kid” may have done none of the above, not even speed ing, Mr. Andersen would still have the power to turn him in to the cops. Community policing may sound like a good idea. But before the rest of the nation joins North Platte in its quest, we should take time to consider where our own Mr. Andersens reside - before it’s toofate. Editorial Policy Unsigned editorials are the opinions of the Fall 1997 Daily Nebraskan. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, its employees, its student body or the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. A column is solely the opinion of its author. The Board of Regents serves as publisher of the Daily Nebraskan; policy is set by the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. The UNL Publications Board, established by the regents, supervises the production of the paper. According to policy set by the regents, responsibility for the editorial content of the newspaper lies solely in the hands of its student employees. letter ftHcy The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief letters to the editor and guest columns, but does not guarantee their publication. The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to edit or reject any material submitted. Submitted material becomes property of the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be returned. Anonymous submissions will not be published. Those who submit letters must identify themselves by name, year in school, major and/or group affiliation, if any. Submit material to: Daily Nebraskan, 34 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St. Lincoln, NE. 68588-0448. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Haney^s VIEW ir : * t: fj ■ Leave James alone I am saddened to read letters to the editor in which Chancellor Moeser is trashed and bashed. From 1995 to 1997, many positive changes have been made at UNL for minority students, as well as for gay and lesbum students. We owe these changes in part to the new chancel lor’s efforts. Remember that institu tional changes of this nature do not happen overnight, and he has only been chancellor since 1996. Further, Chancellor Moeser is himself a minority, as chancellor of a large university. He is answerable to others. If he is sometimes perceived as being slow to react to incidents on campus, it may be because he is in the process of deliberation regarding how to handle each situation. Every word he speaks, every memo he writes, and every decision he makes are subject to „ the scrutiny and critique of those in power. It is clearly evident from his repent State of the University address that he is making a sincere effort on behalf of underrepresented groups on this cam pus. Let’s at least meet him halfway. Kathi Rangel-Wrono graduate student sociology The Gaily Nebraskan \ I’m writing to express my concern that the Daily Nebraskan has opted not to have an out gay, lesbian, bisex ual or transgendered voice speak on the issues surrounding National Coming Out Week, including the r-- ■ — . ■ Sam Vetter/DN chalking controversy. So far, the columns that have been run on the issue of homosexuality have entirely been heterosexuals, many of them making certain to proclaim their het erosexuality within the column (Todd Munson and Daniel Munksgaard, for example). Of course, there were the interviews with members of the GLBT Resource Center, but keep in mind that their voices were interpret ed and edited through a heterosexual interviewer. The only queer voices, speaking for themselves, have been in the Letters to the Editor, which have been relatively sporadic. * - <% This bespeaks a heterosexist bias in the Daily Nebraskan winch, for me, reached its pinnacle when a hetero sexual columnist set himself up as being the only person impartial enough to moderate the debate on queer rights. I must ask, in this case, why cannot a lesbian, a bisexual woman or man, a gay man, or a trans gendered individual moderate this debate? What makes heterosexuals, particularly a heterosexual male, less partial than anyone else? Furthermore, I must ask, where is the queer voice in the Daily Nebraskan? Why are there no bisexu al, transgendered, lesbian or gay columnists this semester? Why is the debate set out as a debate between het erosexuals, with a queer voice only occasionally interrupting it? I understand many of the colum nists have been well-intentioned and even somewhat knowledgeable on the topic. I do not fault anyone for trying to be understanding, tolerant and accepting. In fact, I applaud that. What troubles me is the lack of a les bian, gay, bisexual or transgendered voice in the dialogue. Robert W. Anderson graduate student English 1 1 ■ ■ I DN LETTERS 'PS. Write Hack Send letters to: Daily Nebraskan, 34 Nebraska Union, 1400 "R" St,, Lincoln* NE 68588, or fax to (402) 472*1761, or e-mail <email@example.com. Letters must be signed and include a phone number for verification.