The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 21, 1997, Page 4, Image 4

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Paula Lavigne
Matthew Waite
Erin Gibson
Joshua Gillin
Jeff Randall
Julie Sobczyk
Ryan Soderlin
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
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:
ir : *
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
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
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
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
1 1 ■ ■ I
'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 <
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