Vail Daily letter: Take some responsibility
June 5, 2013
This is responding to the "Scary bust in the woods" letter. Like many of the valley's young adults, I'm expressing my concerns. It's not this idea of arbitrary tickets being written up. It's the idea of "victimization" and lack of taking responsibility by those who were part of this minor in possession incident.
As part of the Eagle River Youth Coalition, I am a strong advocate for anti-underage drinking campaigns, and I fully support the Sheriff's Office. I'm disappointed they are being portrayed in such a negative fashion.
The writer says, "(I) understand that this (camping) has the potential to be very dangerous, especially with underage drinking involved."
Then why are authorities who are trying to make sure it doesn't turn "very dangerous" being attacked?
The cop's "irrational decision to come to the campsite" paragraph is immediately followed by how kids took off to the woods, intoxicated, in danger of falling off cliffs or being severely injured. I wouldn't call a (rumored) 60 intoxicated kids 50 yards from cliffs an "irrational decision" for authorities to assess the situation for ensuring safety. Really?
Many young adults "(hope) next time the police don't show up unless there is an emergency to attend to, not just tickets to hand out."
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But that means they're suggesting police shouldn't show up until after a car crashes or someone is killed! Really?
Apparently the "obvious solution would have been to prevent the party in the first place and force everyone to turn around."
If that happened, there would have been a whole new array of hissy fits from kids talking about how the cops were just assuming something would go down and have no right to forcibly turn kids away from public property and are just there to ruin their fun. "F- the Pigs!" was posted everywhere on Facebook. Really?
By the way, yes, running away from the police is a serious offense, and trying to justify it with "what else are we to expect?" is like saying, "I was speeding then accelerated to 140 mph because I was being chased. What else was I to expect?" Really?
This was an obvious attempt to defend the actions of the event and a poor attempt at blaming the Sheriff's Office. If people were so concerned with the safety of future camping parties, they would recognize the reasons behind the authorities' efforts and (if caught or written up with an MIP) accept responsibility for participating in an illegal activity.
What troubles me is this community contributed substantial dollars (a $40,000 budget) to support Project Graduation (a national program dedicated to keeping children safe on graduation night and assure kids would not go out and drink). Many of the same kids who attended Project Graduation waited a day, then went drinking where this incident occurred. Where are the parents, some of the same who planned Project Graduation? Really?
Seems a bit hypocritical.
Student Body President Class of 2013
Battle Mountain High School
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