Serving our country

Dear Editor:Mr. Hofstetter is undoubtedly correct in saying that the number of Hispanic names appearing on the service banners of honor is probably proportional to the population of Downey, although those names on casualty lists which represent a wider population seem disproportionately high. ("Land of the Free," Letters to the Editor, 6/613) And I was responding to a letter which seemed to deny any contribution of any kind by Hispanics to the general good. My father, my brother and I and my son have all worn this country's uniforms and have only respect and gratitude for all those who currently serve. That respect also extends to their families and loved ones, regardless of any questionable residency documentation. As far as I'm concerned, service in that uniform with the risk involved is all the documentation anyone or their family should need. I read somewhere that a citizenf of Mexico applying for legal immigration to the U.S. would be on a waiting list that was 28 years long. Mr. Hofstetter's challenge is reasonable, and I'm sure that some Patriot reader can accurately clarify. I compare that to my grandparents' ease of movement from Canada (from English speaking Ontario, not French Quebec). One of my daughters works for an American firm with small facilities in Canada which she supervises from here but which do require occasional on-site visits. Until the War on Terror, that position didn't even require a passport. And as far as English being the official U.S. language, I also note that ballot information is available in a number of other languages to help citizen voters more comfortable in those languages make intelligent choices. We are and always have been a pluralistic society. Where I'll push back on Mr. Hofstetter is the issue of drugs. He mentions the corruption in Mexico but not the corrupters, the U.S. drug users who support the cartels. He calls U.S. drug users merely "stupid." I call them accessories to the murder of every honest Mexican cop, U.S. border agent and innocent bystander killed by the trade. The description of stuipd and the myth that drug use is a "victimless crime" is symptomatic of our increasing tolerance and our refusal to recognize the damage this tolerance does to others. Whether it's deference to the rich and famous or unwillingness to build enough prisons, this leniency on criminal activity will come back to haunt us. And if you believe that closing the Mexican drug route will end U.S. drug use, dream on. Where there's a ready market and an easy buck to be made, a way will be found. The other issue is the guns. Mr. Hofstetter doesn't seem to think U.S. guns are part of the problem. But as incompetent as the ATF's actions were, they were trying to track some kind of arms flow. And U.S. gun makers and brokers operate on the same principle as drug dealers. Where there's a ready market and an easy buck to be made, a way will be found. David Mathews Downey

********** Published: June 13, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 09