Tuesday letters: People need to alter their lives

October 29, 2013 

C MICHAEL BERGEN — mbergen@thestate.com Buy Photo

— The -shooting in Five Points was a terrible tragedy. Martha Childress did not deserve this. But I have a question for Calla Paige Chuy, who wrote the Oct. 18 letter, “Police in Five Points focus too much on underage drinking.” Are Martha and her family the only ones whose lives will be altered?

We know these tragedies keep happening, and history shows they are likely to happen in the same area, and for the same reasons. Martha’s life and that of her family have been altered in ways over which they have no control, but what about the rest of us?

Business owners do not seem to agree with the either closing the streets to traffic or closing at 2 a.m. In other words, they aren’t amenable to altering their lives. Students and bar patrons don’t want to have to be out of the bars, restaurants, etc. at 2 a.m. They don’t want to alter their lives.

Ms. Chuy says the police focus too much on underage drinking. What does she want them to focus on? If she’s not willing to go home at 2 a.m., what change is she willing to make? A “pat down” to check for weapons, going through metal detectors, being checked with a wand?

Columbia police go to Five Points and place themselves in dangerous, life-threatening positions to keep not only Ms. Chuy but all the revelers safe. Help them help you. Make some “life altering” changes. Go home at a reasonable hour. Call the police when you see someone suspicious. Talk to your friends about what changes all of you can or are willing to make. Alter your life while it is still your choice.

Linda Oliver


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