Oh Boy

This letter is in response to Chris Haire’s article entitled, “Boy Wonder: Chief Mullen is no Batman,” Dec. 3. While I agree with his assessment of the stupidity involved with the “ass apes” (his words) who glued the locks along King Street, it was about the only semi-intelligent thing he had to say.

Apparently Mr. Haire takes issue with the Charleston Police Department for “cracking down on wine-sipping art-walk attendees, beer-chugging tailgaters at the Joe, and college students blowing off steam at off-campus parties.” (Did you notice that all three of those were alcohol related?) I wonder if Mr. Haire bothered to research how many of the mugging victims and sexual assault victims in the city were grossly intoxicated and walking alone through the streets late at night? Of course, I would never justify any of these crimes, but common sense does play a factor.

I also wonder if Mr. Haire’s research informed him that South Carolina is one of the worst states in the nation statistically when it comes to DUI-related accidents and fatalities. In addition, it is often middle class “art-walk attendees,” “tailgaters,” and “college students” who are the ones involved in driving while intoxicated. But I guess Mr. Haire is right. It does seem very silly to concentrate the police department’s efforts on minor things like trying to prevent DUI-fatalities, not when they should be addressing the much more serious issue of diabolical terrorists trying to bring down our capitalist economy by deviously gluing business locks.

And then there is Mr. Haire’s opinion of Chief Greg Mullen’s supposed violation of South Carolina open record laws, which was obviously meticulously researched by reading one entire article in The Post and Courier. (At least I assume he read the entire article). I guess Mr. Haire takes issue with the chief’s decision to protect the personal information (names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.) of victims and suspects. I’m sure the victims don’t want their info handed out to the public to be hounded by the media or sought out by criminals.

And similarly, I don’t think that suspects need their info passed around so they can be automatically written off by the community (because the last I checked, in this country, one is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law). Mr. Haire seems to think that without this personal information, “the press can’t properly inform the public about crime in the area.” I suppose he doesn’t realize that “the press” reports only the tiniest fraction of the “crime in the area.” Yet he still claims to believe that “the more information you have about your community, the safer you and your family are.” I would ask Mr. Haire, when’s the last time you went down to the police department to request reports about crime in your area, or sat in on a single session of our perfectly open and public local courts? If you were really that concerned about your community, you might try one of these, instead of waiting for the press to spoon feed you 0.01 percent of the “crime in your area.”

Mr. Haire went on to say that “if there’s been a rash of sexual assaults in my neighborhood, I’d like to know as much about the incidents as possible.” Well, here’s a start. Go online and look up your address on the sex offender registry and take a look at a map of your neighborhood showing all the addresses of individuals listed as sex offenders in the state of South Carolina. I promise you’ll get a real eye-opener. But as an informed journalist who does meticulous research, not to mention being a concerned citizen, I’m sure you’ve already done this.

My advice to Mr. Haire is, the next time you want to spout your opinion in the paper, think before you write. Judging by your three (yes, three) opening paragraphs about comic book heroes, (something which had absolutely no relative bearing on the subject matter and was obviously just filler to get your word count up), you might want to start by spending a little less time watching movies and reading comics, and a little more time doing research and properly informing yourself. The only thing worse than an uninformed opinion is a self-righteous and ill-conceived uninformed opinion.

A Reader Of Papers