March 20 2013 09:55 AM

Our readers tell us what they think

Edwin the glib sociopath

If Edwin Decker, in his Feb. 20, "Sordid Tales" column about assault rifles, was attempting an imitation of Tom Tomorrow's Glib Sociopath, then he succeeded fully. Swimming pools? Toasters in bathtubs?

Edwin, you are now the cartoon.

Francis Console, Oceanside

It's the data, not the tool

Regarding your Feb. 20 news story on local law enforcement's use of license-plate readers: While it may be the beginning of a slippery slope, I think fearing license-plate-reader technology (LPR) is much ado about not much. Rather than "a composite picture of what a person is doing… visits to your church or mosque, doctor's office or AA meeting," LPR data merely shows the author's car frequents a certain street "not far from my home." Even if a reader were to record a plate being parked in a particular location, there is no way to track where the occupant of the car has gone.

Remember Gene Roddenberry's vision of utopia in the 24th century of Star Trek? Whenever someone committed some nefarious act, all they needed to do was view the visual records of what really happened. I find any application of this to be a good thing, not bad.

What privacy-rights advocates need to watch are laws regarding what can be done with any of the mass of data being collected. In other words, I would be much more cautious about the usage of the data than the tool used to collect it.

Michael-Leonard Creditor, La Jolla

More reading material

In reference to your Feb. 20 news article about license-plate readers, I did not realize this was happening. My question is that if they are reading every plate out there, how come I see so many with expired tags? The state is losing a lot of money here, too.

Ronald E. Long, East Village

What about Compass cards?

Regarding your Feb. 20 news story on license-plate readers: Aren't bus and trolley riders' privacy also invaded by the use of Compass cards? These magnetic machines know where we've been traveling, too. Do they keep a record, too, like the police and car license plates? And what is the effect of all this electronic air pollution on our own bodies' magnetic fields?

Val Sanfilippo, Linda Vista

False medi-pot claims

Your March 6 "Filner mulls a tax and big permit fee on pot" editorial falls trap to the false conception that San Diegans don't have access to medi-pot. This false rhetoric comes from pot-shop owners and their lobbying organizations, because some of their storefronts, profits and market share have taken hits from law enforcement.

First, there are hundreds of delivery services; they advertise all over the Internet (go ahead and Google them) and in print media like the San Diego Reader, and, at times, CityBeat. Delivery services operate 24/7 and will deliver right to your door. For "patients," it can't get any easier. And for the safety of our roadways, the less pot users on the road, the better. And for neighborhoods like Pacific Beach and Mid-City suffering under an over-concentration of pot shops and their criminal byproducts, it's better.

So, every time I hear the false claim that San Diegans don't have safe access to pot, it reiterates what the pot lobby really wants, and that is more access, easier access, unlimited access. Cities can agonizingly try to craft regulations, but nothing changes: Federal law enforcement will uphold the law and shut down pot stores and delivery services that sell an illegal and harmful drug.

Diego Di Maria, Rancho Bernardo

It's about drug dealing

I was surprised with your concern re: nimbyism in your March 6 editorial, "Filner mulls a tax and big permit fee on pot." Of course we don't want them in our communities; we know what they are like—an excuse for drug dealing and drug pushing. We have seen it. We know that true patients and caregivers would exchange pot just as the law allows without setting up a shop. Since the delivery services advertize heavily, there is no need for a store unless this isn't about compassion but profits.

Ken Scott, City Heights

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