EDITOR'S DESK: It’s not that funny anymore
Recently one of our readers asked us why we're “so hard on the homeless.” First of all, I don't think that's the case. I just think all people should be held accountable
for their actions. Secondly, this is getting to be serious stuff. Here is a segment of the population - typically single young men - who selfishly assume their clumsy
version of freedom trumps the good of society as a whole.
I could go on about how they intimidate honest citizens from using Fountain Creek while they (the bums) muck it up, create other health problems and then have the cheek to spare-change us for "food" when you know dang well they're saving up for a bottle of Old Overcoat. But that's small stuff compared to what's been happening lately. Twice in the last few months, the uncaring antics of this crowd have put the rest of us at great risk. The first time was last summer when a couple of them got into a drunken tiff at their "camp" along Fountain Creek behind the Sonic restaurant, and one shot at the other, clearly without regard for the diners scarcely 100 feet away. The second time was Sept. 28, when some mountain transient, who either didn't know or didn't care about fire safety, accidentally ignited what turned out to be the Incline Fire.
In both cases, our community lucked out. No one was hit by random gunshots, and the Incline Fire was contained after burning "only" 27 acres of mountain timber. But these unpredictable souls - yes, many of them have identified mental problems - are still among us. There is no telling what they might do next, and no one is there to watch them.
Please understand. I wouldn't in a million years advocate any action to hurt such people. The recent attack downtown was inexcusable. And there are true homeless - often women with several kids, stranded by some lout - who need help getting back on their feet. Unfortunately, in their haste to win feel-good contests, too many civic leaders tend to lump all "homeless" together, instead of facing up to the single-male-transient problem. They do so, as we certainly now can see, at the risk of us all.