EDITOR’S DESK: Solving the bum problem – the sequel
My September-October column, “How to solve the bum problem,” drew the largest response of any of the 500-plus I've penned since Therese and I started the Westside Pioneer in January 2004.
I realize bums/transients/ homeless - whatever you want to say - are a hot-button issue, but I've delved into it before and didn't attract this kind of feedback (which was mostly supportive - thank you).
I think it was different this time because I actually sought to fix things. Frankly, outside of my insulting the litigious ACLU, bleeding-heart social enablers, political trendiness and slackers of all shapes and sizes, I believe my proposal worthy of bipartisan support. Doesn't it make perfect sense that the definition of insanity should apply to able-bodied individuals who repeatedly defy the city's no-public-camping law, abuse drugs and alcohol, set fires, leave toxic messes behind, shun employment and spurn any assistance in shedding that ultimately suicidal lifestyle?
Beyond that, wouldn't it be great if, using that insanity definition, beneficial laws could pass, possibly followed by a public-private partnership that would revitalize our mental institutions so as to aid such desperate folks… maybe even lead them to become productive members of the community?
In other words, move the camp-or-no-camp decision away from those who do it into the hands of those who suffer from it and (and pay for it)!
Some people may call me insensitive (and they have), but I don't particularly like being at risk of another major conflagration (hello, Bancroft bandshell fire of January 2017, Manitou Incline Fire of 2007 and multiple grass blazes, including a late-October close call in Mesa Springs), an infectious-disease outbreak and continued loss of amenities (such as the Bancroft pavilion and a sense of safety using parks and trails).
In any case, we have more coverage in this issue (article on Page 1, plus letters on 3-5). And I hope to keep hearing from you.. or better yet, start making noise with elected officials. They've been in the compassion bubble too long.