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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    Rep. Giffords doing great in office

    Contrary to Michael Sistak’s negative opinion about Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (“”Rep. Giffords failing her constituents””), I would like to commend the congresswoman on doing a fantastic job in her term thus far. As an intern in the congresswoman’s Tucson office, I have seen firsthand how hardworking she is.

    For example, I attended an event in Sierra Vista over the weekend and watched Giffords spend more than three hours hearing the points of view and opinions of people who showed up at her “”Congress on Your Corner”” event. This event was only supposed to last two hours, but the congresswoman wanted to speak to everyone who took time out of his or her Saturday to attend.

    As I stood and wrote down more than 100 constituent opinions, I found a common underlying theme: Even though the atmosphere was politically charged, most people I talked to ended their statements by saying how appreciative they are for all the great work the congresswoman had done thus far. They especially emphasized that she is doing a great job getting to know her constituents.

    One woman was standing with a large sign boldly stating “”No Amnesty.”” Well, guess who the congresswoman walked up to first?

    Now, on a Monday afternoon, I am in her office entering addresses and names. Why? Because the congresswoman sends thank-you letters to everybody who crosses her path.

    As a student senator and intern, I highly encourage my fellow students to do their research, come to these events and see foryourselves. I challenge you to imagine whether every member of Congress has made the same effort to know their constituents and hear their thoughts; I promise that you will be as impressed as I am.

    Melodie Schwartz communication sophomore

    States lack power to set drinking age

    The argument that one is old enough to “”die for their nation, but not have a beer”” is warranted even though there is no draft (“”Good reasons justify drinking age””). When people turn 18, they do not have to fear being forced into the armed services. In the same manner, people are not forced to drink when they turn 21. So people may choose to “”die for their country”” when they turn 18, but they still cannot choose to legally drink alcohol.

    The drinking age in all states was effectively increased to 21 when the Federal Highway Act of 1984 was passed. How was drinking age changed through a highway bill, though? The Constitution does not grant the federal government the ability to regulate alcohol sales through legislation. This is why alcohol prohibition had to be an amendment to the Constitution.

    But Congress was clever; they passed this highway bill that gave states money only if their drinking age was 21. Sounds a bit like extortion. Research firms funded by insurance companies found that raising the drinking age from 18 to 21 reduced the amount of highway accidents, and thus the amount of money insurance companies would pay on claims. So insurance companies heavily lobbied Congress in order for this highway bill to pass.

    While I agree that alcohol use (especially by younger people) may not be the most effective use of time, I disagree with the manner in which this age limit came about. It seems that Congress twisted the states’ arms to change their laws, thus contributing to a loss of state rights and an increase in federal government racism.

    Aaron T. Fathe pre-computer science senior

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