Stormwater pollution is a serious problem that hurts both our natural resources and our area’s commerce. I argue that L.A. County should levy a new stormwater fee by any means necessary, as it will save the county $2 billion in healthcare costs and upwards of 120 million in new fishery resources.
However well-intentioned, there is a problem with my argument: I made it up. Publishing it as fact would serve to discredit both my position and the paper that carried it. Yet this is just what you’ve done with Ed Nemecheck’s letter (“Arming educators,” Letters to the Editor, Jan. 15,) when he writes that armed teachers would reduce casualties of the past years “by 90 percent.”
At issue is not Mr. Nemecheck’s faith in the John Birch Society or his circular reasoning that the solution to guns is more guns. It’s his unfounded statistics. Ridiculous claims like this only serve to muddy the waters of effective debate, and our newspapers are supposed to serve as a check on such rhetoric in order to keep debate moving forward. Opinions are free to be crazy. Numbers, and the editorial discretion of those who check them, are not. You are journalists, and you know better.