Different view of 'dignity'

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Related Letter:

Whatever happened to common sense?

Paul Wescott's response to Dawn Miller's letter is beyond ridiculous. Wescott argues that people who look older should not be carded when purchasing alcohol. Wescott supports this reasoning by arguing "carding obviously old-enough people is an affront to the dignity of elders." What? Seriously, how is dignity being affronted when a cashier asks for some identification? Is dignity lost every time the I.D. is requested form the UPS delivery guy, airport screener, or when you cash a check or show up to a dental exam (if you could ever get an appointment). You name it, our I.D.s are always being checked even when it is obvious who we are. So, I don't understand Wescott's argument that his dignity is being violated when a cashier asks him for some identification.

Furthermore, showing a cashier some identification is a small price to pay to "affront" the numerous consequences such as violence, theft, unprotected sex, rape, family conflicts, poor grades and legal problems, all of which are related to underage drinking. Dignity, rather than being lost, is achieved when a community can work toward protecting the youth. Besides, is it not our elders' responsibility to put forth a little effort to support our youth in helping them chose healthy lifestyles?

Wescott contends that cashiers have a difficult time in asking people for their I.D. and that by asking everyone it makes it easier for them to perform this task. I am not quite sure how this supports his argument. Yes, it is true that sometimes clerks have a hard time asking people for their identification. And, yes, by asking everyone for the identification it makes it easier for clerks to perform this role. So, why would this be a bad idea?

We are led to believe that because of the inconvenience of reaching into your back pocket we are stripped of dignity. I wonder how Wescott contends with his dignity when he is inconveniently asked to slow down in a school zone. I wish our community could achieve a little dignity by being a city that protects the youth rather than ranking 48th in the country in the prevalence of underage drinking.

George Shirk

Juneau



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