Ordinarily, I wouldn’t try to argue an opinion with other people, regardless of my personal disagreement with their viewpoint; however, I cannot remain quiet when someone insults another person in such a grievous and unnecessary manner. I could tell you that I am greatly offended that Mr. Clifford Schaffer can hide behind statistics in his letter appearing last week (“The real drug problem,” The Rider News, 11/2/07) and try to boost his own agenda after we suffered the death of a student caused by an illegal drug. While that is a big reason for the offense I take, it is not the reason for this response.
Mr. Schaffer, your argument is by far one of the most malicious and unnecessarily demeaning opinion pieces I have ever read in any publication. Your attacks on Jamie Papapetros, who is in fact a male, tended to favor attacking his intelligence rather than dealing with the issues he brings up. In addition, you yourself do not answer any questions directly; instead, you hide behind facts on your Web site and attack Mr. Papapetros’ knowledge on the matter, which is, for the record, sound logic about heroin.
The fact that you wrote such a scathing and immature argument against a response to a death directly related to the use of an illegal drug that tries to defend the use of the drug is in such poor taste, that I can only hope you were not in a clear state of mind when you made such an argument.
On top of this, I would recommend you take your own advice on being informed. First of all, know your audience. Making a pro-drug argument to a university that has suffered a death from drug complications is not conducive to eliciting a reaction other than anger and/or resentment. Second, consider actually knowing something about the person you are going to accost on the page. You misspelled Jamie’s last name, which is forgivable as his last name is tricky, but you also got his gender wrong. That ruined the little credibility you were working with for this publication. Lastly, consider the use of tact. If you want to be taken seriously, there is a way to express disdain toward someone’s ideals without attacking him personally.
— Andrew Kaspereen
Junior, Secondary Education