Danehy's Arguments Against No More Deaths Feature Numerous Red Herrings
It's unfortunate that Tom Danehy attacks the intelligence of the No More Deaths protesters he disagrees with, rather than addressing the substance of their position (March 31). It's especially poor form given the number of red herrings and questionable premises that his argument relies on.
Tom mocks those who believe in no borders, "one-world government," etc. Um, Tom, who, other than you, said anything about that stuff? While there are some members of No More Deaths who take a "no borders" position, many don't, and more to the point, the mock border fence was intended to demonstrate the effect of misguided U.S. border policies on this particular border. Access to "safe transit" is an issue here, because many hundreds of people die every year crossing the border coming to do jobs for which, as Danehy admits, the U.S. government can and should provide visas.
Tom's invocation of North Korea and Somalia is irrelevant. As the UA Center for Latin American Studies website, which Tom quotes, makes quite clear, the protesters were addressing issues unique to a particular border at a particular point in time. Tom would be better served addressing the arguments that those with whom he disagrees actually make.
Tom "doesn't understand why it's wrong to treat people who commit an illegal act like people who commit an illegal act." News flash, Tom: Not all "illegal acts" are immoral, and not all laws are moral. Perhaps Tom doesn't agree that this particular law falls into that category, but surely he's capable of recognizing that these protesters do.
Along those lines, it's distressing to hear that Tom feels that free-speech rights should turn on whether the message's content is "overly simplistic." It's also a bit surprising, given that Tom appears, in other columns, to consider himself a student of the Constitution.
All that being said, it was good to hear Tom describe his "liberal" friend's indignation. It makes the protesters' point: Are we really supposed to sympathize with his outrage that his daughter might have been a few minutes late to class, when people are dying trying to get around a fence to come clean our toilets and pack our meat?