Soap Box: Oct. 12-18 | Letters | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Soap Box: Oct. 12-18 

CW readers' comments on panhandling, gun laws and more.

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Cover story, Oct. 12, "Curbing Panhandling"
I've seen homeless people pull out bigger wads of cash than I've ever had working full-time. Most people choose that life—not all, but most.
Joshua Clearkut
Via Facebook

Maybe when the city decides that affordable housing should be a priority, instead of letting developers run rampant with all the "luxury" apartments being built all over—which leads to a higher rent market in the city and will result in more homelessness—then maybe I will stop giving to panhandlers directly.

Also, the city cops need better training with people with mental illnesses, and think it's OK to shoot them in the back (killing a black man results in an acquittal for the police, manhandle a white woman and you lose your job).
Justin Bogenschutz
Via Facebook

If you donate directly to them, you are perpetuating the problem. You might as well drive them straight to the liquor store. Give to charities that have a proven track record of helping.
Scott Brown
Via Facebook

The homeless problem breaks my heart. I have a 24-year-old, beautiful daughter that comes from a great family, but unfortunately suffers from some mental issues and started to self-medicate and fell into the wrong crowd at an early age. She ran away at age 17 and has been on the streets of SLC since.

Problem is, once your child is 18, it's almost impossible to get them help. So I know what it's like to have a homeless child.

She is one the people holding signs by the freeways. As a parent, it is a nightmare. It is extremely dangerous to stand on those exits and medians. And they should not be allowed to.

As far as people saying, "Get a job," it's not always that simple. And until you walk in someone's shoes, you really shouldn't judge them. A lot of them do have a mental illness or drug addiction or other medical issues—not to mention no phone or addresses. There are numerous reasons, and there are also a lot that do want to work. My daughter would love to and she has tried, but her issues are so extreme, it doesn't last.

I could go on and on. Bottom line is, please, next time you see a homeless person, don't judge them; they are someone's son, daughter, mother, father. You don't know their story—and everyone has one.
Chris Johnson
Via Facebook

The day someone legislated that I can't feed, clothe or give anything to anyone I want to, out of the kindness of my heart—no matter how bad of an idea someone else thinks it is and others applaud how great of an idea it is—is the day we are all lost as a free country. I will dissent.
Kimberly Lynn Cherrine-Bell
Via Facebook

Are we not all beggars? No, some of us are hypocrites.

"And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?"

—The Book of Mormon, Mosiah 4:16-19
Michael Anthony Sakell
Via Facebook

The same bums occupy their own corner, day in and day out, and if you are lucky, you see them get dropped off or swapping signs among themselves. I understand some people need help and I hope they get it, but every entrance to a shopping market or corner on a street just does not need someone looking for a handout.
Joshua Daniel Rathbun
Via Facebook

Maybe we should institute panhandling zones. Then we can pay for a bureaucracy to license and regulate the area.
Daniel Richards
Via Facebook

Since most seem to be vets, how about Trump and the federal government take care of its responsibilities?
Joshua David Zimmer
Via Facebook

Irony is lawmakers and legislators who constantly take money for favors, passing laws against panhandling.
Corban Anderson
Via Facebook

There are panhandlers every 2 feet these days, asking for my spare change. I don't have anything to give them, yet so many keep asking.
Richard Humberg
Via Facebook

I just don't like to see them do it with pets for pity points. They chose to have the dog; the dog didn't choose them.
Curtis Mace Davies
Via Facebook

Sad to say, but for some, this is their job. And they make pretty good wages. I've watched groups gather and divide up the day's take. Some groups are very organized. Not all of course, but I don't just hand out money. If they need food, I will offer groceries. Usually get turned down.
Bonnie Scarbro
Via Facebook

Opinion, Oct. 12, "Grand Gesture"
I suggest that a really good gesture would be to turn over Bears Ears to the tribes, thus expanding their reservations.
Via Facebook

True TV, Oct. 12, "Love, American Style"
I'll take Chelsea Handler's weekly Netflix show over anything Sarah Silverman is capable of doing.
Richard Warnick

Mormons and Donald Trump
I've been pondering why so many good and decent Mormons voted for Donald Trump and why so many seem to continue to support him, including our U.S. senators and representatives. I've come up with a theory.

Donald Trump and Joseph Smith are much alike: Both males have super egos and both disrespect women. Neither man considered marriages sacred. Both either plagiarized or hired a ghostwriter to write their bestseller (The Book of Mormon and The Art of the Deal). Both sought ultimate power and control. Joseph talked of becoming U.S. president or even a king. And Trump is the president who acts as if he were king. Neither man hesitated to get rid of anyone in their power structures. One says, "You're fired!" The other just excommunicated anyone he disagreed with. Neither man had any trouble lying.

... Both men worked with their fathers—and all four men were engaged in illegal activities. The Smiths conned farmers by claiming that for a fee, the father-son duo would find buried treasure; Donald and his dad pulled scams in the New York real estate market. Both Joseph and Donald decried a free press. Joseph burned down a newspaper that disagreed with his teaching. Donald threatens reporters and sues publications. Both had large buildings erected to remind followers of their power. Trump decorates his structures with his name. Smith's buildings are topped with golden statues of a mythical figure Smith claimed he'd seen.

Even today, with our democracy in danger and our foreign relations in shatters, many people still believe in Trump. Today, when most scholars, scientists and historians believe that The Book of Mormon is the work of a young man with a super imagination or delusional, people still believe. Amazing!
Ted Ottinger,

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