Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2007 | Last Monday, the U/T ran an article noting that over 100 people were arrested in and around Qualcomm Stadium before, during and after the Chargers/Bears game on 9/9/07. The writer pointed out that in a crowd of roughly 70,000 people, 116 were arrested and nearly all of them for alcohol-related offenses such as fighting, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, etc. In one extraordinary incident, 15 people were arrested on Labor Day, when there were most certainly more than 70,000 people at area beaches. And if you add up the entire summer’s attendance at local beaches, it runs into the millions of visitor-days, yet I would be interested as to whether there were 116 arrests for the entire period from July 4 through Labor Day. I am a Chargers season ticket holder and I don’t endorse, nor do I hear a cry of public outrage about banning beer sales or beer consumption at Charger games. Yet this one incident appears to be a galvanizing point for those who would ban alcohol at the beach.
I have lived in both Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach. I enjoy Chargers games and going to the beach with my friends and family. I am a business owner AND a parent to three kids. I know the difference between acceptable and unacceptable public behavior and I am responsible for myself and my family in that regard. But as much as I am concerned about the mindless and drunken actions of a few idiots and sociopathic losers, I also enjoy a cold one now and then, including when I’m at the beach. With my family.
This prohibitionist nonsense is another example of our low-grade elected representation on this City Council. These folks can’t do anything proactively or at the program level, so they wait until a sexy issue comes along so they can latch onto it REACTIVELY. Banning alcohol won’t stop young men from fighting. They will simply move it to where they can congregate and/or drink. If the city weren’t in such a horrible financial condition, we could afford to step up police patrols at the beach so that anti-social behavior — not just drinking — could be better observed and interrupted before it explodes into full-scale gang warfare. If alcohol is banned at the beach, the next calls will be from residents of neighborhoods adjoining public parks, or other such open spaces where large groups of “fun-seekers” will stake out their new turf. Memo to Michael Aguirre and the City Council: Please, please PLEASE stop finding new ways to penalize the 98 percent of us who follow the law in order to try and weed out the relatively few who don’t.