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The right to speak

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I am an immigrant who came to the U.S. legally through a port of entry. I have always cherished our First Amendment right, protected under our Constitution. It is one of our sacred duties as citizens to protect and honor this right to free speech. It is a right that we, as a country, have shed blood for.

It distresses me to read so many letters to the editor that would like to squelch Al Fonzi from expressing his opinion. Now, I may not agree with everything I read both right and left of center, but one of the worst things we can do is silence the voices we may not agree with. If we only heard one particular point of view, our perspective would become very narrow and dangerous. We need to always hear as many opinions as possible, to sieve through ideas to help us formulate our own, which can change over time.

A healthy democracy is one in which we never stifle those voices we may not wish to hear. One of the pleasures of reading New Times is that it allows all points of view to be heard. There are countries where one point of view is shared by the press with the public. Let us hope that we never become like those, and that we always welcome as many different points of view as possible. I hope Al Fonzi continues to share his opinion. I may not agree with everything he says, but then again, I find I don't agree with much of most of what I read nowadays anyway.

Dave Mason

Los Osos

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