Letters to the Editor

All lawyers know the legal "but for" theory. Why not combine "but for" with "legal intent" and apply it to those who kill or maim while driving drunk?

A person intends to drink. But for drinking, that person would not have gotten drunk. That person then decides to get behind the wheel of a car and drive while drunk. It is foreseeable that a drunk, driving a vehicle, will be involved in an accident which may result in the death or maiming of an innocent person. Under this theory, drunken drivers who kill or maim can be charged with any intent crime the prosecution decides to levy.

Why is this not already the law of the land? Who are the legislators who choose to protect drunken drivers who kill?

Robert A. Frauenglas


To the Editor:
Just read Ray's "Commentary" on the latest MetroLink fiasco. When will metro St. Louisans get a clue?

Over Memorial Day, I spent three days without my car. My husband and I took an Amtrak train to Chicago, picked up a three-day visitor pass on the Chicago Transit Authority for $12 at the train station, walked a few blocks to our hotel and spent the next three days exploring Chicago from the bus system.

Now, neither one of us is a city dweller, familiar with the intricacies of public transit. When we got the visitor pass we were given copious amounts of bus schedules, which we pored over, but we soon found that the bus drivers and even the passengers were quite friendly -- seeing us with schedules in hand, they delighted in pointing out the best transfers to take. Most glorious of all, the buses ran on time. You could literally get off one bus, walk around the corner and pick up your next conveyance in five minutes. At 9:30 at night, the bus stops were well lit and populated with fellow travelers, most of whom were not tourists.

We did not use the El, the subway or the Metra, largely because the buses took us within a block or so of all our destinations. But all those alternatives existed as well. We used a magnetic card for travel -- no fumbling for money. And $4 a day beat the alternatives in a place where parking can go as high as $5 an hour. Believe it or not, all over the city, the downtown streets had people in them!

Upon arriving back in St. Louis via rail at 9:30 p.m., we drove home from downtown (no other transport exists to Pacific at that hour, and precious little any other time). We noticed how deserted Market Street was, and how small-town provincial St. Louis appeared. We've supported commuter rail to the suburbs for years, but nothing happens except excuses in this town where people and politicians seem genuinely afraid of actual functioning public-transportation systems.

Get with the program, people!
Jo Schaper


To the Editor:
Pasta House owner Kim Tucci says in the pages of the RFT ("The Sacred and the Profane," RFT, June 9) that St. Louis University's Father Lawrence Biondi's driving a Lexus is no big deal but allows that it would be different if Biondi drove a car "symbolic" of being rich (e.g., a Mercedes-Benz).

Reliable news reports indicate that Bill Gates drives a Lexus.
In other words, Father Biondi drives the same make of automobile as the richest man in the world.

What was that again about "symbolic," Mr. Tucci?
David K.M. Klaus

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