Article published Thursday, December 9, 2004, at New York Post.

DRUG-FREE COMPETITION: BASEBALL AND STEROIDS

Letters Responding to my op-ed in the Tuesday, December 7th New York Post

December 9, 2004 -- John Lott and Sonya Jones have a point ("What's Wrong With Players on Steroids?" Opinion, Dec. 7).

We, as a society, have no business banning steroids in the first place.

Society has an interest in regulating substances such as alcohol, which impair judgment and cause people to kill and maim others.

Society likewise should regulate substances like heroin and cocaine, which cause their users to commit crimes in order to finance their addictions.

But steroids do not do any of these things.

No crimes have ever been committed because somebody needed a steroid fix.

At worst, players like Jason Giambi harm themselves.

Professional sports are private enterprises. If the people in charge want to spend their time and money regulating steroid use, that's their business.

But use of steroids is not a public problem.

James Nollet
Billerica, Mass.

Lott and Jones take a ridiculous position with regard to baseball and steroids.

In effect, they suggest that athletic competition is nothing more than show business.

Yes, sports is entertaining, but that misses the point.

A large part of the draw of pure athletic competition is the notion that these athletes are truly different from you and me that they are able to do something, either because of their hard work or their born talents, that mere mortals cannot.

Jon Messersmith
Manhattan

If steroids are allowed, then they become all-but-required.

Without them, players wouldn't be able to compete against those who use them.

Therefore, we would not be leaving the choice with the individual, as Lott and Jones claim.

Mark Parsons Vero Beach, Fla.

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Updated Media Analysis of Appalachian Law School Attack

Since the first news search was done additional news stories have been added to Nexis:

There are thus now 218 unique stories, and a total of 294 stories counting duplicates (the stories in yellow were duplicates): Excel file for general overview and specific stories. Explicit mentions of defensive gun use increase from 2 to 3 now.

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