Re “Going into rivers now just plain stupid” (Page 13A, May 26): Should we close rivers because high flows and cold waters are dangerous? There is a big difference between closing a play area, a road or an amusement park and closing a river. The world is out there for each of us to explore. Should every endeavor be reduced to the lowest common denominator because there is some risk? Who is to decide what level of danger is acceptable?
Do our authorities end up being blamed when they do not close a river or mountain and someone gets hurt? Future Lewis and Clarks would of course not be allowed to go on dangerous journeys. Future Franklins and Wright brothers would not be allowed to play with electricity or try to fly; far too dangerous. Arbitrarily preventing risky activities is the physical equivalent of restricting free speech.
I am concerned that if I allow you to close the river in high water I will soon find that I cannot go hiking in the mountains in winter because someone considers it dangerous. The world your editorial board envisages would have no risk, no chance for exploration and little meaning. Couch sitting might be banned – too much chance of heart disease.
Adrian Crane, Modesto