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Article Arguments

This posting identifies at least two arguments in each article:

USA Today
Our view: Needle exchanges prove effective as AIDS counterattack.
They warrant wider use and federal backing.
Nothing gets knees jerking and fingers wagging like free needle-exchange
programs. But strong evidence is emerging that they're working.
The 37 cities trying needle exchanges are accumulating impressive
data that they are an effective tool against spread of an epidemic now in its
13th year.
? In Hartford, Conn., demand for needles has quadrupled expectations?
32,000 in nine months. And free needles hit a targeted
population: 55% of used needles show traces of AIDS virus.
? In San Francisco, almost half the addicts opt for clean needles.
? In New Haven, new HIV infections are down 33% for addicts in
Promising evidence. And what of fears that needle exchanges increase
addiction? The National Commission on AIDS found no evidence. Neither
do new studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Logic and research tell us no one's saying, "Hey, they're giving away
free, clean hypodermic needles! I think I'll become a drug addict!"
Get real. Needle exchange is a soundly based counterattack against an
epidemic. As the federal Centers for Disease Control puts it, "Removing
contaminated syringes from circulation is analogous to removing mosquitoes."
Addicts know shared needles are HIV transmitters. Evidence shows
drug users will seek out clean needles to cut chances of almost certain
death from AIDS.
Needle exchanges neither cure addiction nor cave in to the drug
scourge. They're a sound, effective line of defense in a population at high
risk. (Some 28% of AIDS cases are IV drug users.) And AIDS treatment costs
taxpayers far more than the price of a few needles.
It's time for policymakers to disperse the fog of rhetoric, hyperbole and
scare tactics and widen the program to attract more of the nation's 1.2 million
IV drug users.

Essays for Analysis A-23
We're a pragmatic society. We like things that work. Needle exchanges
have proven their benefit. They should be encouraged and expanded.
Peter B. Gemma Jr.
Opposing view: It's just plain stupid for government to sponsor dangerous,
illegal behavior.
If the Clinton administration initiated a program that offered free tires to
drivers who habitually and dangerously broke speed limits?to help them
avoid fatal accidents from blowouts?taxpayers would be furious. Spending
government money to distribute free needles to junkies, in an attempt to
help them avoid HIV infections, is an equally volatile and stupid policy.
It's wrong to attempt to ease one crisis by reinforcing another.
It's wrong to tolerate a contradictory policy that spends people's hardearned
money to facilitate deviant behavior.
And it's wrong to try to save drug abusers from HIV infection by perpetuating
their pain and suffering.
Taxpayers expect higher health-care standards from President Clinton's
public-policy "experts."
Inconclusive data on experimental needle-distribution programs is no
excuse to weaken federal substance-abuse laws. No government bureaucrat
can refute the fact that fresh, free needles make it easier to inject illegal
drugs because their use results in less pain and scarring.
Underwriting dangerous, criminal behavior is illogical: If you subsidize
something, you'll get more of it. In a Hartford, Conn., needle-distribution
program, for example, drug addicts are demanding taxpayer-funded needles
at four times the expected rate. Although there may not yet be evidence of
increased substance abuse, there is obviously no incentive in such schemes
to help drug-addiction victims get cured.
Inconsistency and incompetence will undermine the public's confidence
in government health-care initiatives regarding drug abuse and the
AIDS epidemic. The Clinton administration proposal of giving away needles
hurts far more people than [it is] intended to help.

Evaluate the arguments on both sides. Who has the stronger arguments,
and why?
Alternative assignment: Identify rhetorical devices and determine
which author relies more heavily on them.
Second alternative assignment: In the first essay, find as many arguments
as you can that can be treated as categorical syllogisms. Set up a key,
Selections 15A and 15B

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Solution Preview

As you identify your own arguments, please refer to these sample ideas as guides:

1. The author advocates the use of distributing clean needles to combat the spread of HIV and to improve society. The quote, "CLEAN NEEDLES BENEFIT SOCIETY," verifies this argument.

2. Needle distribution is an effective strategy in reducing AIDS among drug users. The quote, "Needle exchanges prove effective as AIDS counterattack," supports this hypothesis.

Do the premises support the conclusions?

If you argue yes, you may want to mention how the premises employ evidence from existing cities effectively involved in the plan. Please notice the quote, "the 37 cities trying needle exchanges are accumulating impressive data that they are an effective tool against spread of an epidemic now in its 13th year."

The premises also utilize the strong reputations of widely respected health authorities and organizations such as "The National Commission on AIDS found no evidence. Neither
do new studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association."

However, if you want to argue that the premises are unreasonable, you might want to focus on how the sampling of merely 37 cities does not accurately depict the effectiveness since the United States is so vast; the premises do not take the entire nation into account.

Are the premises reasonable?

Due to the use of logic, ethos, and research, the premises seem to ...

Solution Summary

This solution lists arguments within the articles.