Letters: Nuclear weapons do no good

(As part of a social studies unit on WWII, Prescott Mile High Middle School eighth-graders studied the advantages and disadvantages of possessing nuclear weapons. They were asked to write a letter to the editor of the newspaper. Below are two of the submissions from students. - Robin Andree, Prescott Mile High Middle School.)

Force all countries to destroy nukes

EDITOR:

The reason I am contacting you is that I am very concerned about nuclear warfare. There is really no reason for us to have nuclear weapons. With today's technology if we shot a nuclear warhead, they would trace it and shoot one at us. So, basically, nobody would win in a situation like that. There is no reason for us to have them if when we use them, our target will just do the same back at us. Also, we really do not need another war, most of the time when we enter a war, our economy just goes down and then everyone is angry.

Today, there are still about 26,000 nuclear warheads in the world. That's enough to destroy civilization quite a few times. The average nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal is about eight times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. That's ridiculous because that bomb killed some 90,000 people instantly. Chemicals in the bombs can lead to various deadly cancers like leukemia. Also, it's not like a regular bomb. When a nuclear weapon goes off, the surrounding areas are worthless for many years. The people living there would not be able to farm, use wells or practically even live without being prone to getting cancer.

I think the only way to solve this problem is to force all the countries to make an agreement to destroy all of their nuclear weapons. If they refuse to sign the treaty, then the countries who did sign the treaty will take the nuclear weapons by force. Another thing, if less than three-fourths of the countries refuse to sign the treaty, then we will edit it and just say they can never use them.

The fact of the matter is that we need to get rid of all the nuclear weapons before we completely wipe out the human race.

Gabe Elliott

8th Grader at Mile High Middle School

Prescott

Nuclear weapons are too risky

EDITOR:

I am writing to you to tell you about the great concern I have with nuclear weapons. I don't think that they are a way to respond to the violence in the world. In my opinion, they are dangerous and unnecessary. I hope you will agree with my opinion.

This issue is important because the number of them, which is 23,000 in the world, is big enough to wipe out the entire human population many times. That is according to Jim McCluskey in the article "Nuclear Threat." Also, of those 23,000, 2,300 of them are on high alert. That means they can be launched in one notice. I think the governments that have them just do so to feel powerful and threatening. Their response to nuclear weapons isn't exactly how it should be to protect the planet and the people on it.

Like I said, I am against nuclear weapons. They are vulnerable to terrorists and it is too much power for anyone to have. Not only that but they may be in the wrong hands. Not only are they hard to get rid of, but they have a risk of malfunction and accidental war. Also, it is not a good way to respond to terrorist.

What I think we should do about this issue is have them all stored in one place where it's safe and no nation can use them to hurt one another. The radiation they give off takes the life of thousands, some being innocent people who had no involvement in the cause whatsoever.

If the power of nuclear weapons was in your hands, what would you do? Would you drop it and take the life of thousands?

Claudia M. Acevedo

8th Grader at Mile High Middle School

Skull Valley