Local anti-drug crusader Katz appearance on O'Reilly Factor
By LESLIE LAKE
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Ginger Katz and Bill O'Reilly after her interview
NORWALK -- Viewers of the Fox News Channel O'Reilly Factor saw a familiar face on Friday night, June 7th at 8:45pm as local anti-drug crusader Ginger Katz will join Bill O'Reilly to address the topic of reducing sentencing guidelines for drug dealers.
"My appearance on the show was spurred on by a letter sent by some celebrities to President Obama and Bill's reaction to the letter," Katz said. "A producer from Bill's show called me to speak about loosening laws regarding sentencing for drug dealers."
Katz was invited to offer her input on the question posed by O'Reilly, "Drugs like cocaine and meth, heroin and other opiates kill people, lots of people. And the pushers who sell them are partially responsible for those deaths. And that is violence, is it not?"
The topic remains close to Katz's heart. Katz founded The Courage to Speak Foundation in 1996, shortly after she and her husband Larry Katz lost their 20-year-old son Ian to a drug overdose. Since then, The Courage to Speak Foundation has been dedicated to fulfilling a promise Ginger made, promising to do everything in her power to prevent this tragedy from happening to another family.
"Bill calls it a crime when someone sells a drug to someone and they die." Katz said. "It is a crime. I believe that an addict has to get treatment, but as far as drug dealers who sell heroin to kids, they are responsible for those deaths."
Appearing in a seven minute segment on O'Reilly's show with a mother from California who also lost a child to drugs, Katz researched and prepared to present her story to an audience of up to five million viewers.
"We're in a life and death battle for our kids," Katz said. "On the show I said that loosening drug sale laws will lead to more tragedy, more drug use, more overdose deaths, child abuse, and school dropouts."
The letter that spurred the current debate was sent to President Obama and signed by 175 celebrities, athletes, and officials asking the President to evaluate what they called punitive drug laws.
The open letter read in part, ""Mr. President, it is evident that you have demonstrated a commitment to pursue alternatives to the enforcement-only "War on Drugs" approach and address the increased incarceration rates for non-violent crimes.... We encourage you to continue your efforts to revamp the policies of the last 30 years that have seen the prison population skyrocket."
Known for his controversial soapbox-style Talking Points segments, O'Reilly wrote in a essay entitled Sympathy for the Devil, "In one of the most absurd things I've seen in a long time, a list of celebrities including Will Smith, Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Kim Kardashian and Jim Carrey signed a letter to President Obama asking him to "address the increased incarceration rates for non-violent crimes."
"You either love Bill O'Reilly or you don't," said Katz.
"The fact remains that we are in a life and death battle for our kids. I want to see drug dealers off the streets so that they won't kill another person."