Isla Vista Market, Mac’s Market, the Six-Pak Shop, S.O.S. Liquor, International Food Market, Isla Vista Co-op – is one more really going to push I.V. over the edge?

Give the I.V. Deli Mart a break. To deprive a law-abiding entrepreneur the opportunity to enhance his business at the suggestion of an apathetic 3rd District supervisor on her way out and a few dozen non-Isla Vistans is absurd. Instead of concentrating all of our efforts on the slow obliteration of booze in Isla Vista, we should target the real culprits of I.V. evil: the massive stream of crazy out-of-towners, the violence that consumes our streets and the lack of communication between those who govern our little town and those who reside in it.

The Deli Mart is the only market in Isla Vista that can’t sell alcohol, and that’s awfully unfair. Deli Mart owner Michael Hassan is just another businessman with the desire to give his competitors a run for their money, and he deserves his chance as much as anyone else does.

The majority of those who oppose the Deli Mart’s liquor license application aren’t even from Isla Vista or Goleta. Though connected to UCSB, residents from distant towns like Ojai or Lompoc know little of Isla Vista and its inner workings, save for the scary bits they hear at the weekly meetings they have with others similarly disconnected from our local scene.

Drinking is a central part of Isla Vista culture, and it’s likely to remain as such. When we want alcohol, we will obtain it in one way or another, whether there are two, seven or 10 stores selling it. But the truth is, even hardcore, seasoned drinkers like the ones that inhabit our college community can only drink so much. One more store won’t make a difference in how much we drink.

Furthermore, alcohol is not the problem in the first place. Blaming all of our tribulations on alcohol consumption is tying up all that is wrong with Isla Vista into one neat, oversimplified package. Playing mommy with us isn’t going to solve things. We’re adults.

The standards the government has set for the liquor license distribution are ridiculously selective, and by having them, there might as well be no standards at all. If the county thinks denying this guy a fair shot at running a successful business will help Isla Vista, well, we can only hope that it gets the help it needs and sobers up.