The picture on the front page of the March 7 issue of The Leader-Union of a tactical team training exercise in the halls of Vandalia Community High School is placed alongside of the column headed “City adds liquor license” reveals inconsistency and hypocrisy.
The training exercise is the result of gun-related deaths, in particular, gun homicides that are making national headlines daily and causing justifiable outrage that focuses on guns and availability, especially by those of liberal bent. But that outrage is not present concerning the far greater number of deaths that are alcohol-related, nor is there real concern over the increasing availability that is a major factor in the sales of alcoholic beverages.
Putting this in proper perspective: In 2011, due to the MISUSE of guns, there were 32,163 deaths, including 11,100 gun homicides (60 percent of which were alcohol related). Guns are also used for recreation, and have practical uses.
Keeping this in perspective: Due to MISUSING alcohol, there are approximately 100,000 alcohol-related deaths every year, of which 45 percent (45,000) are traffic fatalities. Alcohol is a major player in broken homes, and the mental and physical (including sexual) abuse of women and children, rapes, murders and suicides. Alcohol is a recreational drug that has no other real proven benefits. CDC puts it this way: Alcohol is a controlled substance that is not essential for survival.
Politicos from the local level to the White House have inappropriately used gun homicides, especially the death of children, for political advantage. It’s time for them to stop their demagoguery, and adamantly enforce the 22,000 present gun laws. They should focus on more important problems in the nation, including serious problems caused by the use of illegal drugs and alcoholic beverages that are already present in most, if not all, of the schools in the nation and need to be addressed in a more effective way. The use of alcohol should be attacked with the same zeal as the use of cigarettes.
It is urgent. Every 48 minutes, there is a traffic fatality due to a “impaired” driver, not a drunk driver. That means that someone may be dead or dying on our public roads at this time. You are more likely to be killed on the road than by someone with a gun. The men, women and children who have been killed by a drunk driver are just as dead, precious, mourned for and missed as those that were killed by a viscious possibly drunk offender that used a gun. Take note politicos: More children have died in alcohol-related vehicular accidents than by offenders with guns!
It indicates inconsistency, hypocrisy and the lack of political courage when politicos are making headlines condemning the excessive consumption of food and soft drinks for health reasons and not vigorously condemning the greater problem of excessive use of alcohol, which is not only a major contributor to serious health problems as well as a broad spectrum of our country’s woes totaling $223.5 billion in 2003, and it continues to be a drag on our economy.
N. Dale Reindl