By: Steve Trubilla
Again I have read of a child being killed in what was called an accident caused by someone under the influence of alcohol. Angry does not begin to cover how I was left feeling reading this.
An accident by definition is an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause. The word accident is greatly maligned and abused. It is the scapegoat excuse word of choice used to avoid accountability.
Accident does not describe the events that lead to this child's death. The timing that brought the vehicles into contact was by chance. This, however, was no accident. The outcome, with a reasonable amount of certainty, was predictable.
Another truly heartbreaking story I recently read tells of a five-year-old that died in a crash his mother walked away from. She was found to be impaired. Investigators found an open container in the vehicle. The mother's use and abuse of alcohol were well known and documented. An accident? No. The outcome, again, was predictable.
Who out there does not know of a similar story? I have a family member that many years ago killed an elderly couple on their way home from church. His blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit. It was not his first DUI, and would not be his last.
I am a very strong believer in individual accountability. Those that drink and drive are personally, and individually responsible for their actions. Just like those who commit other wrongs and crimes.
Now I know this is a concept that has been marginalized by self-professed political social justice warriors to the point nothing is anyone's fault. It is because I was disadvantaged, I was abused, I am the victim of racism, the dog ate my homework, I have been disenfranchised, etc.
There is no denying one's environment and circumstance will create outcomes. These things must offer a level of mitigation. That level should be found on the scales of justice.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), more than 80,000 people die from alcohol-related deaths each year in the United States. Annually, it is more Americans than those who died during more than 10 years in Vietnam and the collective deaths from every war and conflict since.
The danger and peril of recreational use of alcohol have long been recognized. The prohibition years, Volstead Act, and the 18th Amendment clearly show this. One would think with the now trillions of dollars that have been spent on education in the name of the Humanities the answer to this would have been found.
Unacceptable and horrible as it is, the data shows the answer has been found. Greed and profit are more important than the lives of children, an elderly couple on their way home from church, or the growing numbers of moms, dads, sisters, brothers, and others that will die. As a society, rather than accept the truth of recreational use /abuse of alcohol, it has been monetized.
The justification for repeal of the 18th amendment was criminals were profiteering. The law was changed, the profiteering did not stop. Law, now there is a word, what does it mean? Within the law industry, this is a really big business. How many lawyers do you think would be out of business if the alcohol industry just disappeared?
In every town and city across the county, you will find bars and nightclubs. Grocery stores' shelves are loaded with beer, wine, and all manner of spirits. The same is true of gas stations. Even states are in on it with their liquor stores.
I challenge you to find even one police officer in the entire country that has not dealt with alcohol-related domestic violence.
Look what was rightfully done to the tobacco industry, and you can see what is possible.
Let us not be too proud of the progress with tobacco. The data remains true, greed and profit remain in place via export to other countries.
I enjoy a beer now and again. Would I give it up to never have to read another story about a carload of kids being killed because someone was drinking? You bet I would and give up more than that.
Profit and greed will win this. What is that you say? "I am wrong," that someday people will realize the price that is being paid is too high. What a day that would be. I would be so proud to be wrong.
The push is now on to legalize recreational use of marijuana. The same argument is being made."The bad guys" are making money off of it. Just who are the bad guys?
How is this for an oxymoron. Let's all have a drink to remember this year's 80,000.