Utah Politics/Region

Josh Hansen lists at josh.aros.net
Wed Feb 2 16:01:22 MST 2005

Josh Coates wrote:

> * Alcohol is the most widely abused psychoactive drug in the world.
> * More than 100,000 deaths are caused by excessive alcohol consumption each
> year in the U.S.
> * About 48% of all auto fatalities are alcohol related.
> * Alcohol kills ~6 times more children/teens than all other illicit drugs
> combined.
> * If alcoholic beverages magically didn't exist, much misery would
> alleviated - including death, disease, domestic abuse, and rape.
> now, what to do about it?  i don't know - but there are the facts.
> Josh Coates
> http://www.jcoates.org

Stats like those make one wonder why alcohol is legal in this country, 
while far less harmful drugs are not.

The truth is, alcohol does cause (or is a factor in) a lot of pain and 
suffering.  But for every wife-beating alcoholic, there are 1000 
responsible drinkers who would never harm a fly and who would never 
drive drunk.

Many of the arguments against alcohol like that can also be made against 
guns.  How many mothers lose their children in our cities every year 
because of handguns?  A lot.  Yet most Utahns are vehemently opposed to 
any form of gun control (myself included).  They say guns don't kill 
people, people kill people, and they talk about how we should teach our 
children to be responsible with them.  I say the same about alcohol. 
Look at Canada or European countries where the drinking age is lower and 
there is no reson for underage drinking to be "cool" and "rebellious". 
They don't have nearly the same amount of drunk driving deaths, date 
rape, etc that we have.

Why is there such a difference in the attitude about alchohol and guns 
in this state, especially in the more conservative counties and cities? 
  Both can be dangerous, and both cause a staggering amount of deaths. 
Of course the analogy isn't perfect, but I think it works.

Of course it's also interesting that many liberals who would like looser 
regulation of alcohol in this state would also love to see very strict 
regulation of firearms.  They think that people should be trusted to be 
able to drink responsibly, but not trusted to own a gun responsibly.


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