Utah Politics/Region

Josh Coates jcoates at archive.org
Wed Feb 2 16:32:06 MST 2005

>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".

fyi, there is LOTS of data to suggest otherwise. i dont have time to check
on every country, and every age group, but here is a sample of
alcohol/violence for the UK and Canada:

44% of all assailants in domest abuse cases were under the influence of
1.2 million cases of alcohol related violence occured in the UK in 1999

a sampling of incarcerated violent criminals showed 46% of rapists were
"severe alcohol abusers" while only 4% of the non-sexual violent offenders

i could probably pull up similar information about other european countries.
the conclusion is that alcohol is bad news everywhere.

also - i think comparing guns to alcohol is an interesting idea.  good food
for thought.

Josh Coates

-----Original Message-----
From: plug-bounces at plug.org [mailto:plug-bounces at plug.org]On Behalf Of
Josh Hansen
Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2005 4:01 PM
To: Provo Linux Users Group Mailing List
Subject: Re: Utah Politics/Region

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
> 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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