Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I Love Alcohol as Much as You Love Your Gun: But I am Pro-Alcohol Regulation…Can You Say the Same?

As the conversation continues about what we can do to prevent another tragedy like what happened in Newtown from happening again, we appear to be drowning in quicksand over sticky topics that have no right or wrong answers. Gun owners do not want to talk about guns, video games enthusiasts do not want to talk about violent video games, and mental health advocates do not want all mentally ill patients to be seen as unstable mass murders (because they are not). So we push the blame around and around until the next time Lindsey Lohan is arrested or another Kardashian gets pregnant and we have something else to obsess over. Well I’m not playing the blame game. There are many issues we have to deal with if we are going to try and prevent another horrific tragedy like this one from occurring. Guns are only one piece of the equation. As I argue with pro-gun friends on Facebook, I notice something about their argument…they like guns. Some of them love guns. They have been around guns their whole life. They enjoy shooting and they do not want anything to stop them from engaging in their second amendment right. Well you know what I love as much as you love your gun…alcohol. I do love it…wine, beer, whiskey, champagne…I love it all. I have been drinking it since I was 16. What’s not to love? It makes me feel good, it can ease the stress of a long day, and it can bring out the flavor in a nice meal. And the 21st amendment ensured that I am guaranteed my right to legally enjoy alcohol. But as much as I love alcohol I do not have a problem with laws that regulate it. I will never accept a complete ban on alcohol…we tried that and it did not work. So now we regulate it. Do these regulations make it harder for me to enjoy alcohol? Yes they do. But they also try and keep us safe. Alcohol regulations against people who do not abuse alcohol, is the price we pay for being able to consume alcohol. I know that some people can abuse alcohol. They can become addicted. They can use alcohol as an excuse to hurt or rape someone. They can drive when they had too much to drink and hurt someone else. So knowing all of this, means we have to regulate alcohol. We have to try and prevent incidences of drunk driving, we have to try and keep alcohol out of the hands of kids, and we have to help those with alcohol addiction get treatment. And so we limit the sale of alcohol on certain days and times, we limit who can legally buy alcohol and we punish those who are caught driving their cars when they have had too much to drink. Have we put an end to drunk driving or alcohol poisoning? No we have not. People still drive drunk or drink until they make themselves sick. Does that mean we should stop trying? Should we let anyone who wants alcohol have it since we cannot stop people from abusing it? No it does not. The same way we cannot ban alcohol because some people will abuse it we also cannot do nothing because we cannot stop all of the abuse. So we do something. We do whatever we can to make sure people use alcohol responsibly. So why can’t we do that with your gun? Why can’t we stop people from buying a gun at a gun show without a background check? Why can’t we stop people from buying guns on the internet without a background check? Why can’t we limit who can have access to magazines that hold 30 or more rounds? Why can we not try? If you love your gun as much as I love alcohol why can’t you see that it needs to be regulated? I do not want to take your guns away like I do not want anyone to take away my booze, but I know that alcohol can be dangerous so I am thankful that we have regulations and limitations that try and keep us safe while also allowing us to enjoy an adult beverage. I wish more gun owners felt the same way.

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