The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 29, 2013

Your View: Pay attention when you vote

By Gene Garman
Special to The Globe

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Thank you for the story (July 24) relating to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

The tolerance our society gives to those among us who drink alcohol is ridiculous.

At all sorts of levels, our society allows the sale and drinking of alcohol by the bottle, can and in open glasses. When is our nation going to clearly admit the amount of damage drinking alcohol creates in our society, including within the many homes and individual lives that are impacted by drinking alcohol?

The undeniable fact is beer and other alcoholic beverages are freely open for sale to the adult public in nearly every city in the nation, at least somewhere near every community, and the total impact of the damage done by those who drink alcohol is seldom reported. The carelessness attributed to the area police chief is simply routine for too many among us, as if drinking alcohol is to be tolerated without question.

By the way, I was Kansas-born in 1935 and do indeed remember the days of “home brew” and wine making, as well as the commonly known drives to Missouri in order to purchase liquor. So before someone says “prohibition,” I can assure you I have been there and beyond.

 Regardless, not even over four years in the U.S. Marines (Korean war vet) has persuaded me otherwise: I have not bought a drink of any kind of alcohol in my life.

In my experience, drinking alcohol has been responsible for as much damage to individuals and families as any other product sold in the USA. So I appreciate those who have the courage to take a public stand.

The penalty for driving while intoxicated is far too lenient. How many people have to die, and how many families must be injured or destroyed before our legislators have the guts to take a stand, in any way whatsoever, against our national and local legislative carelessness in respect to the open sale and abuse of alcoholic beverages?

It is your Congress and state legislators who make the laws, so pay attention to for whom you vote at every election.

Gene Garman

Pittsburg, Kan