McDowell Technical Community College

Mine Creek Baptist Church

My two cents worth

By Preacher Chris Rathbone

Mitchell County

The CDC reports that excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost each year in the US from 2006-2010.

Also, the CDC reported that 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2015, accounting for nearly 1/3 (29%) of all traffic-related deaths in the US. Of the 1,132 traffic related deaths among children ages 0-14 years in 2015, 209 (16%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.

According to the CDC everyday 28 people die in the US in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. That’s 1 death every 51 minutes. Annual cost of alcohol related crashes totals more than $44 billion.

Researchers estimate that each year 1,825 college students between the ages of 18-24 die from alcohol related injuries including motor vehicle accidents. 696,000 students between the ages of 18-24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.

You read that right but let us recap: approximately 88,000 deaths per year. Over 10,000 people died in 2015 in alcohol-impaired crashes, 209 were children. 28 people die every day in alcohol-impaired crashes. Estimated 1,825 college students die yearly from alcohol related injuries.

Where are the protests for alcohol control? Why is the media not outraged? Where are the special news reports on how many children die because of drunk drivers? Why are the politicians not meeting with the victims of alcohol related deaths?

My opinion?

#1 is money. Alcohol generates billions of dollars in sales each year. No telling how much money politicians receive from the industry, not to mention the tax money that is generated. Even though the cost in human life and misery is there, it is ignored because of money. Everyone points to money when they argue for alcohol sales. We’re still waiting for the chain restaurants and hotels to come to Spruce Pine, which was one of the arguments that was used.

#2. People want to drink alcohol. I personally abstain from alcohol and always strongly encourage others to arguments will go something like this: “My right to drink alcohol shouldn’t be taken away just because someone else abuses it?” Really??!! Well guess what, I don’t think my right to own a gun should be infringed upon or taken away just because someone else used a gun to commit a crime. Gun control advocates keep screaming that if we get rid of guns, gun deaths will go away. Well, what if we get rid of alcohol, wouldn’t that cause alcohol related deaths to go away?

#3. Gun control is a better political talking point. Can you imagine the backlash any politician would receive if he began quoting the statistics about alcohol deaths and started proposing laws on banning or strictly controlling alcohol? What if our lawmakers proposed passing laws on how much alcohol individuals can buy? What if they passed a law that, because of all the deaths and abuse caused by alcoholism, individuals can only buy one beer per day? Can you imagine the backlash they would receive? That’s all the media would talk about! Any politician who supported such would have their reputation drug through the mud and things they did as teenagers would be brought up just to discredit them!

Our society sells alcohol at sporting events knowing people are going to get in a car and drive home. You ever been to a car race and seen all the drinking that goes on? Fans watch cars do 200 mph and sit there drinking for most of the race and then go get in a car and drive home. The bars, clubs, etc., will sell alcohol to individuals knowing that they drove there and will have to drive to get home. Yet no one says anything about stricter alcohol laws. You know why? Because they don’t want their right to drink infringed upon because someone else abuses alcohol.

I recognize that right now someone is probably mad at me. Matter of fact it’s probably guaranteed someone’s mad at me. Many are already thinking of how they are going to argue with me and prove how wrong I am. That’s ok. I’m entitled to my say also, even if you don’t agree, as you are entitled to yours. Just want people to recognize that no matter how many laws are passed on any issue it will not change men’s hearts. Alcohol laws are in place and people still drive impaired and kill others. Gun laws are in place and people are still killing others. The studies of life in a womb are there, but people still think that by law they have a right to kill that baby. Laws against domestic violence and child abuse are on the books, but families and children are still suffering. Did you know that it’s against the law to sell or use illegal drugs? Yet people are selling, using, and dying every day. How about stealing? It’s illegal to take what belongs to someone else, it really is! I’ve found out a few times that it’s against the law to go over the speed limit. Yet, coming home from Asheville hospital the other day folks passed me doing 80 or better.

The point I’m trying to make is this: No law will change men’s hearts. Until we as a society, in our hearts, decide we are going to respect the life of others, nothing is going to change. It’s been the same since the beginning of time. What men do on the outside comes from who they are on the inside (Mark 7:20-23). Take away guns, men will use knifes. Take away knifes, men will use something else, even their own hands. Change man’s heart…. that’s when things on the outside will change.

As you probably already know, I personally support the Second Amendment in our constitution. It is my right to keep and bear arms, not because I want to kill somebody, but to be able to protect myself, my family, and my property, from those who would want to take any and all from me, even if it’s my own government. The Second Amendment was put in place not just to protect my right to go hunting or shooting, but that you and I might be able to defend ourselves from a government who would wish to take freedom from its own citizens. I love God and I love people. As a Christian, a free man, an American, I believe I should have the right and opportunity to protect that which is mine. As a husband to my beautiful wife and father to my two sons, I believe it to be my responsibility, my duty, and my right to have the ability to protect them from those who do not respect our lives or any others. I will gladly tell others about how much God loves them and that His Son Jesus died on the cross for their sins and will do my best to love and treat them as I would want to be treated. But you better believe that I will defend my home and family with everything that is in me against any wicked person who would seek to do them harm. That’s my duty, my responsibility, my right as a man and as an American citizen. I believe it to be our leaders duty to ensure we keep that right and the ability to do so. May God forgive our nation for what it has become, May He Bless America with the ability to become what He would have us to be. That’s my two cents worth.

In Christ,

Preacher Chris