Pubdate: Wed, 16 Dec 1998
Source: Louisville Courier-Journal (KY)
Copyright: 1998 The Courier-Journal


A Dec. 8 letter writer's comments were a bit off the mark. While I agree
with her that irresponsible drinking is a problem in our society, I believe
she is confusing several subjects.

First, alcohol is not the problem. The people who consume it irresponsibly
are the problem.

Second, the companies that produce alcoholic beverages have never claimed
that their product is harmless. To their credit, they continually ask those
who drink to do so responsibly. (This is the deciding difference between
alcohol companies' responsibility and tobacco companies' responsibility
with regards to their respective products.)

Third, alcohol consumed in inappropriate quantities does indeed affect
behavior; however, the emphasis should be on the inappropriate amounts of
alcohol consumed and not the product itself.

We cannot attack products that are harmful only when used inappropriately.
Instead, let us stand together and work for tougher penalties for those who
choose to perform inappropriate behavior. If we continue to legislate to
the lowest common denominator of society, we will soon see that we've
legislated ourselves right out of a society - and into a tyranny.


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Checked-by: Joel W. Johnson