Liquor is nothing personalPublished 12:02pm Wednesday, August 29, 2012
I stopped at a gas station near the interstate to fill up because I am convinced that my vehicle gets better mileage with BP gas. Ordinarily, I pay at the pump. But, this time, I went in. I was disappointed to see the man behind the counter wearing a T-shirt suggesting that it was time for Hartselle to start selling liquor. I expressed my disappointment and informed him that I would not be getting my gas there, anymore. “It’s nothing personal,” he said.
I pondered the meaning of that
statement as I got back into my van.
“It’s nothing personal.” What could that mean? Unless he had a boss making him wear the T-shirt, he couldn’t be talking about his desire to sell liquor. That was his personal choice. A choice that he made, no doubt, in hopes of making a personal profit… so that he could increase the amount of money that his business was bringing in and, in doing so, increase the balance in his personal bank account. It all seemed pretty personal to me.
I think what it really meant was that he did not plan to bear any personal responsibility. If liquor sells are legalized, and if he sells liquor to a driver that, under the influence, takes the life of my daughters or a friend, he wants me to know that, “It’s nothing personal.” And he will feel no personal remorse as he makes his deposit at the bank. He will never admit to himself that he, personally, contributed to the death. After all, it was the driver that chose to drive drunk. The man at the gas station did not “make” him do it.
No, he only enabled him to do it. He only provided the drug which impaired the driver’s mind so that he could not make the right decision about driving. Why should the salesman bear any personal responsibility or feel any personal remorse or regret?
“But,” one might say, “if he had not sold the liquor to that driver, someone in Decatur would have. You can’t stop people from driving drunk.” And, somehow, this is supposed to exonerate those who enable and encourage an increase in drunk driving by making the liquor more easily accessible.
Check the statistics. You won’t find a town where legalized liquor sales decreased alcohol related fatalities. You won’t even find a town where the statistics remained the same. There is always an increase. But those deaths are “nothing personal.”
The upcoming wet-dry vote is very personal. And the future of Hartselle is depending on each individual doing their part to protect and preserve our city’s heritage and citizens.
Some will vote in favor of legalized sales, because they are jealous of Decatur making all the profit off the sale of this fatal brew.
Some will make a decision not to vote at all. They can tell themselves that they are not responsible if Hartselle goes wet. But they will not be able to claim that they did anything to stop it.
Others will take on their personal responsibility and do their part to keep Hartselle from following the wrong path. Liquor supporters may want to say it is nothing personal, but you and I know better.