Letters to the editor
Alcohol hurts families
This past week I saw the “vote yes” signs for the first time. I immediately noticed that there was something missing. It was the word ‘alcohol.’ If alcohol is the goose that is going to lay the golden egg for Hartselle why is the word missing? If it is the mother of all progress, jobs and business in Hartselle, why is the word ‘alcohol’ left out? If it brings so much to our town, why is the word hidden?
I began to think back over 35 years of ministry and the devastation I have seen because of alcohol. It wasn’t a pleasant journey to make. First, I was reminded of a couple who recently met with me. She drinks a few bottles of beer and begins to curse him. He gets a few down him and beats her. During their marriage of several years, this scenario has occurred over and over again.
Another situation I will never forget was the night I got a call from an upset wife with a crying child in the background. When I arrived at the house, she had been beaten by her husband who had been drinking. The little boy was crying uncontrollably because his daddy broke his piggy bank, taken his money and left to buy more beer.
Then there was the time I stopped to visit at a home. As I got out of the car, someone called out from the backyard, asking me to come to the back of the house. There stood a young man and a young child. The child had a beer in his hand. The father, not knowing that I was a preacher, bragged, “Look at that little guy! He just loves that stuff!”
This is why ministers are against alcohol. Unlike those who are proponents of alcohol sales, we encounter real people in real situations such as these, over and over again. They may come in weekly or they may come in monthly but they definitely come in far too often. Ministers are called on to try to put back the pieces of destroyed lives and broken homes as a result of alcohol. I am sad to say that in many of these cases, the pieces just can’t be put back together.
Yes, the word ‘alcohol’ is safely hidden away from the signs. However, if Hartselle goes wet, it will then proudly be brought out of the closet and plastered all over our town. From my experiences, I realized why the word ‘alcohol’ is not on the signs. It was something the ‘yes proponents’ know all along. You can’t put a positive spin on alcohol.
Writer urges ‘no’ vote
I have a few comments I would like to make about the wet/dry election coming up for Hartselle. The wet forces always infer that the city needs to legalize alcohol sales for the additional revenue. The additional revenue is minute compared to what the number one drug (alcohol) problem will create for Hartselle.
For example, the Alabama Council on Alcoholic Beverages (ALCAP) states that it costs $15 for each dollar of revenue from alcohol. If alcohol revenue is as great as some say it is, this state, counties and cities would not be in the financial situation we are in today. Guntersville went wet in 1984 and got lots of alcohol tax revenue.
However, about two to three years ago, they raised their sales tax to .08 percent.
Alcohol tax revenue didn’t solve their financial problems and it won’t solve Hartselle’s. The financial costs are not the only problems. The list of problems caused by alcohol are numerous and diverse – too many to list.
The Hartselle City Council has indicated that there will only be a very small number of liquor sales outlets. Don’t believe it. It was said before the local option wet/dry election in Guntersville in 1984 that there would be a very small number of outlets (I believe three). The last time I checked, there were 65. This included many lounges and beer joints. Don’t be misled. If alcohol is legalized in Hartselle, over the years, it will expand until the city is saturated with legal sales locations. The best thing to do is not go down that slippery slope.
Here is another major example that the drug alcohol causes. Albertville, a wet city, had 223 DUI arrests in 2009 that made it to court. The city of Cullman, a dry city, had 45.
My recommendation to the citizens of Hartselle is to reject the legalization of alcohol sales.
Bobby G. Nunn
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