Associate Editor Ray McCune
I read your editorial about gun control in the December 25, 2002 issue of THE WAYNEDALE NEWS, and I agree with you 100%. Gun control, properly defined is, ". . . using two hands."
I joined the NRA in 1999 in order to support their legislative effort to keep us FREE from the pointy headed liberal do-gooders. They think we aren't smart enough to think for ourselves, and can only survive if they are able to control our lives for us – it's kind of like we're a dumb dog or cat, or George Orwell's book '1984'.
Don't let the "naysayers" get you down or change your mind.
(Dave, I don't intend to let my guard down one bit. The second amendment is the only gun control law we need. It gives everyone the right to protect themselves from enemies, which include our own government. Thanks for the support – beware the politicians that want to make us into subjects and take away our freedoms that are guaranteed by the constitution. I joined the NRA as a Life Member in 1970. – Ray McCune, Associate Editor)
Underage drinking is a big problem that isn't going away any time soon. You can find alcohol at most teen parties. You find it in the refrigerator in homes where teens live. You see alcohol advertisements on TV where drinking is made to look "cool." But the fact is, alcohol won't make you cool. More likely, it will ruin your life and never give you the chance to be cool.
Alcohol is readily available to teens. One common way is by using a fake ID that can easily be found at colleges or over the Internet. Youth also can get someone older - a sibling, cousin, or friend - to buy it for them. Even parents buy alcohol for their children. They think, "I'd much rather they drink in our home than somewhere else." The truth is, if parents are buying them alcohol at home, they are probably drinking other places, too. And last but not least, youth can also get alcohol over the Internet. When they purchase alcohol over the Internet, they avoid having to show ID. All they have to do is check a box saying they are 21 when ordering it online. The alcohol is shipped to their doorstep. Doing this also allows them to avoid paying a state alcohol tax if the online vendor is from out of state, making it even easier to get.
Alcohol is also easy for teens to buy because it is cheap. It is priced comparable to other drinks like soda, soft drinks and water. One way to make it less accessible to youth is to make it more expensive by raising the alcohol tax. Indiana's alcohol tax hasn't been increased since 1981 - before most teenagers were born. Currently, the tax on beer is about 1 cent per drink. The tax on wine is just under 2 cents per drink. The tax on other liquors is just over 3 cents per drink. This is far too low. We need an increase in the alcohol tax to help reduce underage drinking. We've increased the tobacco tax, why not the alcohol tax? Alcohol can ruin your future. It can get you kicked off of athletic teams, out of clubs and cause you to lose scholarships. Why risk it? I urge teens not to drink. Do it for your parents, grandparents, family and friends. But most of all, do it for your future.
Jimmy Lyon - member Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking and student at Hamilton Heights High, Noblesville, Indiana.