Driving drunk is stupid, but it is also a crime

Six people were injured Thursday in a two-car wreck that closed Highway 22 near the Stayton/Sublimity interchange.

Neither celebration or criticism is appropriate when  another person dies whether of natural causes or is killed; but there are so many people killed every day in war, in traffic and in domestic violence it is difficult to mourn each one either.  The major of them go unnoticed by the world.  In general, we mourn our countrymen at war and our friends and love ones, as to our enemies we are usually silent, unless the dead one was particularly evil in our eyes.  Movie stars and other media celebrities usually get a pass, that is we treat them as if we knew them personally and offer some form of grief.  But not always, this week when  television personality Ryan Dunn was killed in an automobile accident, Roger Ebert tweeted “Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive” he hit the headlines.  Dunn’s friends, associates and fans fired back calling Ebert some very bad names.

But did Ebert not say what all the public relations campaign against drinking and driving have been saying for years?  And in this context, isn’t  “Jackass” on of the roles that Dunn had fulfilled on television and therefore an accurate term of description?  So what was wrong with what Ebert did or said?  I say nothing – his friends should not have let him drive – pretty simple.  Also, drinking and driving is a choice, but it is also a crime; so, he was not only performing a criminal act, he was endangering himself and his friends.  But it gets worse, much worse; the car was said to have reached speeds of 130 miles an hour.  Dunn was endangering every person on the road or in the vicinity of the road at that time.  At that time, he was both a jackass and a criminal.  His death may be a cause for mourning, but the way he died is a cause for anger, not pity.  He was a criminal with a deadly weapon, waving it wildly and uncontrollably.  If I were a very cynical person I would celebrate, celebrate the fact the no one but the criminal and his associates died in their crime spree.  It is sad a man died, but many more men and women died that day and the majority of them were not committing any crimes or endangering any other person – mourn their deaths.  And don’t let your friends drive drunk.


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