Drunk driving: Numbness and dumbness

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

With the latest number of crimes increasing in Montgomery, copper thefts all around us in order to make meth labs, and Alabama State troopers cracking down on unsafe drivers, one might get the idea that the state of Alabama is not so grand and glorious after all.

Are we simply living in more dangerous times?

Danger has always been a part of life; that is not something new to the human species. However, today we have instantaneous information pumped at us 24 hours a day via the Internet, television, Ipods, satellite radio or through any other version of knowledge transmission. This has led to an overload of news media, be it good news or bad, and has left many people feeling, well, in a word, numb.

We, as a society, have become numb to the atrocities that happen all around us because we are subjected to them in one way or another constantly. And the main problem is we just don't know when to turn it off, when to say enough is enough. It makes me wonder just how &#8220brainwashed” our kids, and ourselves, have become by the news and entertainment media.

I bring this topic up because of the four tragic deaths within the last two weeks within our county. James Terrell Williamson of Goshen was killed in a car accident after he was struck by a 19-year-old who was running from the law.

Sybil Bryan, a sixth grade teacher from Brantley Elementary School who had just retired, was killed when her family's vehicle was hit by a drunk driver, and two teenagers lost their lives in a one-vehicle accident Friday night in Rutledge.

These are, indeed, tragedies in our communities, and our hearts go out to the families, friends and loved ones left behind.

The thing that bothers me the most is this: Just what is it going to take to get people to stop drinking and driving or to stop driving as if they are invincible and immortal?

We can use wrecked vehicles taken from a drunk-driving accident and place them on the schools' lawns right before prom time all we want, but it's just not doing any good.

Many people, especially our youth, look at Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan and say, &#8220Oh, Lindsay got her second DUIŠŠYou know nothing's going to happen to LindsayŠ.”

&#8220Paris is so coolŠ..I wish I could live her lifeŠ” To them, that is reality.

And why should we think otherwise? It gets flaunted in our faces every day on television and the Internet that idiotic pop stars and brainless billionaires can do whatever they want and get away with it. If Britney goes back into rehab, it's considered laughable. When Lindsay is caught with cocaine in her pocket, we may think it's no big deal. We are becoming numb to these atrocities that have become, in and of themselves, everyday events. And that just should not be.

We have had four people from our communities taken away from us by the mindless actions of others.

I'd really like to see if their killers get away with it.

Regina Grayson is managing editor of The Luverne Journal. She can be reached at 335-3541 or by email: regina.grayson@luvernejournal.com.