Wal-Mart should not support idea of alcohol sales

Published 12:01 am Sunday, October 5, 2008

The residents of Burlington will make a decision this fall to allow or not allow the local Wal-Mart to sell alcohol in its store. I know that Wal-Mart has been a great help in the local economic structure of the township.

Wal-Mart has been very good at helping local agencies as well at the local churches and they do purchase products from the Burlington store. Wal-Mart has made many positive effects upon the local area. But all the good you do will not justify intentions of selling alcohol within the local store.

I know that Wal-Mart has been doing this in all their superstores, but if Wal-Mart is supposed to be a family store where does this idea help the family?

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Substance abuse is this nation’s No. 1 health problem. Twenty-five percent of Americans will die from some form of substance abuse. One hundred thousand Americans die of alcohol problems each year. More than 40 percent of those who start drinking at age 14 or even younger become alcoholic. In 1998, the cost of alcohol abuse was over 185 billion dollars.

Approximately two-thirds of American adults drink an alcoholic beverage during the course of a year. Fifty percent of all cases involving homicides and major trauma are alcohol related. Forty percent of those who are assaulted each year were related to alcohol.

About half of state prison inmates and 40 percent federal prisoners incarcerated for committing violent crimes report they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of their offense. Alcohol abuse can destroy families in many ways. More than 40 percent of separated or divorced couples were dealing with a problem drinker within the family.

I do believe that Wal-Mart should rethink the idea of selling alcoholic beverages within the Burlington store. This is a bad idea because selling alcohol does destroy the family. Wal-Mart is not a family store, but has become a greedy corporation.

How many right decisions justify making a wrong one? The local residents of Burlington will be allowed to vote on this important issue. Be careful that you choose to vote wisely. When you open the door for alcohol to be sold in Wal-Mart, you will open the door for other businesses to follow their example. Yes, economically this looks very good, but if you destroy the ability of your people to work or function within society, then you are not working for the good of the people in the community in which you serve.

Dr. Scott Mann

Burlington United Methodist

South Point