Smokin’ and Drinkin”

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By Joe Starkey | February 1, 2007

The man in the hospital bed back in Fitzsimons Army Medical Center NEVER smoked a day in his life. The Doctors had just told him he had pancreatic cancer directly related to smoking and LESS THAN SIX MONTHS TO LIVE. The time he spent in the smoke filled {{more}} break rooms as an Air Force flight mechanic was going to kill him before he reached 43 years old. Next day, the doctors came back and asked him to stay at the hospital for three more months to try an experimental chemo program that might “give him 5 more years.” How do you council a man who turns to you asking “Should I give up what may be one half of the rest of my life here or spend it with my wife and children? I don’t like the smell of cigarette smoke but what really makes me angry is someone that thinks their right to smoke includes possibly condemning me and my family to death as they did that man nineteen years ago. Abilene needs the smoking ban for the sake of all of us. When I was in second grade, the co-owner of the local pharmacy came to work drunk. After over 15 DWIs, they had taken his license but looked the other way when he drove to work dispensing life-preserving medicines. In the Roden-Smith Rexall drugstore in Clovis, NM sat my classmate with her mother and father, celebrating her first Straight A report card. “A” hamburger, French fries and a banana split before we go to the movie” was her joyful refrain all week to the rest of her classmates. When this inebriated man drove thru the wall that night, he killed my classmate and her mother and left her father without legs or family. The killer never even spent the night in jail “because of his position.” I strongly believe that US and with should adopt the military code of justice where it basically states that intoxication because of drugs or alcohol is a willful act and therefore any action taken while intoxicated will be judged and punished as being willful. Intoxication should probably not be considered a crime of itself but any action taken while intoxicated that harms another person or even that person should be considered willful and punished as if done deliberately