Fifty Years Ago We Would Have Been Arranging a Funeral

Suzanne was in a pretty nasty crash yesterday.
She was stopping to exit the interstate during rush hour when a heavy duty truck,
pulling a pretty decent size trailer rammed her at about 45 mph
and knocked her so hard not only was she slammed into the car
stopped in front of her, but that car skidded into the next one in front of it.

Right now, we are worried about how much time she has missed and might miss in the next day or so.
We are worried about whether her car is totaled or not. Deductibles, car rental,
and for a little while we were worried she might be cited for hitting the cars in front.

Fifty years ago, she would have not only not have had airbags, nor a padded dash, nor laminated glass
nor a headrest to stop the whip lash, she wouldnt have had a seat belt. She would have been dead. (update, continuing head, neck and back pain have required additional trips to doctor, but as much as I wish this had not happened, we are happy to still have her with us!)
Christopher would have been motherless. I would have been heart broken, and the world would have lost a good and decent person

Fifty years ago, about 50,000 people per year died in car wrecks. Now about half that many die, and during that time
the number of miles traveled has increased about 3 times, meaning you are more than 5 times less likely to die in a car today than you were
the year JFK was assasignated.

By contrast, speaking of JFK, between 1963-1969 we actually tried to create rules that made for safer guns,
and made it somewhat harder for nut cases and crooks to get guns,
we made another effort after Reagan was shot.

But in the last two decades, we have seen a major push back by the people who would rather see a school of 6 yrs olds slaughtered,
would rather see a 3 yr old shoot herself to death, in short would rather that you and I or our children be murdered than to make
reasonable common sense safety measures the law.

The auto industry fought every step of the way, arguing cost, arguing personal responsibility, the bars argued against stronger DUI rules,
Yet, we have managed to take a machine that allows us the freedom to move about the country or just the local area with reasonable speed,
dependibility and cost in a manner that has slashed the death and serious injury rates for its users

And yet, in that same time, we have taken a machine which has the sole purpose of killing things, and made it more deadly, less regulated
and allowed it to go unregulated into the hands of people with less qualifications and restrictions than we require to operate a machine
that is much safer and much more likely to do good.

About 30,000 people per year die from guns, most at their own hands, mos tof the remainder accidental or killings or crimes of passion
by someone who will regret the rest of their lives the death of a friend, lover or family member, a death that would not been as likely
if a gun had not been so readily available.

So while my family celebrates the amazing survival of my wife, somebody’s family is grieving over the tragic and unnessecary death of a loved one.
It isnt that guns should be outlawed. Some might make that case. Some might feel that sport shooting, or hunting are both morally questionable
and risky behavior. While I never want to pick up another gun (I was given a BB gun when i was 6 and a .22 when i was 10.
I enjoyed my gun and learned and used gun safety), I dont mind if others want to do both target practice and hunt live animals, as long as
they can show competence with a weapon and show judgement of when and how to use it

Sadly, todays gun is the equivilant to a 1967 Corvette 454, all power, no safety, and too often in the hands of a fool.

Main source documents:


About anthonyuplandpoetwatkins born in Jackson, The United States August 04, 1959 gender male website genre Poetry, Historical Fiction influences James M. Lancaster, Brenda Black White, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, and Al Filreis member since March 2011 About this author edit data As one of the most public lives ever lived by a private citizen, there is little about me that isn't already available at Facebook or Shelfari and countless other places. Poet, writer, construction worker, salesman, truck driver, climber into the attics of total strangers, father and husband, and all around one of the luckiest men on the planet. My luck continued with a win in the June Goodreads Newsletter Contest! What an honor! http://anthonyuplandpoetwatkins.wordp... Additional Influences: Bob Dylan, William Faulkner, Barbara Kingsolver, Gloria Naylor, Eudora Welty
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One Response to Fifty Years Ago We Would Have Been Arranging a Funeral

  1. mefoley says:

    Wow. Glad she’s okay…

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