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D.C. just doesn’t get it. I am referring to the 3/14 article “Bottled Fury.” Everyone ignores the fact that alcohol is responsible for far more problems than all the illegal drugs combined.
Northern Virginia regulates alcohol (spirits) with ABC stores. Oh sure, supermarkets and 7-Elevens sell beer and wine, but the number of those stores is limited. Consequently, the crime in Northern Virginia is usually limited to things like burglary and auto theft. Violent crime is low.
Montgomery County also has the same type of ABC-store setup and consequently has a low violent-crime rate relative to the population.
Prince George’s County, on the other hand, has liquor stores and lots of them, as well as carryouts selling beer and wine. The violent-crime rate in PG County is high and climbing.
In the District, as in other major American cities, alcohol outlets can be found on any corner. And people wonder why their crime rates are out of control in the cities.
In the late ’70s, Marion Barry and the D.C. Council began to ease the rules for obtaining Class C liquor licenses in the District, supposedly to make it easier for African-Americans to become entrepreneurs via the mom-and-pop carryout as well as to jump-start the tax base. But it was the Asians and Mideasterners who jumped on the bandwagon, and the number of alcohol carryouts multiplied, as did the crime rate. Everyone wanted to blame the influx of crack and cocaine, but the real culprit is and always has been alcohol. Whatever money is taken in from the sale of alcohol is totally consumed fighting crime, addiction, and all the other fallout from alcohol abuse.
You show me a community that controls its alcohol and I can show you a community that has a handle
on crime. In every instance where tight controls were put on alcohol
distribution, crime has always dropped significantly.
Whenever there is a drive-by shooting, you will seldom if ever find a crack pipe in the car, but I’ll bet you find an empty “40” on the floor. Watch shows like Copsjust about everybody the cops deal with is drunk.
You can’t ban alcohol, and I wouldn’t want that. But tighter
controls will go a surprisingly long way. But considering the present leadership of the District, don’t hold your breath.
Glenn Dale, Md.