Take a good look at the picture above. Do you know him? He is a drunk driver. There are many like him. Maybe you know one? It could be the person next to you, the teacher at the front of your class, or maybe even you.
They leave bars, restaurants, houses and parties only after having one, two or three drinks perfectly capable of driving you, and themselves home. They drive because they have had less than you. They’re all right.
They drive on roads feet away from cars at double the maximum speeds, close to curbs where dozens of people walk, and pass police officers who are incoherent of the danger lurking inside.
I am this gun. Everyone you know is this gun. The only reason it has not been used or you have objected to them even loading it is because no one has been hurt. No, a D.U.I. does not stop the process, no the advice of a victim does not even phase them. It is not until you lose a piece of you that you will realize how dangerous this weapon is.
I stood in a house in Isla Vista not far from a street called Sabado Tarde. A person walked in the house and approached a man dancing next to me. Both with a beer in hand, I listened as the new arrivee told that there had been a terrible accident down the street and four people lay in front of his house dead. The victims of Daniel Attias did not see him coming as they walked in the street feet from the curb. Attias, doubling the maximum speed, ran them down not far from the party where I stood.
After he was told, the man at the party looked down at the beer, a grimace encompassed his faced, and he slowly walked out the door with his head hung low. The rest of the party-goers stopped their dancing, hung around a little longer, then slowly found their way back home with their heads hung low.
As I passed the scene the next morning, each car damaged suggested that whatever hit it could not have gone much further, but a block one-quarter mile long marked Attias’ trail of disaster.
I do not know what Attias’ mental history was or if his intentions were to kill people that night but he was definitely under the influence and this fact is the reason he killed four people.
If we continue not to think before we drink, these incidents will not be something somebody warns us of or what we see on the news, but will have tragic effects here.
I do not know who died that night and chances are you do not either, but it is a very sobering reminder of what possibilities lie waiting for us due to the choices we make.
So the only difference between us and Attias is that we haven’t killed anybody — yet.
Jason Cooper, a junior photo journalism major, is on the photo staff of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.