Letter to the editor: Abuse of alcohol, not product itself, is cause of the problems

Feb. 16, 2013 @ 08:32 PM

Editor:

I was raised in Gatlinburg, I currently live in Sevierville and I work daily in Pigeon Forge so I am very familiar with all three communities; thus my bewilderment in reference to the current controversy surrounding liquor by the drink in Pigeon Forge.

While growing up this was never an issue in Gatlinburg. Living in Sevierville for the past 5 years, again never an issue. It is very difficult for me to understand and process why the issue for Pigeon Forge?

I think we all know and understand that anything done in an irresponsible, over-indulgent manner can be harmful, but controlling one’s choice and free will is not the answer to irresponsibility and/or over-indulgence. Respectfully, my point is the abuse thereof is the problem and not the product itself.

There is so much good and positive to come from responsible progress. The word progress itself means to advance, proceed, increase and/or improve and improvement comes with the freedom to make choices. Control and/or the lack of choice only offers suppression and thus destructive to progress.

As the mother of a 5-year-old I have to ask why would we settle for anything less than the best possible education and upbringing for our children, who are ultimately going to be the next generation of citizens, workers and leaders. When we unite for the future, education and betterment of our community, we thrive … our children thrive and ultimately our entire community thrives.

We are currently benefiting from the freedom of choice in Pigeon Forge. What message are we sending if we deny our own children the highest quality education available to them by allowing that opportunity and right to be taken away?

Freedom of responsible choice, paired with respect and appropriate regulation is the answer that will allow Pigeon Forge and our children to thrive.

Mary Hope Maples

Sevierville