Sad times

Passing by the intersection of 110th and Lake City Way, I saw flowers people left in memory of a couple killed in a horrible car crash there last week. Heartbreaking to think about the way these young people's life ended, and terrifying to consider the situation that lead to it. I just really can't believe that a man who killed someone in a very similar way in 2009 was never given more than a slap on the wrist all because he allegedly had a psychotic episode that resulted in him causing a crash with a fatality. He didn't even lose his driving privileges... And now, two other deaths later, he will get a year in jail (and will likely get his license back after two years). Lives are cheap when they are packed inside a box we call a car.

Of course, driving a vehicle is inherently dangerous. You make a pact with death every time you get behind the wheel because you're operating what can easily become a weapon, in company of others wielding the same. One of the main reasons it took me so long to decide that I should learn to drive, risk and responsibility didn't outweigh the benefits. Yet, it is still shocking to me how blasé the law is about the fact that however you spin it, a life lost is a life lost. September 11th changed this country forever, a tragedy. And 40,000+ people die every year in motor vehicle collisions in the US. Oh, but of course, it's just collateral damage, the price paid so that every man, woman and child older teenager can have access to what makes us a beacon of civilization: the privilege of driving a car (seen by many as nothing less than a right). If I were to go out and say that the horror of September 11th is just collateral damage in America's fight to maintain control over the Middle East--... well, it's best to never say it. Not because I'd be afraid of backlash, but because I don't want to cheapen lives so. I know I'm a moral relativist and most of the world is gray to me, and I think more than I feel, but I try to remind myself that lives are not just numbers we hear on the news. After all, my loved ones aren't to me, and everyone who has someone they love can probably understand that...

Sad and disappointed.

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