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What if Al Gore had been president?

Declined rate of death caused by firearms, universal health care, and increased environmental awareness.

Now those all sound like significant positives as opposed to unaffordable health care, high mortality rates in instances where guns are involved and a society of environmental incontinence – all three of which we struggle with today.

William J. Cromie of the Harvard University Gazette reports that more than 30,000 people are killed, and another 65,000 are injured in incidents involving firearms each year.

The number of people killed alone could fill the entire Doyt L. Perry Stadium as well as the Ice Arena here the University, and still have 1,000 people left over. The amount injured more than triples the total number of students enrolled at BGSU.

Surely everyone has also heard of global warming. After all, one would have to be living under a rock or in the Bush White House to not know about it.

So besides being aware of the fact that polar ice caps are melting at a faster rate than ever before. Plus the fact that at this rate cities such as Miami and San Francisco will be under water by 2100, as reported by Stephen Leahy, remember that your grandchildren will likely be experiencing that in their lifetimes.

Then we have our health care, which is another problem many Americans face. The National Coalition on Health Care reported that nearly 47 million Americans, or 16 percent of the population, went without health care insurance in 2006.

Now imagine if these problems didn’t exist in the state that they do. Imagine that on Jan. 20, 2001, Al Gore was sworn in as the 43rd president of the United States.

Envisioned in this world is a yearly rate of about 500 deaths related to incidents involving firearms.

In this world Gore has implemented a zero tolerance gun control policy where first time offenders get somewhere between 50 years to life in prison, and no one with so much as a misdemeanor has the right to own firearms. The new law saves 25,500 lives each year and prevents roughly 60,000 injuries.

With this policy, three state troopers in New York aren’t shot and killed last year in what they believed to be routine traffic stops, Denver Broncos wide receiver Javon Walker doesn’t witness friend and teammate Darrent Williams die in his arms after he was shot in the street, and a married couple with two young children aren’t pulled over, shot and killed in a Florida drug deal’s collateral damage.

Global warming is less of a threat. While it is still real and dangerous, America is the world leader in environmental safety. With everyone driving hybrid cars and recycling as if it were a religion, the quality of our oxygen is increased, and the threat of swimming on San Francisco’s Golden Gate is no longer an issue.

To cap it off, Americans now have a universal Health Care program where anyone who has a pulse can afford medicine. 47 million people don’t just become more healthy, more are also able to enjoy the fantastic world they now live in.

Now bring yourself back to reality, where someone you know has a realistic chance of being injured or killed in an incident involving firearms, where your neighbors or maybe even you yourself can’t afford to pay for health insurance, and where San Francisco and Miami are still on pace to be aquariums in 100 years.

Embrace George W. Bush as the leader of this country and all the pain that goes with it.

Work hard or stay sick, prepare an apology for your grandchildren, and know that walking the streets can be high risk activity.

So live with it, and from time to time, dream of what might have been.

Send comments about this column to [email protected].

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