President Obama’s upcoming visit to Charleston isn’t being warmly embraced by everyone.
Some people are already lashing out on social media, saying he’s not welcome, especially because of his stance on air pollution standards and coal.
But one Wheeling man who lost his son to heroin says he’s grateful the President is focusing on heroin and on West Virginia.
Heroin took Bob Baker’s son away, rocked his family, forever changed their lives.
So he says detractors who don’t want President Obama to visit West Virginia need to see the bigger picture.
“Heroin’s not about politics,” said Baker. “Heroin is killing people. And it needs to be addressed. So unless you’ve been directly affected by heroin, you don’t know what people go through.”
Bobby Baker, who loved roller coasters, music and baseball, died last year at age 18, despite intensive treatment and months of recovery.
His father said he’d like to give the President a suggestion regarding sentencing of heroin traffickers.
“The individuals who traffic heroin are killing people,” said Baker. “So I believe heroin traffickers should probably be given a life sentence. Because when you get someone addicted to heroin, they have a lifetime sentence. They will be fighting heroin until the day they die.”
Baker says no one truly understands the depth of the problem unless they’ve been touched by it.
He’s a proponent of prevention education at an early age.
He knows one presidential visit won’t solve the problem.
But it’s a start.
“It’s going to be a hard fix and there are no easy answers,” he said. “But instead of fighting politically about it, let’s try to address what’s going on with this heroin epidemic and try to stop it.”