A couple of weeks ago, this newspaper ran a story about how Moore police officers were investigating — and catching — people who sold alcohol to minors in the city.

Several people were busted and some were taken to jail.

That story followed an earlier one about a research study detailing how many kids in Moore and Cleveland County had access to alcohol.

Neither story had good news.

Underage drinking is a huge problem in Oklahoma, in Cleveland County, and in Moore. And I applaud the police, their investigations and their hard work.

I hope they continue their efforts.

But there’s a little more to this story ...

Tuesday, I received an e-mail from Bryan Kerr. Bryan owns Moore Liquor and recently, found himself on the wrong end of the law. Bryan was caught in one of the police department’s latest stings. He sold alcohol to a 19-year-old undercover agent.

And he was arrested and later taken to jail.

But while others, guilty of the same offense, tried to shift blame to someone else, or hired an expensive lawyer to get them off, Bryan didn’t.

Bryan didn’t try to cloud the issue.

He didn’t whine or blame the police department.

Instead, in his e-mail to me, he acknowledged his mistake and took full responsibility for it.

“I'm sure you know another round of the same sting occurred this past weekend,” he wrote to me. “Unfortunately I was not as vigilant this time as I was when the 19-year-old visited us back in February. On Friday night I personally sold liquor to a minor in my store, Moore Liquor.”

Bryan didn’t ask me for anything, but just wanted to say he was sorry.

“I regret failing to verify the age of the young man who purchased liquor in my store on Friday night. I do not condone the selling of alcohol to people under the age of 21. I exercised very poor judgment and offer my sincere apology to both the people of Moore and the Moore Police Department with assurances that I have learned a hard and expensive lesson.”

Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I saw someone make a mistake of this caliber, then issue a public statement of remorse.

“I hope that my mistake will not reflect poorly on my family or my employees. Moore Liquor fully supports the efforts of law enforcement personnel and Project 21 as they do what is necessary to keep alcohol out of the hands of people not yet old enough to legally drink in Oklahoma."

Bryan, I’m impressed.

Yes, you used poor judgment. And yes, you made a mistake.

But instead of whining about it, you took your licks like a man. And, further, your apology was a public one — not a private note or a hushed telephone call — but a full-fledged apology to the whole community.

Brian, your mom can be proud; you did the right thing.

“Please do not feel obligated to print any of this,” he told me. “I'm not certain I even deserve a forum to acknowledge and apologize for my stupid mistake. I'm just embarrassed by the whole ordeal.”

Bryan, you can stop being embarrassed.

Everyone makes mistakes.

Everyone screws up — and most of us screw up big several times throughout our lives. But few people acknowledge their mistakes publicly, and even fewer learn from them.

You have done both.

I spoke with Bryan after I received his e-mail. We talked for several minutes and he told me, again, how much he regretted his mistake. He told me how he called his sister, a Norman police officer, after his arrest, and how he hated the fact his mother was in his store when he was taken to jail.

He also told me how he will never make the same mistake again.

And you know what, I believe him.

I also believe Bryan Kerr is a decent, honorable guy who — like all of us at one time or another — stumbled.

But unlike so many others, Bryan Kerr accepted the responsibility of his actions, and apologized to those he hurt.

Frankly, I wish there were more people like Bryan in Oklahoma; because Bryan Kerr did the right thing.

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