How free can we really be?


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Yardstick
October 17, 2006, 07:15 PM
"If you can convince the gun people that drugs are okay and the drug people that guns are okay, then everybody is a libertarian." -I don't know who said it originally, but I heard it (or something similar anyway) from Penn Jillette.

I obviously don't post here a lot, but I read quite a bit and I've noticed a slight shift from a more republican/right wing political stance when I first signed up to a more libertarian political stance. Maybe it's just that there are more people from that camp joining here. I'm curious how far the libertarian stance goes here however. I still see the occasional, "god given right", argument in reference to gun rights around here. I'm not sure exactly where gun rights are given in the bible, but then again I haven't read that book yet, so maybe it's in there. :evil: As an atheist, a (multiple) gun owner and at least mostly siding with libertarian political ideas, I recognize the right to own firearms as a constitutional right, but actual gun ownership as a choice (and a prudent one in a society where criminals still have access; provided the legal owner is reasonable, responsible and educated in their use).

It's those occasional, "god given right", comments (among others, I guess) that I see that make me wonder though...

If it's okay for people to own guns, is it okay for people to use drugs ("hard" drugs) responsibly? If someone actually wants to do marijuana, cocaine or heroin or any other recreational drug in moderation and does it safely and is in a reasonably controlled environment (home, a bar, etc...), can handle a steady job, etc... Is there a problem with it? This issue kind of hits close to home, I think -thus the relevance of the quote. People are irresponsible with a legal drug, alcohol, and kill people by drinking and driving or maliciously by being so belligerant they beat someone to death. Just like with guns, it's not the alcohol or the drugs doing the deed, it's the person being irresponsible. So can we really reconcile the difference here? My opinion: It is far easier to be responsible with guns since they don't have quite the same addictive quality drugs do, although I do get a sort of "high" (endorphin rush?) when shooting. On the other hand, IF someone can be a responsible, productive member of society while using drugs, I don't see a problem with it.

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jlbraun
October 17, 2006, 07:35 PM
I don't see a "right to use drugs" or a "right to marry" in the Constitution. Sure, the latter likely falls under the equal protection clause, and the former, well, I don't know.

The RKBA was considered so important that the Founders put it in there as a fundamental right that the Federal Government could never step on. As such, I don't see a need to contextualize it or compare it with gay marriage or drug use. It's on a completely different level than those two. Those other two things are important, to be sure - but the RKBA transcends both. I could care less whom you marry, or what drugs you do, as long as it doesn't hurt me.

Aside - the only physical objects noted in the Constitution originally as needing special protection are "arms", "houses", and "papers".

TallPine
October 17, 2006, 07:39 PM
If it's okay for people to own guns, is it okay for people to use drugs ("hard" drugs) responsibly?
IMO, yes! (legally, that is - I wouldn't recommend using those kind of drugs :uhoh: )


Regarding a "god given right" to own a gun, I don't look at it quite like that. I just believe that there is a natural right of any creature to defend itself against aggression, including the right to own/use the best tools for defense. You can derive that right from the creator of your choice, or simply from logic and observation of the natural world.

Primarily, I don't see any "higher power" acting to take away the means of defense from man or beast - rather, the creator/evolution has provided creatures with either natural weapons (claws, fangs, hooves) or the intelligence to contrive artificial weapons.


My own religion is primarily minding my own business ;)

Zundfolge
October 17, 2006, 07:40 PM
Aside - the only physical objects noted in the Constitution originally as needing special protection are "arms", "houses", and "papers".

Papers?

http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/68/041_24_059~Zig-Zag-Man-Posters.jpg

:neener:

ArmedBear
October 17, 2006, 07:41 PM
Your rights stop where mine begin.

You want to do hard drugs? Fine with me.

Got a drug problem? Ask me, and I will help you solve it, if I think you really want to. I personally don't think hard drugs are a good thing to have in your life.

Either way, it's not a place for government involvement. Don't force me to pay for law enforcement that cracks down on crimes with no victims, or for rehab either.

If a drug user tries to hurt or rob me, I should be able to defend myself. Voluntary intoxication should be no excuse in a court of law, either.

SoCalShooter
October 17, 2006, 07:46 PM
yardstick you have not said anything that I dont agree with, recently I have too changed my views and found myself being libertarian, still view somethings liberally and some with a centrist point of view but most of the big issues I have fall into the libertarian category. Unfortunetly there are no libertarians running in my district. The libertarian party is starting to catch up some momentum but it wont be enough for this election.

Standing Wolf
October 17, 2006, 10:10 PM
...I've noticed a slight shift from a more republican/right wing political stance when I first signed up to a more libertarian political stance. Maybe it's just that there are more people from that camp joining here.

Nope. It's that more and more of us are growing up intellectually and morally.

cbsbyte
October 17, 2006, 10:35 PM
I would call it a liberalization of people's views on this site. It is part of a general leftward trend with Americans over the past year. Though I don't agree with many Libertarian points of view, it is a natural progression of society to become more socialy liberal. It seems that many people are finally waking up realising that the world is changing around then, the people who where elected to safe guard America have betrayed us all with false securties, and the slow but steady stripping of our rights. It is very clear to see on this board that many people are seeing the light, and changing their views on the current political situation. BTW, when I mean liberal, I am traditioanl liberal. Not leftist.

ConstitutionCowboy
October 17, 2006, 11:26 PM
As an atheist, a (multiple) gun owner and at least mostly siding with libertarian political ideas, I recognize the right to own firearms as a constitutional right, but actual gun ownership as a choice (and a prudent one in a society where criminals still have access; provided the legal owner is reasonable, responsible and educated in their use).
To begin with, the RKBA is PROTECTED in the Constitution. As for it being "constitutional", the right is in an of itself not "of" the Constitution as would be a law created by Congress. The right preexists the Constitution. A law created by Congress will either be constitutional or unconstitutional depending upon whether it is within the powers granted to, and not specifically forbidden to Congress to create that law. All laws infringing the RKBA are unconstitutional because those laws were created in defiance of the second added article to the Constitution - the Second Amendment. And yes, actual gun ownership is a choice unless law is passed requiring ownership - which would be constitutional.



It's those occasional, "god given right", comments (among others, I guess) that I see that make me wonder though...
Call it God given or call it natural. In which ever perspective you view the "source" of the right, it is a right in and of itself, as has been aptly pointed out by TallPine: Primarily, I don't see any "higher power" acting to take away the means of defense from man or beast - rather, the creator/evolution has provided creatures with either natural weapons (claws, fangs, hooves) or the intelligence to contrive artificial weapons.



If it's okay for people to own guns, is it okay for people to use drugs ("hard" drugs) responsibly?
Here is where the logic runs afoul of - umm - er - logic. This last quote(question) is apples and oranges. You can't compare the OWNERSHIP of guns to the USE of drugs. If you want to compare the ownership of guns to the ownership of drugs, then that would be fine. On the same token, you can rightly compare the use of guns to the use of drugs.

As we all know, it is not unconstitutional to create certain law governing or limiting some USE of guns, like no discharging firearms in the middle of downtown unless in self defense, etc. It would then be logical to create law governing the use of drugs! The Constitution has no problem with what or how many drugs you own(same as with arms), but Congress might want some say in how you use them, and I believe Congress has power to do that with the necessary and proper clause in providing for the general welfare of the United States(one of the reasons Congress collects taxes).

Woody

A law that says you cannot fire your gun in the middle of downtown unless in self defense is not unconstitutional. Laws that prohibit brandishing except in self defense or handling your gun in a threatening or unsafe manner would not be unconstitutional. Laws can be written that govern some of the uses of guns. No law can be written that infringes upon buying, keeping, storing, carrying, limiting caliber, limiting capacity, limiting quantity, limiting action, or any other limit that would infringe upon the keeping or bearing of arms. That is the truth and simple reality of the limits placed upon government by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. B.E.Wood

ETXhiker
October 17, 2006, 11:43 PM
is it okay for people to use drugs ("hard" drugs) responsibly?

Okay. Can somebody explain to me how to use heroin or methamphetamine "responsibly?" :confused:

Don't Tread On Me
October 17, 2006, 11:52 PM
People are stupid. In every single political group or subculture, you'll find that the supporters of an issue often have a hypocritical stance on another issue.

It's like pro-gun progressives. I'm not trying to hijack the thread, but there's a group right there that has contradictory beliefs. No matter how you work it, you can't have both. However, we shouldn't underestimate the ability for people to compartmentalize things and justify virtually anything.

Likewise, pro-gun conservatives believe strongly in gun rights, but then essentially attack a number of other freedoms.

My point is, almost no one supports liberty across the board. Where are the ALL liberty supporters?

There are none. There's a reason for that, because government creates conflict and confrontation. The issues are divided up, in a contradictory way between 2 generic parties and it is impossible for the people to retain freedom intact. If you win on one side, you'll lose rights from the other. Divide and conquer. Our chaos is the government's order.


It is a genius system.

ConstitutionCowboy
October 17, 2006, 11:54 PM
Okay. Can somebody explain to me how to use heroin or methamphetamine "responsibly?"

Good point! I haven't seen any mind-altering guns lately... Although, I do get a bit of a high thinking there might be a Barrett in my future!:D

Woody

"I swear to protect the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, but I am not trigger-happy. I am merely prepared and determined in its defense. It's a comfortable place to be. I don't suffer doubt." B.E.Wood

ArmedBear
October 18, 2006, 12:08 AM
Okay. Can somebody explain to me how to use heroin or methamphetamine "responsibly?"

Sure.

You pay for it yourself, and you don't commit any acts of violence against others. You don't rob them, or even make excessive noise when your neighbors are sleeping.

People do that. I have known people who have had nasty heroin or crank habits. They haven't been my friends; they've been relatives of friends, or coworkers. AFAIK, they didn't harm anyone but themselves.

Perhaps you can tell me how to shoot a machine gun "responsibly"?

I happen to think you can, and there are many people who do. Same deal. It's none of my business, if you don't hurt the innocent. Your choices are yours, until you force them on others.

ProguninTN
October 18, 2006, 12:10 AM
I have a feeling this thread may be closed in the near future. Anyways, on point 1., I defer to Woody. As far as drugs go, I do not see a way for Meth to be used responsibly when its mere manufacture involves exposure to volatile toxins. :rolleyes:

ctdonath
October 18, 2006, 12:18 AM
I'm not sure exactly where gun rights are given in the bible, Just before being crucified, Christ told his followers to buy swords if they didn't already have them. Doing so was apparently illegal, but the directive was made anyway.

Being armed is pretty much a given in the Bible. There's a lot that doesn't make much sense if having weapons is presumed bad.

ArmedBear
October 18, 2006, 12:19 AM
its mere manufacture involves exposure to volatile toxins.

True.

Hazardous waste, pollution and workplace safety laws should apply, because they ARE laws that protect the innocent from someone's actions which impact them. Jail people for exposing others to hazardous chemicals against their will; I have no problem with that.

If we weren't so gung-ho to imprison people for drug possession, it would be a LOT easier to enforce these laws. The toxic pollution problem is exacerbated by the fact that the manufacture is being done in secret.

ctdonath
October 18, 2006, 12:25 AM
I do not see a way for Meth to be used responsibly when its mere manufacture involves exposure to volatile toxins.There's a LOT of normal stuff whose manufacture involes really nasty stuff.

Anyway, the base premise is: you can do whatever you want, so long as you do so without significant risk to others. If you can't use Meth responsibly, don't. If you can't use guns responsibly, don't.

The problem is that our advertising-driven culture believes that things are the problem, not the users thereof. Even with out-there stuff like Meth and nukes, the concern is responsible use ... and any prohibition should be based on behaviors, not things: if prohibiting problematic behavior leaves little or no legal behavior, fine, and the demand should dry up. Ban the thing, and ignore the behavior, and the demand will be high.

Axman
October 18, 2006, 02:04 AM
People are irresponsible with a legal drug, alcohol,

They tried banning that once too...

AMENDMENT XVIII

Passed by Congress December 18, 1917. Ratified January 16, 1919. Repealed by amendment 21.

Section 1.
After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 2.
The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 3.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

If you remember your history, the criminals took over the the liquor trade. If booze is outlawed, then only outlaws will have booze. And they did!

Fast forward...

AMENDMENT XXI

Passed by Congress February 20, 1933. Ratified December 5, 1933.

Section 1.
The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2.
The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

xd9fan
October 18, 2006, 02:28 AM
How free do you want to be?? Do you trust yourself with freedom?? Do You trust others with it?

DirtyBrad
October 18, 2006, 03:17 AM
Whatever happens with the hard drugs, it's pure comedy that pot is illegal and alcohol isn't.

bouis
October 18, 2006, 03:30 AM
It seems to me that individual freedom is going to be inversely proportional to the "collectivization" of our society. The more the government is responsible for your life (and dependent on your income!), the more control it's going to demand. This applies to non-government entities as well -- hospitals and insurance are great examples.

So drugs will always be illegal for two reasons: (1) the government needs you to be productive so you'll pay taxes, and (2) the government has made itself responsible for taking care of people who can't take care of themselves, and so the cost of letting people destroy their own lives is tremendous. This also has the side effect of rewarding or subsidizing self-destructive behavior when the system removes the natural consequences of bad decisions.

That's pretty much all there is to it.

carpettbaggerr
October 18, 2006, 05:01 AM
On the other hand, IF someone can be a responsible, productive member of society while using drugs, I don't see a problem with it.What business is it of yours, or of the government, if someone else is responsible or productive? Or even a member of Society?

If someone wants to live off collecting cans, or live in the woods and eat nothing but what they gather, why shouldn't they? Why should you have any say at all in anyone's life [except your own]?

Why should anyone be able to tell you what to eat, or drink, or how much you should work?

lionking
October 18, 2006, 05:36 AM
I see it like this yardstick...

I consider life,liberty and the pursuit of happiness to be God given rights,the bill of rights protects those rights.

I dont consider gunownership God given,the Constitution can be changed by process to eliminate the 2nd amendment.But that would seriously endanger my God given rights.

Autolycus
October 18, 2006, 06:00 AM
I agree with DirtyBrad. If marijuana was legal I would probably smoke it on occasion. Since it is not I dont.

Before anyone jumps down my throat...

if I said if a machinegun was legal I would probably own and shoot one on occasion. (They are illegal here in IL.:cuss: :cuss: )

I dont drink as I cant stand the taste. When I was in high school I experimented and tried pot. I didnt do it much since my parents said no way. However now that I am no longer 16 and I am 25 I feel I should be able to exercise my own judgment on what goes in my body.

I myself will vote Libertarian and I am seeing a lot of people here who are the same. I would like to see a weaker central government myself and less emphasis placed on some things by our government.

JJY
October 18, 2006, 09:16 AM
Government should criminalize behavior that is unreasonably dangerous to others – not objects. Governments are not very successful in making illegal items go away, but they are very successful in spending money on ineffective activities.

There is no consistency in most people’s opinions – lack consistency is a sign of the absence of core beliefs …. such folks should consider joining one of the major political parties and running for office.

Why do you need a prescription for birth control pills but the “morning after pill” is (or will soon be) available over the counter. What is the difference?

Someone explain the difference between alcohol and marijuana.

Criminalizing an item does not prevent demand … it just brings all the problems with the illegal trade in the item - if drugs were de-criminalized, you would eliminate drug dealers.

geekWithA.45
October 18, 2006, 09:45 AM
Some scattered thoughts:


"God given rights" = "endowed by our Creator" = "natural rights" = "rights inherent in our existence".

It's all the same, pick whatever formulation you like the best or which least offends your sensibilities. Your rights are not dependent on your understanding of, and relationship to the Infinite.

------------------

Can people use hard drugs responsibly?

Sure. Morphine's about as hard a drug as it gets. It's dangerous, in that its dose of effectiveness is close to its lethal dose, and it's addictive as all get out. Nonetheless, it's used responsibly every day, all over the world for pain management.

Oh, wait. You meant, "can people use hard drugs responsibly for _entertainment_ purposes?"

As a theoretical and ideological matter, I'd _want_ to say "yes", but as a practical matter based on what I've seen over my lifetime, I gotta say "not generally, no." I'll make the theoretical allowance for the occassional user who somehow manages to not destroy his own life and the lives of those around him, but the real world just doesn't offer us to many examples of such. In fact, the very definition of "hard" drugs begs the question, as to a large degree, by "hard" drugs, we mean those drugs whose nature is such that they are NOT likely to be used responsibly for trivial purposes.


That being said, the real question is, "given that the preponderance of the evidence indicates that hard drug use is destructive in the vast majority of cases, ought we to outlaw it?"

AHA! Now THAT is an interesting question. With THAT formulation of the question, we are not obliged to defend hard drugs or their self destructive users. It frees us to contemplate the question on another level, to ask yourselves what the best public policy is for a free society. Should a free society attempt to "legislate morality" by prohibiting all behavior that is dangerous or destructive?

The answer there is "No, a free society should not, lest it lose its character as a FREE society."

For starters, not _all_ behaviors a society deems dangerous or destructive actually are, and by accepting the axiom that a society can and ought to prohibit such behaviors, you set the precedent, without setting the limit of where it stops.

Where does it stop?

There's a lot of expansion and elucidation around the formulation that formulation of the question that I wish I had time for.

It's not about drugs. It's about freedom in a free society.

It's about how our society strikes the balance between freedom and safety.

BIGJACK
October 18, 2006, 09:51 AM
AS the old song goes "freedoms just another word for nothing left to loose.":rolleyes: :uhoh:

neoncowboy
October 18, 2006, 10:04 AM
It's those occasional, "god given right", comments (among others, I guess) that I see that make me wonder though...

I'm not sure I understand. It sounds like you are making the assumption that recognizing a Creator and believing that He created humans to live free, with certain inalienable rights, is somehow disqualifying for libertarianism.

I'm not really one to argue over specific flavors and genres of political affiliation labels...but people tell me that my views are pretty much pure libertarian. How about that, and I acknowledge God as the source and author of life.

I'm not seeing the contradiction.

I believe God gave me my life. That makes it mine. It also makes me recognize that he gave YOU your life.

Isn't ownership of one's self the bedrock of libertarianism?

Double Naught Spy
October 18, 2006, 10:37 AM
Yardstick, you may or may not want to see the views of many fellow gun owners here...

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=215342&highlight=drugs

TallPine
October 18, 2006, 12:41 PM
My point is, almost no one supports liberty across the board. Where are the ALL liberty supporters?
Look over this way ... my hand is up in the air! :D


I don't look at politics as left-center-right, rather I see it as a big letter Y

The typical Democrat/left viewpoint is the left fork at the top, and the typical Republican/right viewpoint is the right fork at the top. Both are statist and proponents of big governmment, and generally pro-war, at least when they are in office. The only difference is that they each seek to allow or prohibit different specific things.

My viewpoint, on the other hand, is the "stem" of the Y pointing straight down and nearly 180 degrees from either the left or right. In other words, favoring little or no government at all, you are responsible for your own behavior/welfare, and you can own/do anything you want as long as you don't harm others.

LightningJoe
October 18, 2006, 01:04 PM
Well, there's more than one kind of person. We're trying to have a country here, but it's hard because there are a lot of, well, suboptimal people we've got to deal with. Guns are categorically different from drugs. There is no use of drugs like heroin by the desirable people. Banning herion, cocaine, and crack is inconvenient only to the undesirables. Banning guns, on the other hand, would be injurious to a lot of the desirables.

When you make heroin et al contraband, you increase its price and create a career field for smugglers and allied criminals (i.e. you create a category of crime that has the undesirables shooting at each other). If you legalize these drugs, there's less reason for the undesirables to shoot at each other, but you increase availability and usage and have an increase in the number of crimes and other incidents that occur under the influence of these drugs. You also expand the user base.

Consider alcohol, undoubtedly the drug most commonly abused by the undesirables. Why so? It's legal. The number of serious crimes to which alcohol is a contributor is astronomical. Legalizing herion and other drugs would only multiply these problems.

TallPine
October 18, 2006, 01:13 PM
There is no use of drugs like heroin by the desirable people. [legalizing drugs would] also expand the user base.

You just contradicted yourself there ;)

LightningJoe
October 18, 2006, 01:16 PM
Tall Pine:

There isn't 100% usage by the undesirables.

Yardstick
October 18, 2006, 03:03 PM
I probably should have said something to the effect of:

Own guns and bullets vs. own currently illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia
Use guns and bullets vs. use currently illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia

The original post was getting long as it was though and I think most of you saw my point anyway. :D

What made me wonder with the “god given right” comments is that typically when people use a phrase like that they are religious. Typically religious people have problems with certain social behaviors or choices even if it doesn’t affect them directly and it sways from a libertarian view. It’s not always the case, obviously, but I was curious how free people here think we can really be. I agree with a lot of the sentiments already made. I don’t like a big nanny-like government that is responsible for our entire well-being, but then I have to consider the data… The people that I see every day that do irresponsible and dangerous things. It does make me wonder.

I didn’t think to include this in the original post either (focusing on other things and trying to keep it short for the A.D.D. folks like me! :D ) but I think one thing that would help tremendously would be a better education system. If people were educated on the kinds of things that happen chemically in their bodies when they use drugs, more people might not use them even if they were legal and readily accessible. The same goes for guns. If people were educated in their use and effectiveness, maybe they would be less likely to use them irresponsibly. The list goes on, I suppose, but that’s a general idea anyway.

ProguninTN
October 18, 2006, 05:23 PM
the government has made itself responsible for taking care of people who can't take care of themselves, and so the cost of letting people destroy their own lives is tremendous. This also has the side effect of rewarding or subsidizing self-destructive behavior when the system removes the natural consequences of bad decisions.

You got that right. When drugs are legalized, Medicaid should be abolished with it. You choose to screw up your life, you can pay your own medical bills. :cuss:

Autolycus
October 18, 2006, 06:33 PM
Yardstick: People are educated on what goes in their body through drug use. Or at least they were when I was in school. The D.A.R.E. program infroms many students about drugs. The truth is that is that most people will give in to peer pressure. Young people especially. Its easy to say drugs are bad. However we also have to understand that drugs are fun. I wont lie about it. If drugs did not feel good and were not fun people would not use them.

However we have to teach kids responsibility more importantly. That seems to be the real issue. Kids will experiment no matter what so why not teach them responsibility first and foremost. Ask yourselves if you ever smoked a joint in high school, had a few beers with your friends when it was illegal for you to, or tried other drugs before you decided it was not for you? Most of you are probably normal adults and are not dependent on any chemicals. However I am sure there are a few people who are dependent on chemicals on this board as well. In the end it is ultimately up to the user and not the rest of society to make that change for them.

Zundfolge
October 18, 2006, 06:45 PM
The biggest problem with this debate (and it is always the case with the drug issue, or prostitution or whatever social ill some people want to legislate away) is that those who support the prohibition of X can't get past the idea that if one opposes said prohibition of X then they must support the widespread use of X.


I don't like pot, I smoked a bit in high school and college and never really liked it. If it was legal and free I wouldn't smoke it (frankly it was its illegality that got me to try it more than once). Same thing goes for Meth, Cocaine, Heroin and White Zinfandel (Zinfandel is a RED dammit, and you're not going to convince me otherwise).

The point is that I don't think its useful to spend copious amounts of tax dollars and sacrifice the basic liberties that our country was built on to keep some idiots from smoking pot or snorting Meth. If under the influence of said drugs these idiots do something wrong than fine, throw the book at them (same thing goes for if they are drinking or stone cold sober too).

Ultimately there is a cost/benefit analysis and the war on drugs has become more of a liability than the use of drugs (which it doesn't seem to be cutting down on anyway).


I would rather live in a free America where I can carry my CCW piece on an airplane without any sort of permission from mama government but my neighbor could buy Cocaine at Walgreen's than our current police state.


Its just always vexed me that freedom loving people can look at what happened when we instituted prohibition of alcohol yet still think that not only is drug prohibition a good idea but its vitally necessary. :confused:

xd9fan
October 18, 2006, 07:10 PM
Quote:
...I've noticed a slight shift from a more republican/right wing political stance when I first signed up to a more libertarian political stance. Maybe it's just that there are more people from that camp joining here.


Nope. It's that more and more of us are growing up intellectually and morally.
__________________


This explains my leaving the GOP.......

ArmedBear
October 18, 2006, 07:14 PM
Those who wish to ban drugs to protect people from their own lack of discipline, resistance to temptation, etc., why not ban Warcraft?

Based on the same criteria, we should have a Warcraft Enforcement Agency, and a War on Warcraft, with lots of no-knock forced entries by SWAT at 2am.

"From my vantage point as a guild decision maker, I've seen it destroy more families and friendships and take a huge toll on individuals than any drug on the market today, and that means a lot coming from an ex-club DJ. It took a huge personal toll on me. To illustrate the impact it had, let's look at me one year later. When I started playing, I was working towards getting into the best shape of my life (and making good progress, too). Now a year later, I'm about 30 pounds heavier that I was back then, and it is not muscle. I had a lot of hobbies including DJing (which I was pretty accomplished at) and music as well as writing and martial arts. I haven't touched a record or my guitar for over a year and I think if I tried any Kung Fu my gut would throw my back out."
http://instapundit.com/archives/033331.php

LightningJoe
October 18, 2006, 10:31 PM
Banning drugs does not serve to protect people from themselves. It serves to protect us from them. They can pay high black market prices, inject themselves with counterfeit or adulterated drugs, and wind up in prison or dead. Those are essentially the breaks.


The ban is intended to limit the user base and to a lesser extent to reduce availability.


The comparison to Prohibition is important but typically misunderstood. Even Bill Buckley doesn't get this one. Our experience with attempting to ban alcohol shows that once a drug has a large enough user base, banning it becomes impractical. Alcohol is an extremely problematic drug in America, but banning it hasn't worked because too many people already use it. Other drugs that have been contraband for a long time still have restricted user bases. If they were legalized, the number of users would increase and they might well become as harmful overall as alcohol or even worse. But if the user base had become large by that time, reversing the legalization might be unworkable. In short, for specific drugs, once the cat is out of the bag, getting him back in there is either difficult or impossible. As big of a problem as alcohol is, we can't get that cat into the bag. Letting heroin (!) or other presently banned drugs out of the bag would be lunacy.

TallPine
October 18, 2006, 10:47 PM
But if the user base had become large by that time, reversing the legalization might be unworkable.
And you think the current War on Drugs is "workable"...? :eek:


Actually, I believe the reverse is true - that the WOD has created some demons which won't all go away even if drugs were legalized (just as organized crime has continued decades after Prohibition ended). :(

That, and some substances like crack and meth might never have come about if the more organic drugs had been legal.

LightningJoe
October 18, 2006, 11:05 PM
TallPine:

Every solution is imperfect. But it's still preferable to the problem. Legal drugs are a problem for everybody. Alcohol should make this obvious. Multiply that by 1000 by legalizing marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and crack. Then try to change your mind and find out that the cat won't go back in the bag. That's the outcome drug legalization would produce.

pcosmar
October 18, 2006, 11:42 PM
Just as Prohibition gave us organized crime, and a need for gun control. The first gun control was a tax, to fight the criminals that Prohibition created. When all these drugs were legal, there was some abuse, but no real problem. Making them illegal created a blackmarket. Blackmarket makes criminals big money. Legal drugs=no blackmarket=no high profit.

DerringerUser
October 18, 2006, 11:50 PM
We're now endangered species :eek:. I expected a little more Libertarians here too, but i guess not. The Conservatives/Republicans have way more power than we do.

ctdonath
October 19, 2006, 12:03 AM
Alcohol is an extremely problematic drug in America, but banning it hasn't worked because too many people already use it.Eh...come again?

Banning alcohol worked as well as any prohibition could be expected to work. It reduced the user base, but made that user base far more hard-core about their usage.

Being legal, mild & responsible enjoyment of alcohol is easy, relaxed, and trouble-free (for most).
When illegal, anyone imbibing the liquid might as well get completely shnockered.

When the law cares little about how far over the line you've gone, people tend to go WAY over the line just to match the risked cost.

Its as I observed in another thread: silencers cost so much because the tax is so high - if you're going to pay a $200 tax, you might as well go for the $800 silencer instead of the $50 one. Likewise, the demand for flash suppressors went thru the roof (despite them having no practical value for most buyers) simply because the "assault weapon ban" practically prohibited them. Likewise, people took great risk to drink alcohol during Prohibition because the ban jacked up the intensity, desire, and risk for doing so.

LightningJoe
October 19, 2006, 12:56 AM
Ha ha!

ksnecktieman
October 19, 2006, 01:09 AM
The first response has to go to the original poster. The religious reference you should check is Luke 22-36,,,, the context is Jesus telling his diciples to arm themselves for the troubles to follow his death. if I recall the correct quote, it is "If a man hath not a sword, he should take his purse, and buy one, and if he has no purse he should trade his cloak for one" (in this context a cloak is his symbol of status in the community).

As for most of the following answers, I do not want the government in control. I want every man to be free. If he wants to kill himself with drugs, it is his choice. If he wants to own guns, it is his choice. If he wants to drink too much (as I do), that should be my choice.

The phrase that your right to swing your fist ends before it gets to my nose is the one I want our government to enforce. I do not want you to control me, and I do not want to control you,,,, BUT i do understand that sometimes some people will need to be stopped, and I want to be able to go my way in peace with no problems. From the criminals, or the government, or my poor neighbor that is not sure that my gun will not jump out of my holster and start shooting, all by itself, that is why the founding fathers wrote my signature line, and made it simple, and clear to all.

230RN
October 19, 2006, 01:26 AM
Harm none.

But remember that "none" includes yourself.

"And these eight words of The Rede ye fulfill:
An ye harm none, do as ye will."

TallPine
October 19, 2006, 12:46 PM
Legal drugs are a problem for everybody. Alcohol should make this obvious.

You mean like:

* liquor store owners having shoot outs with their competition ?

* liqour dealers hanging around on street corners near schools ?

* gangs and organized crime making big profits off of dealing in liquor ?

* SWAT teams breaking into houses because someone reported that the residents might have a bottle of beer ?

* houses catching on fire because of home whiskey stills ?

* laws against purchase of anything but very small quantities of corn and other produce that might be used to make illegal alcohol ?

etc ...........

Funny, I hadn't noticed :neener:



The problem is that I have already changed my mind, because I used to be adamantly opposed to legalization of "drugs" ;)

LightningJoe
October 19, 2006, 05:23 PM
No. I mean 20,000 people killed on the road every year by drunk drivers; an unguessably huge number of crimes committed under the influence of alchohol; pervasive, massive social, medical, and economic costs associated with alcohol use. Banning herion and other drugs does in fact directly produce smuggling, black market distribution, and gang warfare. True enough. These have a miniscule effect on good people. The legalization of drugs would rapidly demonstrate to everyone's satisfaction the fact that such legalization creates a different and much worse kind of problem. By the time that demonstration was complete, though, it would likely be too late to reverse the process of legaliztion.

Gordon Fink
October 19, 2006, 05:38 PM
Freedom isn’t free, but tyranny is none too cheap either. Which price would you rather pay?

~G. Fink

TallPine
October 19, 2006, 05:49 PM
Banning herion and other drugs does in fact directly produce smuggling, black market distribution, and gang warfare. True enough. These have a miniscule effect on good people.
Well, I would argue with that - mostly that the War on Drugs has caused the average "good people" not to be judged by LE on their behavior, but rather by what they might have in their pockets or glove box or house.

Besides, if smuggling, black market distribution, and gang warfare has only a miniscule effect on good people, how much effect could the original drug usage and dealing have on "good people" ?


The legalization of drugs would rapidly demonstrate to everyone's satisfaction the fact that such legalization creates a different and much worse kind of problem. By the time that demonstration was complete, though, it would likely be too late to reverse the process of legaliztion.
Maybe ... or maybe not...? I don't believe that either one of us can forecast for certain what the effect would be. My history classes didn't tell me about any great crisis from the free use of drugs 100+ years ago. Just like our country didn't collapse before 1968 when anyone could buy a gun through the mail.


If there is any "progress" to be made, it will of course be incremental (just like CCW laws in the last couple decades). The first thing I would like to see is for the federal govt to get out of the drug prohibition business and leave it to the states. Then see a number of states de-criminalize marijuana and see how that works out. When the world doesn't suddenly end, then other states can consider the same thing, and even later on, so-called "hard drugs."

(LightningJoe, I do appreciate your arguments and lack of name calling:) )

spencerhut
October 19, 2006, 06:09 PM
**Nomex & Kevlar On**
I think the entire "Drug War" is a load of crap. If an adult wants to do drugs let them. I think pot should be taxed and sold like cigarettes. And no, I have never once in my life smoked it. I’ll take any kind of drug test at anytime. Harder drugs, I think you should get a prescription from a doctor. But this whole drug war is the primary instrument the government has used for years to systematically scare the general populace and take away our rights. Not to mention all the law enforcement resources that have been wasted enforcing drug laws when they could have been catching actual violent criminals. How much money do you and I spend keeping non violent drug offenders in jail? Let them go and spend the money on drug education. If they still do drugs, let them. Let them kill themselves, clean out the gene pool. How much drug crime will there be when you can go to the doctor and just buy cocaine over the counter like valium?
If you have bought into this drug war crap you are nothing but a cow in a heard.

WickedXD
October 20, 2006, 02:16 AM
I agree...and so do a bunch of ex-LEO's from Jersey. They have seen years of waste on the "drug problem". If it were all legal...addicts could be treated as a medical problem...and people could get help. Cartels would be out of buisness or should I say Columbia would be our new main importer. People would not be killing eachother over the sh*t. And Pot....well we all know that it could be sold like ciggeretts..and not much would change...except...the paranoia ...."Did you here that? It's the F'N COPS! Hide the sh%t!" LOL;) But serious...it would cut down on alot of crap. The cops could spend their time catching real criminals. Also they should just make it legal for everyone to own a firearm period! I guarentee gun crime would drop. Not to many criminals are gonna risk robbing someone...when anyone could potentially have a gun. USA at peace...bunch of potheads walking around with heaters...sounds crazy I know...but I bet we would be better off.

DRZinn
October 20, 2006, 03:06 AM
Where are the ALL liberty supporters?<Raises hand, waves it around wildly> Here! Here! I'm right here! Oh, t'ell with it, nobody's listening.

gego
October 20, 2006, 03:19 AM
I don't see a "right to use drugs" or a "right to marry" in the Constitution. Sure, the latter likely falls under the equal protection clause, and the former, well, I don't know.


If they needed the 18th Constitutional Amendment to outlaw alcohol, they must have considered that it was a right before that. There has been no Constitutional amendment outlawing drugs so maybe there is a right to use them also.

As a practical matter, when you try to outlaw something that many people like, all you do is create the need for organization to thwart the law, hence the rise of gangs to supply illegal alcohol in the 1920's and the drug gangs of today. In all the time before drugs were illegal or controlled by the government, how much more harm did the do then than they do today?

I am a libertarian in my views and support among other freedoms, the freedom to keep and bear arms and the freedom of people to determine what they put in their own bodies, whether good or bad for them. We are either slave, where we are owned and controlled by others, or we are free in which case we own ourselves and control ourselves so long as we do not commit acts of agression against others.

Autolycus
October 20, 2006, 09:44 PM
Well they may legalize limited amounts of weed in Nevada.

Here is the link... http://www.regulatemarijuana.org/

And the drug czars views...

http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/nevada/2006/oct/12/101210252.html


If it passes I just may go to Vegas. A lot of younger people go to Europe for some of the more lax drug laws, now they mad just go to Vegas instead. This will help the already booming tourism industry Vegas has.

I hope it passes and if it does perhaps we could have a THR event in Vegas?:D

Critter183
October 21, 2006, 01:47 AM
Someone said this: I don't see a "right to use drugs" or a "right to marry" in the Constitution.

That the Constitution enumerated certain rights, does not mean it disparages those not enumerated. That is why the 9th amendment was included in the bill of rights:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The federal government was established for mutual defense, and to regulate trade. That is it. Oh and carry mail.

All of this other BULL**** is just that, BULL****!

Someone else noted that the feds tried banning alcohol once. Very true and the results were as he posted, disasterous, with a huge increase in violent crime.

Did they pass a law to ban alcohol? No. They amended the Constitution because they had NO AUTHORITY to ban anything.

And to remove the ban, they had to amend the Constitution again.

But that was before America became a dumbed down bunch of ignorant morons. Now, they could ban breathing and half the country would think it a good thing. lmao

What a bunch of pinheads we have become.

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