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Gun Control and the War on Drugs - A. Gregory

Discussion in 'Legal' started by mercedesrules, May 23, 2005.

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  1. The Rabbi

    The Rabbi member

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    Here we are back to one of my favs.

    So Glock Glockler, that means the next time you are at the range and are downrange pasting targets and some yoke opens up in the next lane you wont say a word? After all, it is merely "potential harm".

    I'll add that a continued argument we see here is the anecdotal fallacy: "I've seen plenty of people do X with no ill-effects." One cannot extrapolate from such a limited sample. It reminds me of a story one of my high school teachers told in NY. All of his friends were amazed when Adlai Stevenson lost the election to Eisenhower. They couldnt understand how that could have happened because "everyone they knew had voted for Stevenson."
     
  2. Glock Glockler

    Glock Glockler Member

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    Rabbi,

    The difference is that the other guy actually did put me in danger with bullets whizzing by my head, and I think I an very easily argue that even though they didnt hit me that his act still caused me harm as it would probably give me a heart attack, or shake me up for about 2 days.

    My smoking a joint in my living room causes no such effect on any other person.

    Sorry, better luck next time.
     
  3. DRZinn

    DRZinn Member

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    So, again, where do you draw the line? Ban skydiving? Eating fatty foods?

    Of course. I don't know why that's so hard for some to understand. If you choose to use PCP, and it then turns you into a raving lunatic who attacks me, then you deserve to get shot. Then, the next guy, seeing that there are consequences, will think twice before using PCP.
     
  4. The Rabbi

    The Rabbi member

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    So you think the certainty of bad consequences will deter future bad actions??
     
  5. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

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    Some people want to ban guns for the same reasons other people want to ban drugs. (Of course, these groups often overlap.) The firearms prohibitionists think guns cause criminal behavior. The chemical prohibitionists think drugs cause criminal behavior. Thanks to biased researchers, both groups can cite dubious “studies” in support of their claims.

    To accept the arguments of the drug banners is to tacitly accept the arguments of the gun banners.

    Why is this so hard to understand?

    ~G. Fink
     
  6. The Rabbi

    The Rabbi member

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    Gordon Fink, some people want to ban hamburgers and chocolate bars. Just because there are such people does not make the argument to ban something else invalid.
     
  7. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

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    It does when they use exactly the same flawed reasoning.

    ~G. Fink :banghead:
     
  8. publius

    publius Member

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    I'm with Glockler on the guns vs joints things. Bullets whizzing by my head scare me quite a bit. Some guy stoned on his couch scares me not at all. I really don't see how you can equate the potential harm caused by those two behaviors.

    On your other point, I've plenty of times seen the argument that goes like this: my loser cousin does such and such, so therefore anyone who does anything like that is a loser and a danger who needs to be stopped. In fact, I may have seen it in this very thread, along with a similar one about rural meth labs. I'd suggest to you that both sides extrapolate from what they've seen, and if it's not valid for my side, it's not valid for yours.
     
  9. Daniel T

    Daniel T Member

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    Isn't that the intent of any punishment?
     
  10. DRZinn

    DRZinn Member

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    Well, yeah. Usually.
     
  11. The Rabbi

    The Rabbi member

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    And the more certain the bad consequences and the worse they are, the more they will deter people?
     
  12. publius

    publius Member

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    You'd think that, until you looked at a religious police state like Iran, where they put drug users to death. They still have a bad opiate problem over there.
     
  13. The Rabbi

    The Rabbi member

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    I dont know the source for that.

    But in Singapore, which has a very strict way of dealing with it, they dont have a problem. So DocZinn has just solved the problem, which is to increase penalties and prosecutions.
    This is no worse, and probably a lot better, than the drastic solutions being proposed to get rid of illegal aliens. Illegal aliens at least add something to the economy. Drug users dont. But I dont expect anyone to support this solution because it is just easier, and less challenging, to say "well, I'll do what I want and you do what you want and we'll leave each other alone." That worked fine on the frontier but not in today's interconnected society.
     
  14. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Okay, after eleven or twelve pages, I’m getting confused … if I may interject between this strange dialogue between Publius and The Rabbi … to recap, it seems to me that Publius, and others, are arguing that:

    (1) Every citizen has a right to use any drug of his or her own choice, regardless of the consequences to themselves, their families, their community or society in general;

    (2) This right to use any drug trumps the right of all other citizens to be safe from
    (a) Potential violent behavior from drug users and
    (b) Potential dangerous driving by drug users and
    (c) Any criminal activity on the part of drug users attempting to procure money for drugs or the actual drugs; finally

    (3) Society – and government – has no right to regulate or restrict drug use because
    (a) We are guaranteed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as inalienable rights and our bodies are thus ours to do with as we wish, and
    (b) Fighting illegal drug use is a losing cause so we should just quit entirely since it’s expensive, causing our government to spend our tax dollars but more importantly, it has restricted too many of our other civil rights, particularly our 2nd and 4th Amendment rights, and
    (c) Any possible negative consequences to other human beings, communities or society in general as a result of any citizens’ drug use should be held inconsequential because of (a) and (b) above.

    Somehow, I’m not so sure our founding fathers would agree that citizens have to accept the risks of living in a society where destructive behaviors such as drug abuse is tolerated, condoned, unrestricted, unregulated or not otherwise actively combated.
     
  15. The Rabbi

    The Rabbi member

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    Old Dog,
    I think you pretty well nailed it. One correction is that the pro-legalization folks want to argue that drugs are not harmful (or any more harmful than other legal substances) and that drugs dont cause violence, people cause violence. So you punish people when they cause violence, not before.

    I dont agree with any of that, btw.
     
  16. 2nd Amendment

    2nd Amendment member

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    Any thinking person would far rather live in that society than in one where government is responsible for and profits from an abomination such as the WoD. At least in the free society you fear only the druggie, maybe, rather than thugs taking all you own under color of law. That's really what this comes down to: What you as individual do in the privacy of your own home or property, etc is none of fedgov's business and it's not nearly so dangerous to "society" as that government itself.

    Also, it was noted way back in this thread that nobody has a problem with dealing with the actions of drug users if they individually affect others. Treat it just as you do alcohol. But it seems the supporters of increased government control(and that's all this is about, it has nothing to do with drugs) don't want to operate under such a model. Thus here's a suggestion: If you will not stand up and call for Prohibition on booze and total bans on firearms then give it up. The hypocrisy is getting not merely old but sickening.

    I'm reasonably certain the gun-owning, drug using, revolution-starting Founders would back my position up a helluva lot more than yours. :rolleyes:
     
  17. The Rabbi

    The Rabbi member

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    ;) ;) ;)
     
  18. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Old Dog, there is also a group with views like mine which believe that the WAY we're dealing with the drug problem is creating more problems, overall, than it is solving.

    I--me, only, maybe--believe that since the availability of illegal drugs is as easy now as it was thirty-two years ago, Nixon's "War On Drugs" has not accomplished its purpose.

    What HAS occurred is the passage of additive laws about such things as "arrest the money" or the taking of allegedly drug-related property without a court trial or even the filing of charges. Think "Fifth Amendment".

    The principles of search and seizure have been made ever less protecting of the citizenry at large. Think "Fourth Amendment".

    The federalization of police has increased, which is inherently bad in principle. It contributes to an ability of the State to abuse power--which, per the Preamble to the Bill of Rights, is a no-no. Just think "BOR".

    Many of the post-1968 efforts at gun control laws stem from the violence engendered by the present methodology of the War on Drugs. Think "Second Amendment".

    The DEA has tried, many times, to shut down publication of the magazine "High Times". Think "First Amendment".

    That's enough. It doesn't matter whether drugs are Good or Bad or the use of drugs is Good or Bad or whether one believes the Constitution does or does not allow one to Do Drugs or Not do Drugs. All that is irrelevant.

    The weakening of the Bill of Rights down to a List of Privileges has stemmed directly from the War on Drugs.

    Nationwide for all levels of government, the War On Drugs accumulates to a tax-cost of some $90 billion or more per year--yet the cost of cocaine in constant dollars has declined.

    Something's wrong with this picture.

    It seems to me we're stuck in this "Do-Loop" until both sides quite emoting and look toward problem-solving.

    Art
     
  19. White Horseradish

    White Horseradish Member

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    Old Dog, you're going wrong on #1 and it kinda snowballs from there. What it should be is "Every citizen has a right to use any drug of his or her own choice, regardless of the consequences to themselves". That's it. The second an individual's drug use impacts someone else, come down on him like a ton of bricks. Until that happens, the use itself is none of society's (and most certainly the government's) business.

    So, a pothead stoned on his couch = no problem. A pothead stoned behind the controls of a bulldozer = bust him.

    As far as mental anguish of relatives, there is no law against being an inconsiderate a$$hat, not should there be, since there can be no hard definition of just what constitutes inconsiderate a$$hattery.
     
  20. publius

    publius Member

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    1. No, I never said anything of the kind. For example, I'm a very strong supporter of DUI laws (something about the drunk who sent my mom through our windshield, maybe).

    2. A & B - Never said those either. I just said that the drug warriors have exagerrated the potential for harm, for example comparing shooting a gun right past a person to sitting on a couch smoking a joint. C - Perhaps if cannabis were less expensive per ounce than PLATINUM, that might be less of a problem.

    3. My arguments have focused on the FEDERAL authority for prohibition, and while I'd agree with your points A and B, I didn't make them. I've been talking about whether or not a homegrown cannabis plant (or machine gun) for personal consumption constitute interstate commerce. See the Stewart and Raich cases. I've read the Federalist Papers and other founding documents more than once, and from what I learned, I think the commerce clause was to prevent trade wars (and shooting wars) between the states. It was NOT intended to provide the basis for a federal police/regulatory power extending down to individual behaviors like using cannabis to relieve nausea.

    Twist my argument into something else all you like. I'll continue talking about how Raich and Stewart are examples of New Deal big-government judicial activism, and how such practices tend to spread from the drug war to the gun grabbing war.

    How, in all of that analysis, did you manage to completely omit mentioning the main thing I've been here talking about? Don't want to explain why you think the commerce clause was intended to create a federal regulatory state, not a nationwide free trade zone?
     
  21. publius

    publius Member

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    Singapore also have very strict gun control and virtually no shooting deaths, therefore we know how to solve that problem, right?
     
  22. mercedesrules

    mercedesrules Member

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  23. kbarrett

    kbarrett Member

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    Nerf Suits for all.

    Protecting people from their own stupidity never works.

    They will always find a way around those nerf suits and kill themselves anyway. In the meantime, the rest of us are stuck with wearing nerf suits. I prefer liberty. And if that means some addicts die in the gutter, then so what?

    Screw them ... their safety is not worth my liberty. Their health is not worth my tax dollars. Their stupidity should not be worth any church's charity.

    Ignore them. If they physically harm others, then punish them. Dwitzerland has legalized the hard stuff ... and made it clear to addicts that they will be imprisoned and cold-turkeyed if they screw up. Switzerland's addicts are amazingly law abiding as a result. An addict will do anything to feed his addiction .... including being a good citizen, if that is what is needed to get his fix.

    If you think Singapore's stringent penalties and regs are a good solution, live there. Just please stop trashing our rights to promote a failed sunday blue law.
     
  24. longrifleman

    longrifleman Member

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    This has been an interesting and well-mannered thread. Thanks all.

    One thing I've observed following this issue is that the different opinions seem to be over a difference in world view as much as over the details. One side seems to value security as the highest political ideal and the other values freedom the most.

    The folks who value security will justify almost any infringement on individual liberty if the pols promise some reduction in bad stuff happening. Art did an excellent job outlining the current state of the War On (some) Drugs and the BOR. Unfortunately the promises are usually lies. When the promised benefits fail to appear the usual response is to promise more draconian measures instead of to ask if the original attempt was in error. (Most politicians would rather see the country collapse that to admit a mistake.)

    Freedom is often messy, and some people will abuse whatever freedom they have. I don't think anyone on the anti War on (some) Drugs side will diagree with that assessment. The decision each of us has to make is what will we advocate as the guiding philosophy for ourselves and our political system.

    I prefer freedom.
     
  25. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Actually, Publius, you are correct; I seem to have attributed some of the sillier early statements in this thread to you. For the record, I share your concern about the increasing federalization of police powers (as, I believe, also does Justice Thomas if I interpret some of his writings correctly ... among other things, he's written that the substantial-effects test in conjunction with the aggregation principle betrays the intent of the Framers and confers a ''police power'' on Congress that it does not have.).
    I personally don't think it was, although the SCOTUS hasn't always agreed with that ...

    I also share concerns about infringement on our 4th Amendment rights and the exponentially increasing threats to our privacy due to technological advances, additional unnecessary laws and regulations and bonehead politicians. I also think in the great scheme of things that cannabis is probably a relatively benign drug. Further, I believe asset forfeiture is just plain wrong (and illegal). I certainly agree with Art that the WAY we're going about fighting the war on drugs is not working; clearly requires substantial, and immediate, improvement. However, I see legalization and/or decrimalization as bringing along a whole new set of unintended consquences with at least as serious negative ramifications on our society as what we currently experience with the status quo.

    Where I seriously part ways with many of the posters herein is with the suggestion that we should all be willing to put up with any and all consequences to drug use as a small price to pay for our freedom.
     
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