Many otherwise sensible Americans blindly favor the war against drugs. I believe they have been brainwashed into this mind-set and that the drug war is providing crucial support to antigun fanatics.
The public's Pavlovian anti-drug response is precisely what socialists, police statists, authoritarians and elitists want. It dovetails perfectly with their larger aim--a highly controlled society, the desire for which is generally camouflaged as altruism, public safety; general welfare, etc.
Police officials participate in the "drug war" because fighting it requires an ever-expanding budget, more manpower, more cars, more helicopters, more training, more legal power, more and better equipment, etc. This enlarges their personal fiefdoms and their sense of self-importance, the desire for which is a regrettably common human trait. No doubt many police officials and officers are convinced that the drug war is righteous. But none could honestly say that it will halt--or even significantly diminish--illegal drug sales or use.
The drug war will never be won because (1) drugs are incredibly easy to smuggle and use, and (2) a large percentage of humans occasionally desire--for recreation, mental stimulation, metaphysical experimentation, religious ritual or simple mental escape--an altered state of perception or consciousness. This has been true throughout history. Threats of arrest, torture, prison, bankruptcy-- none have ever, or will ever, stop humans from using drugs.
When something in high demand is difficult to obtain, its value increases. Thus, Prohibition made possible huge profits in ethyl alcohol--a consciousness-altering drug--and provided an unprecedented boost to organized crime in the '20s and '3 Os. The drug war is Prohibition squared; and the immense, immediate, taxfree profits made by supplying drugs has lured tens of thousands of young men and women into a life of crime.
Additionally; the drug war has put untold thousands of otherwise harmless citizens into jail or prison for drug use, thereby damaging or ruining their lives. It has pressured untold thousands of drug addicts--by making the price of a drug habit artificially high--into becoming thieves, robbers, embezzlers, burglars and even murderers. The flood of drug money has corrupted cops, politicians, judges and entire local, state and national governments.
The drug war has made every citizen a suspect of the government, because drug users exist in every economic level and in every category of age, race, occupation and religion. It has turned children into snitches against parents. and family, providing a pretext for governmental prying into our personal lives and finances.
It has generated search warrants based on flimsy hearsay or paid-for "information," warrants extended to all things and places because drugs are easy to hide. These warrants have led to government home invasions in which innocent citizens are terrorized, humiliated and sometimes shot to death. It has spawned terrifying forfeiture laws, in which property is seized and sold without due process, and-unbelievably-without the owner having committed any crime. It has led to police, and enforcement agencies using military training, equipment and tactics, which has caused these public employees to see their role as a military one-attack and destroy rather than serve and protect.
Finally, the drug war has wasted billions and billions of dollars that could have been spent in countless ways to make our country better.
I believe the foregoing has had two powerful negative effects on the right to keep and bear arms.
First, the drug war is a perfect vehicle for demonizing guns and gun owners. Drug smuggling and dealing occurs everywhere, all the time, and drug busts involve exciting action, large amounts of money and severe consequences. These are ideal elements for a daily "news" spectacle depicting criminals who commonly use firearms to guard their product, profits, turf and lives. Consequently, anti-gun fanatics are provided an excuse for more gun control-and the heavily propagandized public swallows it.
The news media are major participants in this propagandizing. Drug bust stories usually include a report on what drugs and guns were seized. Always "drugs and guns," "drugs and guns," a mantra that has firmly implanted in the public mind a link between two completely different things: "evil" illegal drugs and useful legal guns. Of course most drug suspects also own cars, knives, rope, blunt instruments, tools and other legal items used in committing crimes, but the news media focuses on guns.
Socialists and other control-obsessed public servants also participate in the propaganda. The idiotic phrase "getting guns and drugs off the street" is standard fare for demagogic politicians, law enforcement officials and so-called community leaders. It reinforces the image of guns as tools of criminals, and by inference all gun owners are criminals-not simply good citizens who wish to protect their lives, property and freedom.
The transference and blurring of "drugs" and "drug dealers" into "guns" and "gun dealers" as public enemies is ongoing. Consider these real-life drug/gun counterparts: drug-free school zone/gun-free school zone; zero tolerance for drugs/zero tolerance for guns; drug dealer crackdown/federal gun dealer crackdown; SWAT drug raids/SWAT gun raids; lawsuits against legal tobacco producers/lawsuits against legal gun manufacturers; media and government demonization of drugs rather than drug abusers/media and government demonization of guns rather than gun abusers.
The drug war's second negative effect on gun rights is the severe erosion of our other personal rights. The invasive, oppressive laws and mechanisms created to fight this war have made parallel attacks on the Second Amendment infinitely easier to accomplish socially, politically, "legally" and physically. A society accustomed to roadblock searches, bogus warrants, home invasions by law enforcement, hired criminal snitches, "accidental" police executions, pointless drug tests, property forfeiture and random police surveillance by high-tech audio, electronic and visual devices is a society primed for curtailment or abrogation of gun rights.
The drug war will never be won. It is impossible to physically interdict the drugs, and it is impossible to legislatively eradicate the desire for them. The harder the government cracks down on drugs, the higher drug profits soar and the more drug dealers earn. Socialists, civilian disarmament fanatics and controlling politicians know this, but they will never admit it. Why should they when this phony war provides everything they want?
The solution is to legalize drugs. This will make them cheap, instantly eliminating all crimes associated with drug dealing and drug use and all the government's excuses for its tyrannical abuses. If necessary, reclassify drug addiction as a "disease" and deal with it on that level. If you consider drug legalization "immoral," then you must consider legal alcohol immoral, because alcohol is a drug whose legal use is far more inimical to society than all the rest combined.
Suggestions: If you don't like drugs, don't use them. If you don't like people who use drugs, don't associate with them. If you don't want your children to use drugs, teach them not to. If they ask why, warn them of the dangers.
We must end the drug war. It is destroying America's social framework and our personal rights- including the right to keep and bear arms-more quickly and surely than any realistic amount of drug use ever could. For myself, I prefer a free country in which a small percentage of the people use drugs over the tyranny of a police state.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Date:||Oct 1, 1999|
|Previous Article:||Gun Rights.|
|Next Article:||Hill's Self-Extracting Revolver.|