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Quote: The Drug War: Bad for America and the Second Amendment
Many otherwise sensible Americans blindly favor the war against drugs. They have been brainwashed into this mindset, and that the drug war is providing crucial support to anti-gun fanatics.
The public's Pavlovian anti-drug response is precisely what urban elitists want. It dovetails perfectly with their larger aim -- a highly controlled society, the desire for which is generally camouflaged as altruism, public safety, and/or general welfare.
Police officials participate in the drug war because fighting it provides 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. Many police officials and officers are in fact 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, firstly, drugs are incredibly easy to smuggle and use, and secondly, 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, and is still true today. Threats of arrest, torture, prison, bankruptcy -- none have ever, or will ever, stop human escapism or 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 twenties and thirties. The drug war is Prohibition squared, and the immense, immediate, tax-free 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 provided a pretext for governmental prying into our personal lives and finances. It has generated search warrants based on flimsy hearsay, or paid-for "information", and 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. 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 -- what once was "serve and protect" is now "attack and destroy."
[bFinally, the drug war has wasted billions and billions of dollars that could have been spent in countless ways to make our country better, or not collected in the first place.
All of this has had two powerful negative effects on the rights enumerated in the Constitution, especially 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 public eats it up.
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 things used in committing crimes, but it's the guns you always hear about.
Control-obsessed public servants also participate in the propaganda. The idiotic phrase "getting guns and drugs off the street" is standard fare for politicians, law enforcement officials, and so-called community leaders. It reinforces the image of guns as tools of criminals, and by inference that 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 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 all rights 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, pointless drug tests, property forfeiture, and random police surveillance by high-tech devices is a society primed for curtailment or abrogation of all its rights.
The drug war will never be won. It is impossible to physically interdict the drugs, and 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. Everyone knows this but will never admit it. Why should they?
The solution is to legalize all drugs for adults. This will make them cheap, instantly eliminating crimes associated with drug dealing and drug use, and the government's excuses for its tyrannical abuses. Re-classify 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 as well, because alcohol is a drug whose legal use is far more inimical to society than all the rest combined.
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.
The drug war must end. It is destroying America's social framework and our personal rights (especially 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 people use drugs to the tyranny of a police state.
[This article originally appeared in the October 1999 issue of Handguns Magazine].
I didn't put this in the Drug War forum because it's not really about that. It's about the second amendment and how the government operates at eroding our freedoms. Legalize drugs, repeal the '39NFA, the '68NFA and the '86 Hughes Amendment and lets go back to a free America.
-------------------- Unions are the bastions of the mediocre. - luvdemshrooms
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