While reading the Cato Institute’s September 2013 Letter, in an article on the Second Amendment (of all things!), I was astonished to find the author recommending the following:
“[W]hat policies would actually be effective? The most effective option, which is rarely considered, is to legalize drugs. This would result in a huge reduction in gun violence. There are 1.5 million drug arrests each year, with more drug inmates than all violent criminals combined. Because drugs are illegal, participants in the drug trade cannot go to court to settle their disputes. Those disputes are instead resolved on the streets with guns.”
Yes, the Cato Institute is a “Libertarian” think tank, but on some things, even “think tanks” apparently do not learn from the experiences of others or from history.
Common sense (to me) dictates a second look at their statement. To legalize drugs is to ask for more trouble, not to ask for less. Just because drugs would be legal does not mean that drug dealers would go to court (assigning someone integrity does not mean they have it). It’s money involved and drug dealers will still resort to violence, as my husband points out.
Legalizing drugs may mean fewer people are in prisons — for drug crimes — but that doesn’t mean that it would mean less violence. Possession of drugs (at least up to a certain amount) would be no longer a crime, thus fewer drug criminals in prison. Use of certain drugs (or would the Cato Institute legalize all drugs?) would no longer be a crime, resulting in fewer drug criminals in prison.
Legalizing something (of course) means fewer people in jail for doing that something, be that something murder, prostitution, or drugs; but it does not make it a good idea. Some countries have legalized sexual activity down to age 12, is that a good idea, or is that just making pedophilia socially acceptable?
Let us consider the experiences of the Scandinavian and European countries with the legalization of drugs.
Consider the facts: Scandinavian and European countries do not allow their citizens to carry concealed weapons and their crime rates are on the rise. Not only are their crime rates rising, but they are rising, in part, because of the legalization of drugs:
“Previously in England, doctors could prescribe heroin much like any other opiate (such as morphine). This allowed a few unscrupulous doctors to sell ungodly amounts of heroin to members of the black market.” …..
“England’s addict population increased 100% between 1970 and 1980!”
“Because of its drug problem, Amsterdam is required to have a police force much greater than those of U.S. cities of similar population.”
Given these facts, the legalization of drugs is more likely to lead to the LOSS of our Second Amendment gun rights, instead of ensuring it. No, the crimes in Scandinavian and European countries do not usually include guns; but the increased crime rate in America would be the impetus for the further deterioration of our Second Amendment rights, not the protection of them!
All of the “myths” associated with the legalization of drugs and the alleged accompanying of less gun crime can be and have been disproved. So the idea of drug legalization thrown into the middle of an argument for our Second Amendment rights is a “Look over there!”, “Squirrel!” or any other type of distraction to the heart of the matter.
The Cato Institute’s use of argument for the legalization of drugs as an alleged way of cutting back on gun crime should not be used as an argument for us keeping our Second Amendment rights. What they should have used is this:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
That’s all we need. That’s all we need to focus on. Anytime anyone throws something else out there in regard to our Second Amendment rights the proper, appropriate, legally binding, only necessary response is the words of our Founding Fathers in our Second Amendment.
We needn’t get bogged down in the distractions of the “legalization of drugs means less gun crime” argument because we’ve seen that it’s a specious argument, at best. What we need to do, instead, is to point out that that is a non sequitur and to move forward to the truth: “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall, not be infringed.”
Drugs have nothing to do with gun rights except that some criminals use a gun in the commission of a crime. That does not lead to decriminalizing drugs to cut down on gun crime: it means that it’s an easy out for the legalization of drugs. They’re using our Second Amendment rights to push for drug legalization! Which, actually, is a back door tag-along, way of getting the Libertarian belief in the legalization of drugs accomplished, and will increase crime — yes, including gun crime in America — if history and the experiences of others are any evidence.
If we allow them to do this (legalize drugs to allegedly cut down on gun crimes), we not only discredit ourselves, we open America up to the same kinds of experiences of Scandinavian and European countries. Read the studies. Is that what the Cato Institute really wants to do to America? I think not. However, it is what they are opening us up to if they get their way. Instead of opening that proverbial can of worms, let us instead, stand firm in our defense of our Second Amendment rights and against the legalization of drugs while we do not fall for anyone’s “Squirrel!” distraction.