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Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:59 PM

 

You want to curb gun violence? End the War on Drugs.

One of the top causes of gun violence in this country is the War on Drugs. By making drugs a highly valued, yet black market commodity, the drug war is promoting gun violence. Dealers, growers, and users resort to gun violence in order to settle disputes, stake out turf, and eliminate their competition.

This all very reminiscent of Prohibition, when gangs rose to prominence, using gun violence to enforce their will Today's gangs do the very same thing, and to a much greater degree. Desperate addicts use guns to get the cash they need to feed their artificially pricey habit. With profits in the thousands and millions, dealers use guns to protect their territory, do away with competition, and deal with those who go against their will.

By legalizing drugs, all drugs, we would take the profit motive out of drugs. Legal drugs are much cheaper than the black market ones. Drugs that are regulated, inspected, offered at a lower price and a higher quality would immediately undercut the black market. By undercutting the black market dealers, gun violence would decline. After all, how many times have you heard about rival bar owners dueling it out on the streets? The same principal would apply with drugs.

The fact of the matter is that by keeping drugs illegal, we are simply not preventing the use of drugs. You, I and our neighbor down the street can probably figure out how to get an ounce of weed within a couple of hours, and probably more than that. Drugs are widely available in the unregulated, violent world of the black market. Thus, if we cannot curb the availability of drugs, we might as well do something to end the gun violence that surrounds drugs. That means legalization.

A further benefit of legalizing drugs would be the fact that we could start openly treating drug addiction as the health problem it is, instead of treating it as a legal/criminal problem. The secondary wave of violence and crime that surrounds the current drug market would disappear, and gun violence would go down. People could get the help they need without fear of prosecution, and without that fear of going to prison, the need for gun violence would also disappear.

Or we could continue this War on Drugs, and end up like Mexico, fighting an undeclared, but still deadly war that is costing the lives of thousands of citizens. The choice is ours, I hope we choose wisely.

32 replies, 2414 views

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply You want to curb gun violence? End the War on Drugs. (Original post)
MadHound Feb 2013 OP
customerserviceguy Feb 2013 #1
Comrade Grumpy Feb 2013 #2
thucythucy Feb 2013 #3
ThomThom Feb 2013 #31
SomethingFishy Feb 2013 #4
hack89 Feb 2013 #5
Gregorian Feb 2013 #6
Pedalpower Feb 2013 #7
frazzled Feb 2013 #8
white_wolf Feb 2013 #13
derby378 Feb 2013 #16
frazzled Feb 2013 #21
derby378 Feb 2013 #22
frazzled Feb 2013 #23
derby378 Feb 2013 #29
ThomThom Feb 2013 #32
slackmaster Feb 2013 #9
TeamPooka Feb 2013 #10
felix_numinous Feb 2013 #11
SheilaT Feb 2013 #12
MadHound Feb 2013 #15
SheilaT Feb 2013 #17
roxy1234 Feb 2013 #19
MadHound Feb 2013 #20
hack89 Feb 2013 #30
zeemike Feb 2013 #14
roxy1234 Feb 2013 #18
Warren DeMontague Feb 2013 #24
Ghost in the Machine Feb 2013 #25
Hoyt Feb 2013 #26
PDJane Feb 2013 #27
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #28

Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:06 PM

1. It's the best idea I've heard since Newtown. n/t

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:08 PM

2. That would be a big help.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:28 PM

3. It would also free up law enforcement

dollars and resources to deal with other crimes, and would substantially decrease our prison population.

I don't know if I'd legalize all drugs--I'd still be reluctant to see crystal meth or crack cocaine entirely legal. But I get the sense that people often end up on these drugs because less toxic drugs are less available, more difficult to manufacture, smuggle, use. It seems to me similar in some ways to how alcoholics used to drink "bath tub gin" during prohibition, and end up blind or dead.

Certainly pot, hash, even heroin should be available in the same way alcohol is available. Keep kids away from it, regulate quality, and then provide genuine treatment for addicts who want it. But using the criminal justice system to "solve" problems with substance abuse is clearly a losing proposition.

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Response to thucythucy (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:17 PM

31. I would stick with the recreational products that come directly from nature

for legalization... cannabis, hashish, coca leaves, opium
let the pharmaceutical companies fight over the processed stuff like cocaine, heroin, speed etc

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:34 PM

4. It's coming.

In Colorado we have a 24 member panel meeting on all the issues that come with the beginnings of legalization. Sales, taxation, drug tests, DUI, all these things are being worked out. There will be a blueprint in place when we and Washington are done. A blueprint for reducing crime, and increasing income.

We are showing everyone the way. The Feds won't do it, until they have no choice. States must take this issue over and show the feds the way.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:42 PM

5. That and mental health care reform

lets remember more than half of all gun deaths are suicides.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:43 PM

6. Absolutely. I don't think people realize this fact.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:44 PM

7. Good jobs reduce violence.

When people have a better alternative... jobs... they're too tired to get involved with crime.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:07 PM

8. I was surprised to learn that this is no longer the case for gangs

The big gangs of the 80s were involved in drug turf wars. Today, that's not the case: the gangs are just leaderless packs of kids divided up by neighborhood location, using guns to kill people over the same stupid high-school fights we all had. One shooting/murder then leads to retaliation shootings/murders. This is all brilliantly documented in the two-part This American Life documentary on gangs that aired last week and this week.

While your point about drug wars has some merit, this does not obviate the need to regulate guns and gun purchasing. Please, please, please, we can have all the discussions about drugs and mental illness that we want: we still need to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them via universal background checks, and we still need to remove military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines from the market. We need to prosecute straw purchasers severely; we need to close down illicit gun dealers.

No other issue you can discuss makes the need for these laws on a federal level disappear. If there were no guns in the hands of drug dealers, there would not be this problem. So let's not try to distract from the real issue.

WE DESERVE A VOTE NOW.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:56 PM

13. Based on what I've seen I disagree.

First of all keep in mind all my knowledge of gangs come from documentaries and many of them are from the History Channel which is hardly the most accurate source of information so I could very well be wrong here. But everything I've indicates that kids join gangs as a way out of poverty, because they see gangsters with a lot of money from the drug trade. Of course, you are right that a lot of the gang violence in this country is driven more by long standing feuds than concerns of the drug trade. The infamous war between the Bloods and Crips is probably the best example of this. They are taught to hate and attack each other on sight and I don't think the drug trade is the main motivation behind that anymore, even if it was the spark that started back in the 70s.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #13)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 07:01 PM

16. Ah, but that only deflects away from "the real issue" once again

Gotta ban those guns, gotta grab them magazines, gotta shred the Second Amendment.

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Response to derby378 (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:45 AM

21. There's nothing unconstitutional about banning certain weapons and ammunition

Not buying that one, and neither will any court.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #21)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:34 PM

22. You're trying to apply the same criteria covering cane guns and sawed-offs to proven militia weapons

Not buying that one, either. And I've got history and the Constitution on my side.

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Response to derby378 (Reply #22)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:56 PM

23. You forgot machine guns, 1986

Can't buy em.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:31 AM

29. We'll take care of that law soon enough

Besides, it wouldn't be law today if Charlie Rangel hadn't lied the bill through the House of Representatives in a game of dirty politics.

And I can still buy any full-auto weapon made before May 1986 that was entered into the NFA registry - if I have the cash to do so, and if I want to go through the NFA process.

But yes, we will do away with the Hughes law in due course. It made just as little sense as the Feinstein law that expired in 2004.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:21 PM

32. the drug cartels are kill a lot of people in Mexico for the right to

send their products to the US

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:08 PM

9. STOP MAKING SENSE, MadHound!

 

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:34 PM

10. great idea. Prohibition is a failed public policy...again.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:09 PM

11. K&R

War simply enriches the few, while impoverishing the many. I am hoping all of the corrupt institutions rot from the inside before our ecosystem fails to sustain us. All of the wars are now being exposed as corrupt, and people can see it--if only we could ALL unite in a peace movement, refuse to vent our frustration on each other and channel it where it belongs. This is my hope.

Peace~~Felix

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:45 PM

12. It would help, but I do not believe

that any of the mass gun massacres in recent years had anything to do with the War on Drugs. Nor do most of the individual murders of wives by husbands, nor most suicides, and so on.

Yes, ending the idiotic War on Drugs is a very good idea, but it will only put a small dent in the gun deaths that happen every year in this country.

It comes down to the guns. EVERYONE who says, oh no, we can't get rid of guns, and The Second Amendment, every single one of the gun apologists out there simply does not care how many are killed by guns. Get rid of the guns and we'll get rid of the gun violence.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #12)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:49 PM

15. A small dent? I think it would put quite a large dent in it.

 

There have been studies that say legalizing drugs would cut the gun violence by somewhere between 25-75%(Jeffrey A. Miron, "Violence and the U.S. Prohibitions of Drugs and Alcohol,'' American Law and Economics Review, 1, Fall 1999, 78-114.).

That is a significant amount.

Oh, and your characterization of those of us who own guns is seriously off the mark. Are there folks who own guns and don't care about gun violence, certainly, but they are relatively few. Most of us are responsible owners who want to see an end to gun violence, and are even favor of stricter gun controls(in fact sixty five percent of NRA members want stricter gun control).

Furthermore, it is a political reality that we are not going to repeal the Second Amendment. Even if you did, violence and murders will still occur with great regularity. That is because you have to address the root causes of gun violence, issues like the War on Drugs, poverty, mental illness, etc., rather than just the symptoms, like simply taking all guns.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #15)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 07:42 PM

17. Sandy Hook. Aurora. Columbine.

Where were illegal drugs there? Where are the illegal drugs in all the suicides? And so on.

Doesn't it strike anyone else as a bit odd that countries where gun ownership is very low have almost no gun deaths? How can that possibly be? And do an equal proportion of citizens die from clubs or knives? No? Really?

If guns made us safe, then this country, along with Somalia and Afghanistan, would be the safest place on the planet. But is it?

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #17)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:03 PM

19. Reread the post you are replying to

 

and you will see that no where in his post did he say ending the war on drugs will end all gun violence in this country. Yes Aurora, Columbine and Sandy hook had nothing to do with the war on drugs. But Chicago had 100s of gang related gun murders and those are as a result of war on drugs.

One more thing, Somalia, Afghanistan are all war zones. Between drones strikes there are attacking from US and NATO and in the case of Somalia raids from Kenyan and AU forces.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #17)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:24 PM

20. So you are just going to discount the thousands of people who die due to drug violence each year?

 

Because the fact of the matter is that thousands do die due to gun violence, thousands here, and hundreds of thousands worldwide. And since we're the leading consumer of drugs in the world, most of those deaths are our responsibility.

Legalizing drugs would instantly stop the drug violence here, and significantly reduce it abroad. Those men, women and children wouldn't have to die to feed our black market habit.

As far as Sandy Hook, Aurora and all the other tragedies, no, legalizing drugs wouldn't deal with that problem. That is a problem that needs to be dealt with in other ways, better gun control, better mental health services, and addressing the root causes of violence, such as poverty.

But if you think that you can get a complete and total ban on all guns in this country, well, I gotta ask what you are smoking. There is too much support for gun ownership in this country for that to ever change. At any given time in this country, two thirds to three quarters of the population feel that the Second Amendment should be upheld.

However there is also great support for not just stricter enforcement of current gun control measures, but also for more gun control measures, namely banning assault rifles and high capacity clips and magazines. Thus, you have to deal in reality, what you can achieve in the real world. In the real world, you can't ban all guns, but you can get tougher enforcement and stricter gun control measures. That would alleviate some of the gun violence as well. You take what you can get, it is better than trying for the utterly impossible. Because while people are in favor of getting rid of assault rifles, high capacity clips and other such measures, they are not going to be for the seizure of their shotguns, hunting rifles or handguns. That is reality.

So that is why we have to turn to eliminating the root causes of gun violence, and one of those root causes that we can easily get rid of is the gun violence that surrounds the black market drug trade. Do that, and you will safe a hundred times more lives than those taken at Sandy Hook and Aurora combined. Isn't that worth doing?

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 11:46 AM

30. The solution to suicides is proper mental health coverage

lets fix root causes.

No on is talking about getting rid of guns - certainly not the president or the Democratic party. That is the political reality you have to work with.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:59 PM

14. It should have ended years ago.

But money kept it going, and is what keeps it going now...and we all know that.
K&R.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 07:57 PM

18. But that would just end

 

gun violence in poor minority communities and who wants that when you can focus all your energy on preventing the death of rich suburban kids. Also the prison industrial complex would take a hit with on their profits and again who wants that?

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:57 PM

24. Yeah.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:44 PM

25. I have been saying this for years, but it mostly falls on deaf ears..

I hope your message reaches a broader audience than mine does, which I'm sure it will. I know I'm not all that popular around here, but I don't let it silence me..

Peace,

Ghost

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:55 PM

26. Would help, but guns and people who covet them will still be a problem.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:00 AM

27. Killing the war on drugs will do several things at once.

But it won't end gun violence in the US. It may help with some of the violence in Mexico, and some of the border trouble may cool off, but it won't solve mass murders.....and it won't end gun violence within families.

It will dent the profitability of for-profit prisons.
I will make sure that a lot of young black men stay out of the school-to-prison pipeline.
It would, if taken to its conclusion, allow families to stay together.

All of those things are very laudable aims. Ending gun violence is going to take something else.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:39 AM

28. Bring back manufacturing jobs.

 

Create employment in this country.

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