Monday, June 28, 2010

Do you honestly believe?

In the concept of freedom, I mean? Far too often, I see people on both sides of the aisle claim to be upset about losing their rights and freedoms.

Within the ranks of the "right", you hear them talk about how they're losing their gun rights and their right to make personal decisions about their health care. On the "left", they rail about losing their other essential civil liberties. All the while, neither "team" seems to care about the other, they're far too interested in winning their little games on capitol hill to secure their "rights".

Well, I've got a piece of news, son. If you're worried about a handgun ban, but think anyone caught a pound of weed should be thrown in jail to rot for the rest of his life, you either don't really give a rat's ass about freedom or you simply misunderstand it. The same holds true if you're concerned about having your emails read by government snoops, but think our government has the right to tax the ever-living hell out of a working man to pay for "universal health care".

Granted, you don't really need to smoke pot to get through daily life, nor do you honestly need a handgun to defend your home...the city of Chicago (currently under an unconstitutional all-out ban on handguns) allows a shotgun in a person's home, which is actually better suited to that purpose anyway. Just as any teenager with $50 can find an ounce of weed in Texas RIGHT NOW, any gangbanger in the Windy City can find a stolen Glock for sale. You aren't stopping the criminals from getting either, but you are creating a situation where those who would harm no one by possessing a 9mm or a joint are criminalized for this act.

Bans on dope, as well as "assault weapons", are supported because of what someone MIGHT do with it. A dopehead (of any sort) may rob, steal, or kill to get his dope. Yes, like it or not, I've even seen potheads steal to get pot...however, these were the type that were unlikely to be working a real job to begin with. Just wanted to clear that up, in case ignorant people think pot is somehow "addictive", and smokers will kill to get it. However, over 3/4 of Americans aged 12 and up used an illegal substance at some point last year, either recreationally or habitually. 3/4 of Americans aged 12 and up weren't out committing felonies to feed their heads.

Anyhow, the banning of firearms is also supported by people for the same reason. Owning one makes it more easy to go on a "shooting spree" if he has a gun, as opposed to a bow and arrow...or just a sharp pointed stick. However, even when one considers that guns are quite often the "weapon of choice" for murder in this country, there are two important facts to consider. One is that often, the number of rounds in the magazine of a typical "assault" rifle far exceeds the number of victims (in more than 95% of all murders in America, there is only one "victim"). The other is the fact that, in the majority of murders, the killer and victim actually know each other well enough that a firearm isn't a necessity.

Yet, the same people who think that we need to ban drugs in this country often seem to think we should be allowed to own full-auto machine guns mounted on the roofs of our SUVs if we can afford to buy them. Many of the same people who think we need to ban firearms because of what someone "might" do with them, are the same people who think we should be allowed to walk down a crowded street while blazing a joint.

Personally, I think we should be allowed to do BOTH of these things (albeit in the interest of ones' own safety, as well as the safety of others, we should probably refrain from doing both at the same time!), provided we can afford to do them and choose to do them, while punishing people who commit actual crimes against actual non-consensual victims.

Really? Did I just say that? Potsmokers should be allowed to own machine guns? ABSOLUTELY! More importantly, ordinary Americans should be allowed to possess anything they can safely keep without endangering the lives of others by simply owning it or using it responsibly. While I'm not opposed to checking ID (to ensure that one is not a convicted violent felon prior to the purchase of a firearm, or that one is under the age of legal majority prior to purchasing dope), I think both of these items should be for sale by anyone wishing to do so.

Murder, theft, and robbery are against the law, regardless of the motive or the tools used to commit it. It doesn't matter if you steal a television simply because yours broke, or because you need to pawn it to feed your crack still stole a damned television. Likewise, it doesn't matter if you kill someone with a high-capacity "assault" rifle, or kill your cheating husband with the family Mercedes (like my dentist did!)'ve still murdered someone.

If you're going to preach about your rights, do us all a favor and be a bit more consistent with it. Freedom...either you have it, or you don't. If you're worried about banning something because of what someone MIGHT do, as opposed to punishing someone for something that they actually HAVE done to someone else, you don't really give a damn about freedom.

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