Friday, May 27, 2011

Prohibition = FAIL

This topic is so fundamentally logical that I cannot fathom another person not seeing it the way I do. Prohibition does not – cannot – work.

Does this mean I believe we should wipe all laws from the books? No, of course not. Murder should be prohibited. Driving while impaired should be prohibited. Abuse or neglect of children should be prohibited. But people will murder. They will drive when they shouldn’t. They will be abusive. And they should be punished.

But when it comes to social problems, such as abortion, drug use, or gun control, my attitude changes.

I am vehemently pro-choice. I believe that I alone (with medical counsel) should make decisions concerning my body, and those decisions should extend to a fetus growing inside me until that fetus is developed enough to survive outside my womb. However, I understand the pro-life position. Being pro-choice does not make me pro-abortion. I wish no woman, anywhere, ever had to make that incredibly difficult choice. And I believe that women should never use abortion in place of birth control. But outlawing abortion will not prevent a woman from having an abortion if that is what she wants. The stories and statistics about abortion in America pre-1972 are horrifying. I wish pro-lifers could see that the way to stop abortion is not to outlaw it; you have to stop women from wanting abortions in the first place. Picketing outside Planned Parenthood and similar facilities disrupts many women’s access to birth control, but women with birth control don’t seek abortions. Education about birth control, about real life after becoming a mother, and about adoption could all prevent women from seeking abortions. Making abortion illegal will only return us to the days of women drinking drain cleaner and impaling themselves on metal coat hangers. I have to believe that no one wants that.

Drug addiction is a medical issue, not a legal one. People place themselves in dangerous situations to feed their addiction. They steal from and endanger innocent people. But real help for addicts is extremely difficult to obtain, and when available, is often just a band-aid on a severed limb. Again, education is the key. We must give our children the real, hard truths about drug use and where it leads. And we must educate society at large about the true costs of drug addiction, and the (relatively) easy way it can be managed and eradicated by treating it as a medical matter instead of a criminal one. Doing this will benefit not only the addict, but also society at large by reducing crime. Demand for drugs feeds the very profitable black-market. Without that market, the gangs and cartels will fade.

I like the bumper sticker that says, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” I think that sums it up perfectly. I don’t like guns. I’ve never been around them or handled them, and I absolutely will not ever have one in my home. But I understand the desire to have guns for protection or for hunting, and I think that’s fine, within reason. What I don’t get are people who think we ought to round up all civilian-held guns in the U.S. and destroy them. Really, they think that would work? Come on…the truth is that honest people would be disarmed, leaving them defenseless against outlaws.

Maybe I’m wrong about all this, but it just makes such perfect sense to me. I know that making these shifts in our attitudes and policies would be difficult at first. But it would benefit everyone. So how come I'm the only one who sees it?

No comments: