Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. So how about a little history lesson?
Everyone has heard about The Noble Experiment. The banning of liquor was brought forth in 1913 in an effort to “improve society”, especially for women and African-American labourers. The result was the Roaring Twenties, when average citizens became criminals, and the Mafia evolved from petty gambling and theft to bootlegging, racketeering and “blood in the streets”. John D Rockefeller Jr, a supporter of prohibition, summed it up perfectly in 1932.
“When Prohibition was introduced, I hoped that it would be widely supported by public opinion and the day would soon come when the evil effects of alcohol would be recognized. I have slowly and reluctantly come to believe that this has not been the result. Instead, drinking has generally increased; the speakeasy has replaced the saloon; a vast army of lawbreakers has appeared; many of our best citizens have openly ignored Prohibition; respect for the law has been greatly lessened; and crime has increased to a level never seen before.”
War on Drugs
This “war” has been waged in one form or another since 1969. Obviously use of illicit drugs has fallen since the 60s and 70s, but rates of use have been climbing steadily since the late 80s. In Canada, since 1997, cannabis use has remained stable, while cocaine and other illicit drug use continues to climb steadily. According to a 2007 study, from 1994 to 2004 use of illicit drugs in Canada jumped from 28.5% to 45%. As for the USA, after spending billions of dollars over a 6 year period in Colombia, the DEA has seen an increase in coca production in remote areas of Colombia and neighbouring countries. In fact from 1980 to 1990 Peru saw a 10-fold increase in coca production in the region (Source: “Drug Policy in Andes Called Failure,” Washington Post, March 27, 1993)
I could quote facts and statistics on this one until I’m blue in the face, but I think everyone knows for themselves just how dismal a failure this “war” has been.
I never love statistics more than when I’m discussing gun bans. Why? Because there isn’t a single statistic that shows gun control of any kind to be a success. Australia instituted strict gun control laws in 1997, and over the last 10 years, they’ve seen assault increase by 49%, robbery increase by 6%, sexual assault increase 30%, and violent crime increase by 42%. The UK brought in their strict gun laws in 1988 and have since seen a 500% increase in their violent crime rates. In Canada our violent crime rate has also continued to increase. And despite our handgun registration laws (in place since 1934), handguns are still used in approximately 30% of homicides every year.
Hey all you Ban Wagon folks! What were you saying about gun control lowering crime rates again?
Nope, I’m not joking. For the last several years, Emergency Room doctors in the UK have been calling for a ban on pointed kitchen knives in a bid to reduce deaths from stabbings. Do a google search for the thousands of news articles on this topic. What’s next? A knitting needle ban? Or how about selling only plastic baseball and cricket bats from now on? Or maybe we should just amputate our opposable thumbs at birth so that we can’t grip any weapons? Seriously, when I read stories like these I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
So what do the above issues all have in common? Well they all involve attempts to solve problems by focussing on the symptoms rather than the disease. Rather than educating people or properly punishing those who commit crimes, our “leaders” choose to take out their frustrations on inanimate objects instead. What’s my point, you ask? I’d just like to know when the I’m-scared-of-my-shadow-so-let’s-ban-sunshine crowd is going to wake up and realize that bans do not work. In every instance I’ve mentioned above, bans have either had no measurable effect or they have made worse the issue they were meant to solve.
As a gun owner I’m often accused of being “paranoid”. That always makes me laugh – pot this is kettle calling. It’s the Ban Wagon, after all, that’s so afraid of inanimate objects that they seek to eradicate them from society.
“Be Prepared”. Everyone knows the Boy Scout motto. But here’s my question to the Ban Wagon: what do those two words mean to you? You see, to me, being prepared is not an action, it’s a mindset. It’s about being aware of the realities of this world and planning for all possible eventualities, both good and bad. More importantly, it’s about personal responsibility.
Yeah, I said it again. I don’t care if you’re sick of hearing it, I’m gonna keep saying it. Personal responsibility. Being prepared means realizing that in the event of a disaster, I can rely only on my own resources. Being prepared means understanding that if I’m attacked, I am the key to my survival. Being prepared means comprehending the fact that by their very nature, all governments are corrupt, some just moreso than others. Being prepared means recognizing that no amount of laws, rules, regulations, restrictions, bans or good intentions will ever erase human nature.
For any members of the Ban Wagon who may be reading this post, did you notice how in the previous three paragraphs, there were a lot of I‘s in there? That’s because I don’t presume to speak for all gun owners, or all women, or all people, even though it’s a fact that many think and believe the same things I do.
You see, I give people credit for a certain degree of intelligence. And I don’t insult that intelligence by suggesting that an inanimate object is the cause of all the ills in our world. I give people credit for being human and accept all the good and bad that being human entails.
People are always going to make bad choices. I’m afraid, that comes part and parcel with the free will thing. So how about we all jump off team Ban Wagon? And instead of passing laws that infringe on the rights of people who might make a bad decision (Thoughtcrime, anyone?), let’s just pass laws that punish people who actually do make a bad decision. Gee, that sounds suspiciously like people taking responsibility (yup, there’s that word again) for the decisions they make and dealing with all the consequences that come with that choice. We can’t possibly have that…