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Gun control

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Ok, so remove the non violent drug offenders from our prisons. As I am sure we can all agree, drugs ruin lives. So the non violent guy continues using until the point were he is out of cash, his wife has left with his kids and he has no place to live. He still has his gun though and it could even be legally owned. He becomes desperate and so he goes and mugs grandma and gets away with it. Then he becomes more desperate and tries to rob the dealer down the block who has nothing to do with it and opens fire and well, there an example of what that leads to by that poor teen girl who will no struggle to live the rest of her life.

 

That just one aspect. What about the girl who becomes a prostitute to because of her habit, she is non violent as well, but she lives off the violent pimp.

 

 

I could write something in under 2 minutes about why everyone who owns and carries a gun is seconds from a killing spree that would probably be a lot more thoughtful and a lot less hyperbolic than this. It would certainly be a lot less disrespectful.

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jec    375

Ok, so remove the non violent drug offenders from our prisons. As I am sure we can all agree, drugs ruin lives. So the non violent guy continues using until the point were he is out of cash, his wife has left with his kids and he has no place to live. He still has his gun though and it could even be legally owned. He becomes desperate and so he goes and mugs grandma and gets away with it. Then he becomes more desperate and tries to rob the dealer down the block who has nothing to do with it and opens fire and well, there an example of what that leads to by that poor teen girl who will no struggle to live the rest of her life.

 

That just one aspect. What about the girl who becomes a prostitute to because of her habit, she is non violent as well, but she lives off the violent pimp.

 

That's a wild hypothetical slippery slope anecdote if I've ever seen one. There's no reason to assume a nonviolent drug offender to be dangerous.

 

What if you lost your job and your wife left you and you snapped and killed some guy at the park? You have the potential to be dangerous, too.

 

The prostitution issue is another entirely. She isn't living off the violent pimp so much as the violent pimp is living off of her. What she does is not violent and not dangerous.

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That's a wild hypothetical slippery slope anecdote if I've ever seen one. There's no reason to assume a nonviolent drug offender to be dangerous.

 

What if you lost your job and your wife left you and you snapped and killed some guy at the park? You have the potential to be dangerous, too.

 

The prostitution issue is another entirely. She isn't living off the violent pimp so much as the violent pimp is living off of her. What she does is not violent and not dangerous.

 

Fair enough. I am not on drugs through. Drugs add to the desperation, making an already bad situation worse.

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I could write something in under 2 minutes about why everyone who owns and carries a gun is seconds from a killing spree that would probably be a lot more thoughtful and a lot less hyperbolic than this. It would certainly be a lot less disrespectful.

 

Since the disrespectful comment I am assuming you are referring to is the real life example I used, I have edited that out. My apologies as I can see that it was.

 

With regards to the other examples, though extreme I have seen the first example happen. I have a close relative who was that non violent drug addict who became deperate and turned to crime and almost died trying to rob the dealer.

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With regards to the other examples, though extreme I have seen the first example happen. I have a close relative who was that non violent drug addict who became deperate and turned to crime and almost died trying to rob the dealer.

 

I'd really advise you to be careful when spouting the importance of anecdotes.

 

A person with access to assault weapons killed a bunch of a children in Connecticut. A different person with access to assault weapons killed a bunch of people at Virginia Tech. A third killed a bunch of people at Ft. Hood.

 

Those are anecdotes that, phrased as I just did, indicate that gun access leads to murder. But quoting anecdotes without analysis and study is ludicrous, and it seems hypocritical of you to want to use anecdotes when discussing the war on drugs but not when discussing gun control.

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jec    375

Fair enough. I am not on drugs through. Drugs add to the desperation, making an already bad situation worse.

 

Drugs can lead to addiction, which can lead to desperation. The bad situation becoming worse, in this case committing violent crimes, is dependent on many factors, including which drug we are talking about and whether or not the offender is even a user. You can't make assumptions like that. Prosecution should be based on actual crimes and not potential crimes, and the sentencing for nonviolent drug offenders is nothing short of ludicrous. You want to save on tax dollars? Eliminate these laws that mandate such absurd sentences that should be reserved for those who deserve them.

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As I am sure we can all agree, drugs ruin lives.

 

We can't all agree on that. I wholeheartedly disagree.

 

Addiction can ruin lives. Responsible adults who use drugs can and do live regular, happy lives and contribute positively to society just like anyone else. There is a very good chance you know at least one of these people, you just don't know about their drug use because they're responsible and functional.

 

Most drug users are not drug addicts, in much the same way that most people who drink alcohol are not alcoholics. Because whether you like it or not, alcohol is a drug and people who use it are drug users. In fact, a strong case can be made that alcohol is more dangerous and harmful, both in terms of harm to the user and harm to society as a whole, than all but maybe two of the "street drugs" that are currently illegal in the United States. And even with those two (heroin and cocaine), alcohol still boasts a higher harm to society.

 

We can talk in hypotheticals all day about what would happen if we decriminalized all drugs. But we don't even have to do that. We have a real world example of a country that has done that and has had 11 years of results to analyze: Portugal.

 

I encourage you to read this article: http://www.businessinsider.com/portugal-drug-policy-decriminalization-works-2012-7

 

In case you don't, I'll highlight this:

 

The resulting effect: a drastic reduction in addicts, with Portuguese officials and reports highlighting that this number, at 100,000 before the new policy was enacted, has been halved in the following ten years. Portugal's drug usage rates are now among the lowest of EU member states, according to the same report.

 

One more outcome: a lot less sick people. Drug related diseases including STDs and overdoses have been reduced even more than usage rates, which experts believe is the result of the government offering treatment with no threat of legal ramifications to addicts.

 

Here's another article about our prison situation that is worth reading: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2109777,00.html

 

And another highlight in case you don't click the link:

 

Is this hyperbole? Here are the facts. The U.S. has 760 prisoners per 100,000 citizens. That's not just many more than in most other developed countries but seven to 10 times as many. Japan has 63 per 100,000, Germany has 90, France has 96, South Korea has 97, and Britain--with a rate among the highest--has 153. Even developing countries that are well known for their crime problems have a third of U.S. numbers. Mexico has 208 prisoners per 100,000 citizens, and Brazil has 242. As Robertson pointed out on his TV show, The 700 Club, "We here in America make up 5% of the world's population but we make up 25% of the [world's] jailed prisoners."

 

There is a temptation to look at this staggering difference in numbers and chalk it up to one more aspect of American exceptionalism. America is different, so the view goes, and it has always had a Wild West culture and a tough legal system. But the facts don't support the conventional wisdom. This wide gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world is relatively recent. In 1980 the U.S.'s prison population was about 150 per 100,000 adults. It has more than quadrupled since then. So something has happened in the past 30 years to push millions of Americans into prison.

 

That something, of course, is the war on drugs. Drug convictions went from 15 inmates per 100,000 adults in 1980 to 148 in 1996, an almost tenfold increase. More than half of America's federal inmates today are in prison on drug convictions. In 2009 alone, 1.66 million Americans were arrested on drug charges, more than were arrested on assault or larceny charges. And 4 of 5 of those arrests were simply for possession.

 

Sooner or later, we're going to have to stop sticking our fingers in our ears and ignoring policies that actually work in other places. It may be counter-intuitive and it may go against everything you've been taught your whole life, but on one side of this debate we have policies that are demonstrably effective in dealing with societal problems, and on the other side we have policies which might even cause more societal harm than simply doing nothing.

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You are right addictions ruin lives. I know this and did not intend to leave that word out. Gambling addictions, as another example, can cause desperation as well which can lead to voilent crimes as well. I can see the point that the war on drugs is overcrowding our prisons and I know that alchohol is a drug and a bad one at that. I have not read the article yet, but will with more time.

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I'd really advise you to be careful when spouting the importance of anecdotes.

 

A person with access to assault weapons killed a bunch of a children in Connecticut. A different person with access to assault weapons killed a bunch of people at Virginia Tech. A third killed a bunch of people at Ft. Hood.

 

Those are anecdotes that, phrased as I just did, indicate that gun access leads to murder. But quoting anecdotes without analysis and study is ludicrous, and it seems hypocritical of you to want to use anecdotes when discussing the war on drugs but not when discussing gun control.

 

Makes sense about the anecdotes.

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Read the article. Very interesting, decriminalizing not legalizing seems to have worked there and could work here so it might be worth a try. That would in turn lower our prison population (dramically if the numbers cited are correct), thus allowing more time and effort into rehabing these violent offenders of all kinds. Not sure what the success rate would be at that, but more time and effort would theoritically reduce repeat violent crimes.

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