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Conservatives, liberals, Guns, and Drugs

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posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 12:13 PM
I read this article some time ago and strongly suggest anyone that is pro-gun or pro-drug legalization read it.

Link to article here

I like to have civilized conversation with people from all political walks. I would consider myself to be a centrist, I think both parties have some good ideas and also feel both parties fail to implement them most of the time. I am certainly pro gun rights to a certain degree and an owner of 4 firearms at the moment. I say to a certain degree because I have never ran across someone hunting in the woods carying a mac -10 with high capacity mags, although I have taken deer with my sks. I suppose someone could make the argument that mac -10's are a good defense firearm because you should be as well armed as the criminals but feel that starts to get into dr. suess's butter battle territory. I understand when Dr. Suees wrote the book it was in relation to the cold war and a never ending nuclear arms race but feel it's still relevant because a never ending arms race does not neccesarily have to be nuclear, it can be between citizens and criminals.

I consider myself centrist but regularly get branded a "bleeding liberal" because I do not blindly support the war. This happens where I live and online. I think it is the poster child of ignorance to brand anyone liberal or conservative by only one of their many political ideologies. I see this happen here on ATS way too often
I certainly do not brand someone a neo-conservative based solely on the fact that they are for gun rights.

Any how since reading this article I have engaged in conversation with quite a few people over the past few months with people from all walks of the political spectrum. For the most part my conversation with conservatives goes like this,

me: what's your thought on gun rights?

Conservative: It's a right guaranteed in the constitution.

me: I couldn't agree more, would you agree that banning them would make things worse than better?

Conservative: Oh not a doubt about it and history shows that.

me: Do you feel stiffer regulations help to curb crime?

Conservative: No, it hinders lawful people and makes an environment where the black market stands to be the only benefactor.

me: Well, I agree fully with all the things you have said and really think the constitution should be reason enough for people to keep and bear arms.

Conservative: It's nice to meet someone who understands that.

me: Now, how do you feel about the war on drugs?

Conservative: It's a noble cause but really isn't working too well.

me: I agree there, why don't we just legalize, tax and regulate drugs.

Conservative: I don't think that's a good idea.

me: well, why don't you.

Conservative: drugs are bad and would ruin society.

me: thats a pretty open ended statement and we could talk about how drugs would ruin society for a long time but do you have any other reasons.

Conservative: well other than that no really.

me: Well, what if we had a right to use drugs?

Conservative: everyone has that right but there are consequences.

me: well, are you for another alcohol prohibition?

Conservative: No (takes drink of beer as most of the company I keep converses over a beer)

me: well you are aware that they had to make an amendment to the constitution to legally prohibit alchohol, why didn't they do that to make drugs illegal?

Conservative: (shrugs)

me: well taking from our conversation about gun rights, do you think drugs being illegal have madee things worse than better?

Conservative: look I see where you are going with this, drugs are bad, they can't be made legal and that's all I got to say about it.

me: but don't you think we have enough people in prison now? I mean violent criminals are only serving half of their sentence because they got to make room for people arrested on marijuana charges?

Conservative: look what they did was illegal and they got in trouble for it, that's the way the justice system works.

me: so if a law was passed that incriminated you for owning guns you would have the same attitude right?

Now at this point the conversation usually goes south and I will omit what is exchanged but it is anything less than civilized conversation. I say usually, meaning 8 out of 10 conversations have ended like that. Fortunately, one of my best friends (a strong conservative and marijuana smoker) actually acknowledges how hypocritical it is to only use logic on things that you are for. It really is troubling that sometimes the person that was ready to buy me a beer (in one case bought me one) for seeing eye to eye on gun rights ends the discussion walking away muttering "fu&@#$ liberal!" I will say that there are certainly some drugs that might well need to be super regulated due to their nature. But, the method of treating them as a person with an illness rather than a criminal would be a good first step. These hard drugs pose a major problem weather legal or illegal. Marijuanna however is a completely different story. In all of my experiences I can say with certainty that alcohol can be much worse and often is. Think of how the tax dollars of regulated marijuana could help our economy that is in dire need of help. Maybe even fund clinics to help people with addictions to other harmful drugs.

In all fairness, I have had this same discussion when I encounter a liberal person who is overly aggressive on the regulation of firearms, or in some extreme cases want guns to be banned but is pushing for the legalization of marijuanna. It's funny because it goes about the same way and sometimes ends with me being called a "FU%$#@ redneck conservative"

I just find it astonishing that so many people are willing to only apply logic when it supports what they stand for. If it doesn't put on the earmuffs, or take the discussion to the childish equivalent of "la la la I can't hear you". And people on all sides are guilty of it. I do however appreciate meeting people that cane give and take in conversation. People that can realize hey sometimes I'm right, sometimes I'm wrong but by understanding that I am sometimes wrong can strive to be right more often. It's through civilized discussion that the best changes made to society start. I am often wrong but am willing to admit it.

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 12:23 PM
I agree, I have been retired from the military for a few years now and I do not support the war but the troops I do. When folks find this out they call me a Lib lover or a anti american because I was in the military and should be different.

People are so one sided, they don't understand why I fought and then I have my views as such. When I tell them I went under orders and had to do what I had to do. I try to expalin to them that think of it this as a civilian have to do things your boss tells you to do which in some cases you may not agree with, but you do them anyway.

It's the same in the military, just because I didn't vote for bush doe's not mean I'm anti american and a Lib lover. Theres a lot of closed minded people out there and if you disagree with them you are the enemy.

[edit on 13-2-2009 by hardeeboy]

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 12:30 PM
I've had the exact same thoughts in my head for quite some time. LEGALIZE IT! Regulate it, grow it, sell it, profit. If people want to find their drug of choice bad enough, they're going to find it regardless of it's illegality.

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 12:35 PM
good post and response. I think i fall int he same category.
I am for guns, for many reasons, but there should be much stiffer penalties for criminals using them.

Never supported the war, but i have the utmost respect for the ones that served. Always support the troops

personally i see no need for drugs, but they are fighting a war they will never win, why not allow the lesser of the evils and crack down more on the dangerous ones. tax them and put in place guide lines ,use the man power to help other aspects of our problems.

I have nothing aginst people from other countries coming here to try to better their life, and prosper, but do it the right way, pack up all the illegals and ship them back where they came from. There is a way to do things and a way not. Any business found hiring illegals in the U.S. should be shut down.. period, no more biz, and they loose the right to start another one.
Make them think twice.. eliminate the job, eliminate the influx.

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 12:38 PM
reply to post by hardeeboy

I appreciate your service and just because I am against the war, that does not equate to me being against the men and women over there. I have a family where many people have served in many conflicts. I don't look down upon my stepfather for his service in Vietnam and quite frankly, the man is one of the best walking examples of why I do not support the war we are in, and neither does he. It seems we have reached a point in society where the only place I can have a discussion about current events without derogatory comments being made is with family. We disagree, sometimes fervently but always maintain respect for each other. I try to pretend I am having a discussion with a family member to keep myself in check and make for fruitful conversations but often the person on the other side does not approach with the same integrity. But it's nice to meet someone that does.

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 12:40 PM
I agree. I was in favor of the war at first, but I have changed my mind. However, I support the troops, and I know they are doing a lot good that the MSM doesn't tell us about.
I believe in second amendment, and I am a gun owner. I enjoy target shooting, and enjoy hunting ever now and then.
I have long supported legalizing marijuana. I'm not user. Bourbon in my drug of choice. But marijuana could be legalized, grown, and taxed like alcohol and cigarettes.
How did I come to develop these points of view? I read, I listened to various point of others, and I spent a lot of time thinking.
I also believe in allowing those who have never been convicted of a felony should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon.

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 12:42 PM
reply to post by shizzle5150

Very well said. I have many times wanted to point out this hypocrisy, but just didn't take the time. Thanks for doing it.

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 12:54 PM
reply to post by shizzle5150

Well said, indeed. I also hold these positions, and have had similar experience with that very conversation...

It comes down, I think, to the difference between a thinking person and a dogmatist. That may sound a bit harsh, and disagreement on an issue does not mean one person is not thinking... it's a matter of

"I am against (drugs, guns, abortion, etc.) for these reasons ..."

as opposed to:

"I am against (drugs, guns, abortion, etc.) because it is wrong."

Without being able to verbalize the "why" in "why it is wrong".

Thinking people can disagree on reasons and conclusions and still find a way to co-exist, while the dogmatist is an implacable enemy to those who oppose them.

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 12:57 PM
we can't function efficiently without them because nobody has the time or inclination to think about any one thing for everything. If someone tells me they are a nazi, then after a nano second of thought I know what I'm dealing with and after another nano second I decide whether to engage or disengage.
How many of you....scratch that.....lets take O'Reilly's comment on Obama's first press conference...if you didn't see it, you can find it online on his Fox show thingy. He said basically that Obama was too long winded in his answers and blah blah blah. People have been trained for sound bytes so those that want your vote don't have to waste their time with you.
...Vote for me....I am a Republican. That is enough for 49% of American's. Don't vote for him.....he will raise your taxes.

There just isn't a way to explain the complexity of every issue to the masses because frankly, they don't have the capacity to understand enough to reach a thoughtful position. AND....even those that do...become overwhelmed with complexity that they no longer know themselves where they stand....who am I? what do I believe?

What happens then? They start looking around for some vallidity by seeking like minded people..."am I the only one that believes this?" if so then "whats wrong with me?" It is far far easier to say..."hey, I'm a Republican, what are you?" "me too dude" "cool lets be friends"

People for the most part aren't hip with being too much of an Individual. Thinking for yourself and your unique experiences in life tend to make you an Individual.......Individuals DO NOT GET ELECTED because they would not relate to enough people. is psychologicaly, sociological, and probably right down to our genes a part of who we all are. Fight it when you can, but at least understand that it isn't something that will ever ever go away.

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 01:08 PM
I think words have different meaning....

Not agreeing with the war is one thing, but to say you do not support it may mean something totally different for others. What part do you not support, would be my first question.

If we look at it, let’s say the Iraqi people actually came together as “one” shortly after the fall of Saddam, would you have supported it then, and so what has truly failed here? As an ex-military person with a lot of time over there I really feel the Iraqi people have failed themselves these last seven years. America provided them the means and they failed to do anything with it in a positive direction.

Because of all this, I would say over the years, I can no longer agree with what we did in removing Saddam, since he could easily have been the lesser of two evils, but before I really cement my opinion I think I will wait another decade or two to actually see how this all plays out.

Another part that has changed my opinion in not agreeing to the war anymore is the cost in lives and money that America has had to pay. This goes along the lines that it is great that women can now go to school over there, but the cost to us has been steep, and so was it really worth it? I look back and say no…

The problem with gun control is that the control only affects those who least need it. If you take myself as an example, I have a TS clearance, concealed license, flawless record, ex military etc and so what control can you put on me that would actually control criminals too, and would that extra control on me actually benefit anything?

Drugs are a tricky subject....

Do we need so many pot smokers in jail? NO is a big answer, and just like gun control, the more we control your typical honest citizen the more of them we will see in jail for crimes that have no victims, other than themselves.

Now with that said….

I have always said I do not care what people do as long as it doesn’t affect me, so if you want to be a heroin user so be it. But being one could involve that you do not keep your health insurance, job, car etc. This puts us in a situation where if we made drugs legal can companies dismiss you if you use them. Can an insurance drop your coverage, can you lose you license to drive etc? We understand the effects of alcohol and though it has negative effects on society it has a rather quick and definitive drop off rate of influence. So this means I can get drunk Friday night and Saturday be somewhat normal, or drink just a little and get just a little affect from this drug.

When we look at other drugs can you say the same thing? How long does the effect of pot influence you? Would smoking pot all day Sunday affect your work on Monday? Can you take just a little acid and get just a little high? These and many more questions would need to be answered for we are not all living in a isolated world where our actions do not affect others.

Now with being Liberal or Conservative on this site….

I find many here to be extreme and so they see anyone not to their level of extremism as part of the other side, when in fact they could be the same, but just not as extreme.

As example, if I don’t “hate” Bush in all my posts, even when I disagree with the man, I am labeled a neo con. If I feel that how society handles the abortion issue as weakening societies’ morals I am labeled a religious extremist, when in fact I am neither and really far from both labels in my examples.

[edit on 13-2-2009 by Xtrozero]

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 01:22 PM
I suggest an experiment.

Make up a party name for yourself or ideological name.

Pick 10 areas from fiscal, spiritual, social, foreign relations, etc. and invite people who believe the same way you do in all 10 areas to say..."I am a (what ever name you came up with)"

We have a global group of people here. How many do you think would join your hypothetical "party"?

If I don't see a thread on this in the next week or so....I will be the guinea pig.

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 01:26 PM
reply to post by Res Ipsa

An interesting way would be to pick common sense issues that just happen to come from extremely opposite views.

[edit on 13-2-2009 by Xtrozero]

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 01:35 PM
I'm a pretty interesting liberal, because I support gun regulation and I do not support the legalization of currently illegal drugs.

My reasons? Get rid of the black market of weapons as much as we can, and law abiding citizens can prove that they can own a gun and use it well. I don't see why anyone wouldn't support that. If you want a gun and should have a gun, it should be easy to get one. If you shouldn't have a gun and can't get one, then good, it's safer for us.

The drugs- I agree with Xtro, if you make it legal, it will be abused more than it is now. It may impact the way people perform in the working place. Also, as with alcohol and smoking, many people will indulge too much and be unable to function normally. With the economy so bad, and so many people out of work, it would not be productive for the citizens of this country to be allowed to smoke a substance that could change their productivity, behavior, and motivation. There would be many people employed by the drug business if it is passed, and although this makes jobs, those people could be helping the rest of the country in different ways.

But I support gay marriage, abortion, stem cell research, free birth control, taking "under God" out of the pledge, cheaper health insurance, a limit on salaries for anybody in the country, and more. So I'm liberal, except for the above two topics. Pretty sure.

The conservative/liberal line is fuzzy on some topics. So I don't know.

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 01:45 PM

Originally posted by ravenshadow13

My reasons? Get rid of the black market of weapons as much as we can, and law abiding citizens can prove that they can own a gun and use it well. I don't see why anyone wouldn't support that. If you want a gun and should have a gun, it should be easy to get one. If you shouldn't have a gun and can't get one, then good, it's safer for us.

I think this goes a long a more liberal agenda, so it is not really outside your more liberal lines of view.

First I agree with some of this. I think you should have a gun safety class/card and a background check to buy, but I don’t see how control will limit “black market” guns in anyway.

But I support gay marriage, abortion, stem cell research, free birth control, taking "under God" out of the pledge, cheaper health insurance, a limit on salaries for anybody in the country, and more. So I'm liberal, except for the above two topics. Pretty sure.

For most of this I will say I would rather see it all decided at the state level, and as all things I would want to see majority rulling to any decision.

[edit on 13-2-2009 by Xtrozero]

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 01:55 PM
Absolutely agree, great post and point.

If you look at our system today, the illegalization of drugs just puts all of the money and power in the hands of criminals and the black market. Something as harmless as marijuana currently has alot of criminal connections just because of the system as it stands. Drugs can be extremely dangerous, but current laws against them only cause more issues and problems in our society. Legalization of drugs, tax em, and alot of problems would be solved. It wouldnt be perfect, and new problems would come up, but this world isnt perfect.

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 02:38 PM
reply to post by ravenshadow13

I think I disagree with you, raven, and xtro, that drug use would dramatically increase if they were legalized.

For one thing, anybody that wants to use drugs and cannot control that desire probably already uses them.

If a company has the ability to fire an employee that is not doing their job, then the reason they are not doing their job doesn't matter much. So there might be some increase but I don't think it would be huge, and may well be very short term.

So people who want to use drugs now but don't due to the law are probably going to be the responsible users... they will take care that their drug use does not impact their job. Just like responsible alcohol users do now.

And I think the driver license or insurance issues are already covered as well. It's been a while since I looked, but at one time at least, law in the state of Oregon was written such that it is illegal to drive impared. "Imparement" can take any form... drugs, alcohol, a child or dog loose in the car, or a cup of coffee the driver is paying more attention to than driving.

This kind of law covers whatever reason explains the state of incompetence to drive.

So yes, there might be some increase in drug use, but I would be surprised if it was dramatic. I'd also be surprised if there was a dramatic increase in irresonsible drug use.

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 02:56 PM
reply to post by Open_Minded Skeptic

Here's another question, then. Let's say that it becomes legal, anyone can buy it and use it. So anyone can grow it. And anyone can sell it. So the price drops really, really low because so many people are selling it, because it is easy to grow. Then how would it help the economy? It would become less expensive, I think. This could open up the doors for people to buy it who maybe could spend the money on something that they need more, like food or to pay taxes, in this bad economy.

I don't know how many people would want to smoke it but don't because it's illegal, I think that number of people will be really small. But I think that it would be cheaper for people to get, so that they could buy more, and it would be more affordable. Unless the government wants to moderate the sale and price of marijuana.

I would hope there would be a driving restriction, but there is one for alcohol and not one for smoking tobacco. What about smoking in public areas? I've never smoked but my boyfriend has and apparently you can get like, secondhand high from it. What if there were kids around getting high off of the smoke from pot that everyone can legally smoke now? Would there be an age restriction? Would you be able to buy it in stores? Would there be a warning for pregnant women? What about medications and supplements that can be harmful when taken with marijuana? Would you have to tell your doctor that you smoke it? What about the psychological effects? Could it correlate with a rise in depression or something that we don't know about yet because it's kind of swept under the carpet? What if they decide to make it illegal again? What about students? Would there be drug testing necessary to get a job? Would they test on a regular basis? What if you pass the initial test but fail a random drug test? Would schools suspend/expel students for possession like they do for alcohol? What if people smell like pot from a parent or sibling smoking at home and get in trouble because they are underage? Would colleges allow it in their dormitories? Would colleges allow it at all? Would it be illegal to lace marijuana with other drugs, which is commonly done today? Would only certain kinds of marijuana be legal, while others are not? Would police want to test any pot that you make have to see if it is laced with something else?

There are a lot of factors... I just think it would be easier to not do it. Or at least wait until, you know, the country is financially more stable.

[edit on 2/13/2009 by ravenshadow13]

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 03:14 PM
reply to post by ravenshadow13

Since we are talking about psycho-active drugs here, I would expect the same kind of restrictions as are placed on alcohol - no minors, for example. This goes for where drugs could be used, as well. Treat them just like alcohol. Alcohol and these other drugs all modify the conciousness, just to different degrees.

I would also place restrictions on who could sell it (must have a 'drug' license, much like a 'liquor' license), but not on who could gro Marijuana (and we are talking about more than just that one drug). Thus, anyone that wanted to grow it could, for their own personal use, but could not sell it, at least legally.

I don't know about secondhand-highness, so won't comment on that. All of your other questions, though, about pregnancy, psychological effects, etc, are, I think (and I am speaking from a fair amount of ignorance, here, not being an expert in the field), already handled for many other substances in society today. I've even seen TV ads for some anti-depressant drug that has the side effect of suicidal depressive episodes... if we can live with that, I imagine we can live with legalized 'drugs' (as in currently illegal).

I agree with your point about "not right now", to some degree. There would no doubt be some social upheaval with such a move. I don't know where more money would be wasted, though... in dealing with that upheaval, or in the current 'war on drugs' mess, which is burning money for nothing. At least money spent to accommodate the (hopefully temporary) social consequences of legalization would be going for a positive cause, with an achievable end point. The WOD is neither.

There would no doubt be some issues to deal with, but it is a question of which issues, and is there an end to the 'dealing'?

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 03:17 PM
reply to post by ravenshadow13

How many people grow their own tobacco or brew their own beer and sell it? If it was legal, most people would pick up a pack instead of go to the trouble of growing it themselves.

And I see now that OMS has already answered with my opinions...
Stay out of my head, will ya?

[edit on 13-2-2009 by Benevolent Heretic]

posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 03:19 PM
If you truly want MJ legilized you have to fight for it.They tried to make liqure illigal during proabition,They reason we have it now is becuse 80% of the population of america drank,and said f?#@!#@! the goverment and won.
The problem is becuse of the anti-MJ set of mind has made it where not as many people are actuly smokers,so noone to fight for it,and i dont think stoners like to fight anyway.Just my 2 cents

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