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 www.fff.org...
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
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
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
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.