Thursday, June 08, 2006

If reckless opinions were a crime...

...he'd be in jail. You know, I like Don Surber. For a right wing guy he often has a reasonable world view but he's taken a huge leap out of the realm of common sense with this post, Why we need more prisons.

Drugs only have the most peripheral nexus to this case that I can see. I don't see that the shooting was about drugs, the incident the guy was on probation for was about violence, not drugs and I don't see that they found any drugs when they caught him. The only connection is the guy has a drug problem. What kind of problem? What kind of drugs does he have a problem with? It doesn't even say.

The war on some drugs is exactly why this happened. The guy got probation on the first offense because the prisons are stuffed to the gills with non-violent drug consumers who get absurdly long sentences under mandatory minimums, so they let the murderers, rapists, pedophiles and other violent criminals out early, if they put them in jail at all. Drug offenses are the only ones that come with the mandatory minimums.

We have the largest prison gulag in the world... larger than China, larger than Russia, larger the entirety of Western Europe put together. Keeping all those non-violent drug offenders in jail, costs billions of tax dollars and the money comes straight out of the municipal coffers, and then they can't afford to fund schools to keep kids off the path of crime in the first place and can't afford to hire enough cops to catch the real criminals.

You have half a million people in jail whose only offense was to ingest a substance not sanctioned by the government. Just as guns don't kill people, drugs don't cause crime. Prohibition does.

And by the way, most violent crime stems from alcohol abuse, not drug abuse so you want to lock up the alcholics too? Then your towns won't be able to afford firefighters or street sweepers either. Drug abuse is a health problem, not a criminal one. As long as you cheer on the prohibitionists, violent crime is only going to get worse.

Well Blogger was down all day yesterday so this is now kind of too aged to have the full impact but I'd encourage anybody with a few minutes to lend me a hand over there in the comment section anyway. He's got a high profile blog and these are the folks we need to reach with the reform message. Besides, most of you are more articulate than I am, especially when I'm pissed off.


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