Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Analyzing Internal Logic with the Socratic Method - AHB

The Real Howard Beale
For the unitiated, AHB stands for "The Anonymous Howard Beale."  He's an anon poster here, and a personal friend.  He and I both love The Network, and I've said before that he could easily be a Howard Beale-type person in real life, because he speaks the truth and is unafraid of telling people what they don't want to hear--so since he posts anon, I dubbed him "The Anonymous Howard Beale."  Occasionally, he writes articles for this blog to speak his mind and give me a break.  So without further ado, please enjoy another piece by the Anonymous Howard Beale.

The Socratic Method of reasoning is widely considered to be the blueprint Scientific Method was

You don't need another person to debate against to make this method work, you can test it against yourself. For instance... when I hear a particularly illogical sounding argument, my first instinct is to test it against what I feel/know to be true. Then I do something very few people these days do, I embrace the illogical argument and attempt to make a case for it.

"Putting yourself in their shoes" is not entirely possible, but you can at least make an attempt to frame your own logic around their argument. If your first step is to embrace their point of view, and you cannot adequately make a case for it, then you can use that information to make the opposite claim (your original gut instinct) and reinforce it.

For instance, the gun control debate. For me this is a very simple and basic circumstance of trying to legislate submission. Whenever I would try and frame my argument from the standpoint of "PRO GUN CONTROL" I would run into massively inconsistent data. I first tried to champion the reasoning of "way more gun control means way less gun violence"... which I found to be demonstrably unprovable.
built upon. In a nutshell, it is a way of debating and asking questions to distill information down to a low level, in the hopes of fully understanding a subject to the best of your ability to understand it.

"Guns are not required to protect yourself" is another line of reasoning I tried to see through, and it turns out to have a bit of truth to it. The #1 way to make your home instantly safer from intruders is... a dog. The presence of even a small dog completely undermines the shit out of home invasions. Turns out, criminals don't like it when they are trying to commit crime and a dog is yapping on the other side of the door, alerting everyone in earshot.

Then of course I came to the conclusion that a dog would not protect me from an apache helicopter, an abrams MBT, or highly trained marines implementing martial law, and while a single gun isn't adequate protection either against these threats, 100,000,000 guns is. My hope would be by the time they got to me, they would be so battle weary over having to slug it out door to door, street by street that I could take a few down on my way out, making it easier for the next poor bastard that is up next on the list. In the end, Freedom isn't free, and a firearm is just a machine. It has no mystical power or will of it's own to act. People are the problem, not guns.

So for me, I really do strive to see the other viewpoint. It not only helps you to understand where their thoughts may be for you to engage someone properly, but it gives your mind flexibility when a question or thought presented comes out of seemingly nowhere.

In any case, the worst thing to do is to instantly start discrediting their argument simply because it conflicts with yours. Ask questions, get answers, use those answers to form new questions, etc. It all sounds pretty basic but it is amazing how much of this is lost on people these days.

If you find yourself really at a loss to defend an alternate viewpoint in any way, then it's probably time to either do a lot more research, or a lot more soul-searching. Personally, I routinely fall into the intellectual trap of saying "Oh that's just fucking non-sense" because I have not really thought about what the other person is trying to communicate.

That being said, it definitely takes two to tango, and you cannot always have meaningful discussion with people who are completely unwilling to hear you out, not dodge questions, not derail the train, or who are so close-minded they cant even explain why they feel or think the way they do.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well-said. I agree completely.

If you don't understand a position, how can you argue against it?

-- Silverfiddle

Anonymous said...

Yes, that is one way of looking at it, again though the real way to use this is to get into the mindset of the person you are debating.

Sorta like the so-called goal of Karate, defense over offense.

It also helps when my first paragraph doesn't get eaten by blogger.

Flame on.

Anonymous said...

I understood, even with the second paragraph getting chopped up. The rest is at the end of the 5th paragraph.

Here is how it should read:

The Socratic Method of reasoning is widely considered to be the blueprint Scientific Method was built upon. In a nutshell, it is a way of debating and asking questions to distill information down to a low level, in the hopes of fully understanding a subject to the best of your ability to understand it.

I thought perhaps it was a test to see if we were paying attention

;)

Jersey McJones said...

Certainly if there were less guns available, there would be less crime committed with guns. I'm pretty friggin' sure Socrates would agree with that.

As for protecting yourself against your own country, that is something you have to decide for yourself. Most people do not fear that as a potential threat anytime in the foreseeable future.

We are a remarkably stable republic, mainly, I believe, because we have such a flexibly constructed constitution. The wording of the Second Amendment, for instance, suggests there should be reasonable and responsible regulations regarding the armed citizenry, even all the recent "pro-gun" decisions have concurred with that.

The question is, what regulations are allowable? There are other rights at stake here to. You have the right to keep and bear arms, but do you have the right to sell them, make them, hide them or keep them secret in any way you like?

You don't, and never have, and the Founders wanted it that way.

We could have different and better regulation of the militia today, we just have to come to our senses and realize a heavily armed public would be far more likely the cause of any great conflagration than our own American government. History proves that. Socrates knew it himself.

JMJ

Anonymous said...

Jersey...

That is truly not the point of the article at all, but I will humor you... point by point.

"Certainly if there were less guns available, there would be less crime committed with guns. I'm pretty friggin' sure Socrates would agree with that."

Socrates has never seen Chicago apparently.

Also, you cannot prove this one bit, not even a little bit. The assault weapons ban is lifted and still our gun violence rates continue to plummet. There are more guns than ever in america, and still our violence rates, per capita, decline.

It doesn't explain why in Switzerland there are 5 rifles for every man woman and child in the country and they have extremely low incidents of gun violence.

What does explain Switzerland's lack of gun violence is they have a supermajority of their native people living there, same with Japan, and the UAE, and they are economically sound in a relatively free country, hardly any gangs, hardly any political strife, hardly any poverty burden.

There is more to gun violence than the presence of guns. The kind of control you are seeking is nearly impossible, because you are trying to prevent "bad people" from doing the shit they do, break the law.

"As for protecting yourself against your own country, that is something you have to decide for yourself. Most people do not fear that as a potential threat anytime in the foreseeable future."

The precise reason this is not a threat is because... they could never hope to win with these current odds. The military would have to nuke us to win, and even that might not save them because the rest of the world would jump in to help us, not to mention the turncoats in our military that would rebel against their leaders.

I sincerely doubt at this point the government has the best interest of the common man in mind, they continue to violate and rape our freedoms, while bleeding our savings dry. The average politician looks at the American people as dollar signs.

"We are a remarkably stable republic, mainly, I believe, because we have such a flexibly constructed constitution. The wording of the Second Amendment, for instance, suggests there should be reasonable and responsible regulations regarding the armed citizenry, even all the recent "pro-gun" decisions have concurred with that."

We had the constitution back in 1860 as well. This is slightly off-topic but I would say what makes us stable is that we as a people are fairly "comfortable" for the time being. There is a real possibly that in the years ahead that could change seemingly overnight for economic reasons (the collapse of the dollar) and then the constitution wouldn't mean a tinker's damn.

As for the phrasing you speak of... "Shall not be infringed." Pretty black and white. Now I will grant you quite easily, that what we have right now is not truly infringement, its more of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall be dependent on their criminal status, and the current location of the individual person and that location's gun free policies"

Even though it is largely a non-criminal enterprise, there are enough firearms around for the criminals to get their hands on.

Do I need to remind you again of the Asian gentlemen I am loosely acquainted with that have a freakin arsenal at their disposal, that they have largely smuggled these weapons in through Alaska and Canada from their various native countries, as well as modifying and forging their own receivers for AKs.

I see no efforts to stop that shit, I see only efforts to stop farmer Joe in Ohio from selling his double barrel marlin to farmer Hank in Indiana. As well as stopping both farmers from legally owning semi-auto rifles.

Anonymous said...

"The question is, what regulations are allowable?"

The regulations they can pass, clearly, they control the law.

You are still falling into the mindset that more law and policy is certainly the answer, while I feel more enforcement of what we already have on the books would be more than sufficient.

"There are other rights at stake here to. You have the right to keep and bear arms, but do you have the right to sell them, make them, hide them or keep them secret in any way you like?"

Now, these are fresh concerns from you, you step in it big time the next line, but here we go.

I would say that for the most part, those oriental gentlemen are keeping to themselves and are using their firearms for protection or as an insurance policy. Although transactions are not out of the question with them, the nation definitely would have heard if these guys went off the deep end, and who knows how many other little mini-militias like this there are floating about right?

As far as modifications or construction of firearms, that is simply a matter of time in your law and policy driven crime prevention scenario. Restricting it long enough will create a backlash, just like prohibition did, and the war on drugs is.

What monsters and fresh hell would you create by implementing more widespread gun control measures? What would be the popular reaction to more gun control? Already you can go buy a sporterized AK for $550, a drum mag for about $200, a bumpski stock for about $300, and a couple laps of ammo for about $100... bingo presto... instant rapid fire on a budget. Despite the widespread access to most of these items, you don't see them implement very often... why?

You don't, and never have, and the Founders wanted it that way.

Staggering claims sir.

Just as staggering as me suggesting to the "founders" that there will come a time where there would be flying machines that are faster than the speed of sound itself with weaponry so powerful, a handful of them could obliterate the 13 colonies, outside the reach of men with even a million muskets, and a million cannons.

That there would come a time where men themselves no longer had to sacrifice their lives to defeat their enemy through strength of arms, that they could simply remain on a ship on the water that is virtually impervious to all manner of conventional attacks and fire the equivalent of 50,000 cannons worth of ordinance over half the distance of the Atlantic ocean within the accuracy of an inkwell.

That there would come a time when their successors would have the power to sit back in their office, prop their feet up on their desk, pick up a magical device that instantly transmitted their voice to their commanders regardless of physical location and usher in the destruction of our species.

Then I would ask the founders if they minded that the American people themselves were limited to constructing, selling, manufacturing, or modifying weapons that had an effective range of anywhere between 20 and 1000 meters, and that were only effective against other men.

I would then out of curiosity ask the founders a paraphrased version of the famous George Carlin question "Why are negros, indians and women not created equal?"

Anonymous said...

We could have different and better regulation of the militia today, we just have to come to our senses and realize a heavily armed public would be far more likely the cause of any great conflagration than our own American government. History proves that. Socrates knew it himself.

I am at a loss as to how you can say for certain what people long dead would say about a world they know very little about.

Again, here is the fatal assumption in your logic, that the law somehow stops crime. It doesn't. The law is there simply to lay out the limits of behavior before a social consequence must be paid.

In a sense, the 2nd amendment is the final fail safe for protecting the republic. These founders you like to go on about knew full well what tyranny by corrupt government was like.

There is no law that could "stop" me from killing whomever I wished. What "stops" me, is me.

Sooner or later we are going to have to come to the realization that man is flawed, and no policy, or law, or contract will change that.

Anonymous said...

This statement from Jersey helps us understand the progressive statist mindset:

"You have the right to keep and bear arms, but do you have the right to sell them, make them, hide them or keep them secret in any way you like?"

You don't, and never have, and the Founders wanted it that way.


Jersey is fundamentally wrong, and here's why:

The constitution does not grant rights. It protects them from the government.

Jersey: Do you have the right to smoke a hookah? Do you have the right to modify your hookah?

-- Silverfiddle

The Smoking Man said...

You don't, and never have, and the Founders wanted it that way.

Are you channeling Thomas Jefferson with a weegie board? That's a hell of a trick. While you have him on the line, why don't you ask him if we should create a bunch of restrictions to the First Amendment, since at the time he had no idea about radio, television, the telephone, or the Internet. I'm sure if he had know about Twitter he would have worded The First differently.

TSM

Jack Camwell said...

Holy Christ on a stick, Jersey. You still believe that less guns means there would be less gun crimes?

DC has a hand gun ban. Didn't some guy kill 12 people in DC last week?

Just once I would like for you to present an argument supported with facts and statistics.

Anonymous said...

Jackie... if I may:

One thing that would truly help the gun violence issue is to end the failed war on drugs... disbanding the gangs and the back alley drug deals. This alone would assuage so many other ills in our society that it is priority #1. "illegal" drugs are direct or indirect causes of the majority of urban violent crime, prostitution, and homelessness.

The notion that somehow everyone would start doing mescaline or heroin the instant the shit became legal is laughable non-sense. Glue and markers are legal... hell I can go to CVS right now and buy a skid of the shit, no script required so I don't have to hold the place up! Why doesn't everyone huff glue or markers, or propane, or paint thinner, or MEK, or gasoline, or the ass exhaust of a large woman?

Suddenly the people who are hopeless addicts don't have to ruin the lives of others to crash and burn, they can just shoot themselves into orbit and go out in a mess 'o colors.

Of course, the people who make money unfathomable off the drug war will be upset, which includes the criminals mind you, and you will put a bunch of innocent canines out of kibbles, but the people involved on the enforcement end can go on to bigger and better things to fuck our lives up like the absolutely-non-productive-yet-somehow-insanely-lucrative-and-society-destroying finance industry and the dogs can be trained to sniff out terrorism, right?

Jersey McJones said...

Anon,

"That is truly not the point of the article at all"

Yes, it is. You want to apply Socratic Method to the gun debate, then you have certain standards and controls you must apply.

If you can't acknowledge this simple reality, "Certainly if there were less guns available, there would be less crime committed with guns," then you can not argue Socratically, or in any other rational, logical way on this subject. It is like saying, "if there were fewer cars there would be just as many car accidents."

And when you make this sort of myopic comment, "Socrates has never seen Chicago apparently," then I can't imagine you have even the the barest will to truly engage the issue. And it would be like saying to Socrates, "What happens in Athens has nothing to do with what happens in Sparta."

All the rest, I just can't imagine arguing with these sorts of silly position. You just can't have a rational discourse on guns with too many people. It's an obsession with these folks, a religion. You can't argue with people when they are that fanatical, reactionary, and defensive in their position. You guys squirm through multidimensional hoops to obfuscate the arguments and avoid reality. As Barney Frank once said, "It's like arguing with a dining room table," but I would say, "It's like arguing with a Dali painting," (twisted reality, all over the place).

Socrates, my ass.

JMJ

Anonymous said...

Jersey: Again point by point.

Yes, it is.

The point of the article was why debating internally with yourself can give you better insights into your own arguments and the arguments of your opposition. Hence the title of the article. I did not wish to get into a gun control debate, but we have, and we damn well shall now.

You want to apply Socratic Method to the gun debate, then you have certain standards and controls you must apply.

The standards I must apply? The controls *I* must abide to? You act as if you know what Socrates and the continental congress' innermost thoughts are about a machine they never saw. What the hell is rational about that!

If you can't acknowledge this simple reality, "Certainly if there were less guns available, there would be less crime committed with guns," then you can not argue Socratically, or in any other rational, logical way on this subject.

Because it is not reality Jersey. What you are saying about the quantity of guns being proportionally linked with the rate of gun violence is the converse to reality. Yes... guns are a prerequisite to gun violence, so logic would extrapolate if you got rid of ALL guns, then ALL gun violence would stop.

You assume that every gun must kill someone to make that claim stick. People kill people with guns... people do. People kill people with guns. People kill people with guns, people, human beings, homosapiens, people use guns as tools to kill other people, people use guns to hurt other people, people use guns to protect themselves from other people, people use guns to protect themselves from wildlife, people use guns to hunt wildlife, people people people people PEOPLE PEOPLE PEOPLE are the cause of gun violence, not guns.

Using your logic every other person that walks a gun store should just die on the spot since the mere presence of guns is solely what causes gun deaths.

There are no other factors to consider whatsoever!

Can you at least acknowledge a gun lacks the ability to act alone.

It is like saying, "if there were fewer cars there would be just as many car accidents."

Cars that are mechanically sound, well engineered and well maintained driven responsibly by PEOPLE is what prevents car accidents.

If there were fewer cars and more distracted or irresponsible PEOPLE there would the same or more car accidents, because not every car gets into an accident, simply driving a car does not cause an accident!

When cars were first invented and first became started to go mainstream, there were all manner of accidents, in far greater abundance per vehicle than what we have now. What changed?

Why do I see wrecks happen frequently at sprint car races when there are only 8 cars on the track, and there were 6000 cars on the road getting to the track that never got into an accident? Fewer cars, exponentially more accidents... explain.

Anonymous said...


"And when you make this sort of myopic comment, "Socrates has never seen Chicago apparently," then I can't imagine you have even the the barest will to truly engage the issue.


What is more near-sighted, citing an example of a place with *less* guns per capita and *more* per capita gun violence, or declaring a statement that only works if all guns are used to commit gun violence?

And it would be like saying to Socrates, "What happens in Athens has nothing to do with what happens in Sparta."

It would be like saying to Socrates "Everything that happens in Athens has everything to do with what happens in Sparta.

Fixed that for you.

All the rest, I just can't imagine arguing with these sorts of silly position

At least we have a common complaint there.

You just can't have a rational discourse on guns with too many people.

I have, several times. None of the people who bring up valid points are even close to what you are trying to peddle here.

It's an obsession with these folks, a religion. You can't argue with people when they are that fanatical, reactionary, and defensive in their position. You guys squirm through multidimensional hoops to obfuscate the arguments and avoid reality. As Barney Frank once said, "It's like arguing with a dining room table," but I would say, "It's like arguing with a Dali painting," (twisted reality, all over the place).

I can't argue with you rationally when you shift back and forth between the first and second weakest forms an argument can possibly take.

Fewer guns mean less gun violence. Prove it. Examples, facts, places, citations.

A gun trade show for instance. ZERO gun violence and thousands of guns, possibly tens of thousands of guns.

In a public place it is typically the lack of guns that makes it appealing to people who shoot the place up in the first place, yes?

How many people go and shoot up the police station?

You are the one twisting reality here Jersey, and to what end I have no idea. The reality is people use guns to do what it is the person intends to do with it, guns do not act by themselves, they cannot.

Socrates, my ass.

Self-summary of your whole argument.

Anonymous said...

You know what, I have a hell of an idea...

JACKIE< TSM< SILVER<PRO GUN NUTS

Debate me.

I am joining Jersey's side to show him how it's done.

The Smoking Man said...

Certainly if there were less guns available, there would be less crime committed with guns

That assumes that all guns in all hands are equally likely to be used in a violent crime, which is clearly not the case. According to the CDC, in 2011, 80% of gun related deaths were attributed to gang violence. Wow, how amazing is that? If we solved our gang issue we would solve 80% of the gun death issue without even having to touch on the subject of gun control. When was the last time you saw a democratic gun law reduce deaths by 80%? When was the last time democratic gun law reduce death by ANY percentage, for that matter? With an 80% reduction in gun crime, our per-capita would look pretty damn good compared to the rest of the world, especially when you take into consideration the per-capita rate of gun ownership.

But what is the point in arguing with a radical leftist? They prefer "arguments" which are nothing more than an appeal to peoples emotions, in spite of logic. I'm trying to argue using facts and reason. Like the fact that, currently, the prevalence of violent crime is as low as it has been at any point this century. Or the fact that this is true despite there being more guns than ever. Or despite the fact that it is trending down. Or despite the fact that the "assault weapons" ban was lifted. Or despite the fact that legal concealed carry has taken off in the majority of states. Yes, lets ignore all those inconvenient truths.

Washington D.C. and Chicago are the poster children for gun control. They have gun control in spades. Why then is gun violence so prevalent in these cities? It's almost as if these cities are proof that gun control does nothing. Maybe worse than nothing.

I want to know when a leftist is seriously going to have a gun debate. Jersey isn't even trying.

TSM

Anonymous said...

*AHB representing the interests of the dems

A further inconvenient truth you are glossing over is that handguns are the primary tool used in gun violence while long guns are largely ignored except for the crazies like Lanza and Holmes.

Long guns are usually what is primarily used for sport correct TSM? The republican redneck Dick Cheney didn't shoot his buddy in the ass with a desert eagle right?

Gangs will have to jump through hoops to get handguns if we can limit the amount of handguns an individual can purchase or transfer.

It would stand to reason we could do a much better job if we could limit the amount of handguns out there. Why in the hell does an individual need 5 different handguns for? Unless you are an FFL dealer, gunsmith, or you make your living being involved with guns, there is absolutely no reason to have more than 2 perhaps 3 different handguns in a household. If you need more than that, your hick ass needs an exemption filed with the state authorities so we can be sure you aren't selling them out the back door to Tyrone.

If someone busts down your door, what are you going to do? john woo dual wield your pistols to victory? You might as well throw caltrops down on the floor and shoot out the lights.

Shoot up your house with an beta mag AR-15 that can go through 3 walls?

Violent crime may be declining, but the incidents of these mass shootings with semi auto rifles and people going off the deep end is rising, which also gives creedence to the idea we need to limit long guns too.

With the increasing instability of our economy, you seriously want to throw caution to the wind and let everyone defend themselves from each other?

Ever played Fallout 3 ?

Anonymous said...

The blundering, blustering Jersey cornered himself. Again.

Where do our rights come from, Jersey?

-- Silverfiddle

The Smoking Man said...

Violent crime may be declining, but the incidents of these mass shootings with semi auto rifles and people going off the deep end is rising

And the only important information there is... violent crime is declining. Only a leftist would look at plummeting homicide rate and say "holy cow, we have to do something about the gun problem," again ignoring things like our GANG problem. Is the rate of random mass shootings really on the rise? Or maybe the liberal news just brings it to our attention so strongly? Or maybe it is on the rise, BECAUSE the liberal news has produced a soapbox for these insane people to stand on, by making it clear to them that they will televise the shit out of it if they go through with it. It's almost as if they are rewarding these murderers so they will create fuel for their political agenda.

The truth is it doesn't matter what the homicide statistics are. When you hear about some poor wretch you never knew dying on the news, a democrat gives no more of a shit than a republican would. They don't give one iota about saving peoples lives. If the gun violence rate continued to shrink until it was eventually more likely that you would be killed by vending machine than a person with a gun, the left would still cry for more gun control. That's what they do. It's their agenda. It's their ideology. A world without guns. They think they can have it if only they pass enough laws, and so they will never stop trying to un-invent the gun through legislation.

Well, I'm sorry far left idealists. You can't put the genie back in the bottle. You can't close Pandora's box. Evil people will get a hold of weapons with which to kill you if they see fit. What's your best protection from this? A law? Do laws stop bullets or knives? Maybe the police? Yeah, the police will protect you. Maybe Thomas J. Piccard himself will come to your rescue. Or maybe those police officers in Detroit who were robbing people at gun point. Or maybe a Cracker Barrel employee (http://wapo.st/1gw987D). Or maybe, just maybe you should take responsibility for your own safety. What's the best defense against somebody with a weapon who means to kill you? A gun.

TSM

Anonymous said...

*AHB representing the dems

Yes, you are correct about the gangs.

Yes you are correct about the news propping these wacko people up.

Yes you are correct about people being responsible about their own safety.

Let's expand upon that last point.

You need a prescription to get something like... oh I don't know, demerol. Why? Aren't people responsible enough to not over dose on a safer morphine?

If we made it so demerol was just an over the counter drug, someone would get the idea that it is must be as safe as advil, and then become addicted to it or worse.

There are over the counter drugs that kill pain, just not as effectively. Which is the point I believe Diane Feinstein was trying to make. 10, 30, 50, 100 rounds, it makes no difference, it only takes far less than 10 bullets to adequately defend yourself, anything more than that is excess and is a risk to others the same way footloose and fancy free access to demerol would be a risk to the average person.

We cannot un-invent the gun, you are correct. We can make a statement though about responsibility.
No one has a problem with a pistol used for self-defense purposes, we just want it so you can't grab an auto-glock off the shelf, buy a hi-cap mag for it, stow it in a briefcase, and mow down a bus load of people with it.

Just like a prescription, we should assess the need of an advanced form of a firearm on a case by case basis.

The Smoking Man said...

There was a point in time where a child could walk into a drug store and buy a shot of heroin for a nickle, and society didn't fall apart at the seams. If somebody needs the laws surrounding prescription medication to protect themselves from their own stupidity, then they are a Darwin award just waiting to happen. No sense making life worse for the rest of us just to protect idiots from themselves.

I'd like Diane Feinstein to tell me when the last time there was a mass shooting with a full-auto Glock stowed away in a brief case. I think Diane Feinstein has been watching too many Hollywood movies and maybe due to the senility of her old age has gotten reality and fantasy mixed up again. These Dems go on about how it is so easy to convert a semi-auto gun into a full auto gun, and this is the reason why we need stricter gun laws. If it is so easy to do, then find me ONE example of a time it has happened. It's supposedly so easy that a street hoodlum can do it in a few minutes, and yet even the Mexican drug cartel, with all their money and man power doesn't even bother to do it.

Again, there is no logical reason to restrict peoples access to semi-auto weapons. That is a totally baseless argument. The technology behind semi-autos is over 100 years old. If there was any reason to ban them then why has the rate of gun crime DROPPED since the assault weapons ban? You see, when ownership of semi-auto rifles goes UP and then murder rates goes DOWN, that is not a sign that semi-auto rifles are a problem!

TSM

Anonymous said...

*AHB's mainstream jive

I think you are misunderstanding my point about the prescriptions- No one with genuine need is blocked from them truly, you just don't have the ability to legally obtain them yourself, for any reason you *alone* choose... like doping someone's corn flakes with propofol.

Besides, little johnny can't get his heroin anymore, is that a good thing or a bad thing? Or do you want children fooling with full scale narcotics?

Back on topic-
Semi-auto isn't really the issue, it's magazine capacity, and what is deemed "excessive" to properly defend yourself with.

The last time a full auto glock was used on a bus? Never.

The probability that eventually a scenario like that will happen if we just turn a blind eye and let everyone with a swinging dick grab one?
High.

During the assault weapons ban is when we first saw this decline you speak of, the last half of the 1990's. Would you say the NICBC is a failure? That is a sensible gun control measure that has proven effective. The first ban might not have been well thought out, but it was a pre-cursor to this decline of gun violence.

We already have strict gun control for the worst of the worst yes? We don't let just anyone go down to the pawn shop and pick up a Protecta to clean out their friendly neighborhood gathering at the church- of-what's-happening-now.

You want a streetsweeper, fine. You are gonna have to jump through hoops... and you would be cognizant of the hoop process enough to lock that bastard up, not to mention it would cost you a ton of money.

We might not be able to control people with the laws, but we can sure as hell control the factors involved in becoming a threat in the first place.
I will be the first to admit that enforcement is key. (finally back to my original sentiments) Black market on a budget does not sound too appealing.

As it stands now, you can get what you want, you just have to pay for it, and not be a criminal fuck.

The Smoking Man said...

I think you are misunderstanding my point about the prescriptions- No one with genuine need is blocked from them truly, you just don't have the ability to legally obtain them yourself, for any reason you *alone* choose... like doping someone's corn flakes with propofol.

This is an apples to oranges comparison. The government has no reason to want to keep medication our of peoples hands. The Second Amendment wasn't intended to protect your right to defend yourself from ordinary criminals, it was intended to protect you from the worst type of criminals: your own government. Why do you think they worded it "shall not be infringed?" If somebody ran up to you with a knife and said "give me your wallet," would you ask them permission first before you drew your CCW?

Besides, little johnny can't get his heroin anymore, is that a good thing or a bad thing? Or do you want children fooling with full scale narcotics?

I'd say that Johnny's parents can teach him the dangers of substance abuse and beyond that Johnny is a human being who should have the right to decide what chemicals go inside his body.

Semi-auto isn't really the issue, it's magazine capacity, and what is deemed "excessive" to properly defend yourself with.

What difference does it make if you have one 30 round magazine or three 10 round magazines? You don't have to be a competition shooter to swap out a magazine without missing a single beat, so restricting magazines does nothing. Please show me some data that would make me believe that reduced magazine capacity saves lives.

The probability that eventually a scenario like that will happen if we just turn a blind eye and let everyone with a swinging dick grab one?
High.


Laughing out loud. I think you are getting to far inside of the head of a liberal gun hater. You better turn back now while you still can.

During the assault weapons ban is when we first saw this decline you speak of, the last half of the 1990's. Would you say the NICBC is a failure? That is a sensible gun control measure that has proven effective. The first ban might not have been well thought out, but it was a pre-cursor to this decline of gun violence.

Ha! If the ban had anything to do with the decline, then it should have began rising when the ban was lifted, otherwise it's something called a coincidence.

TSM

Anonymous said...

*AHB's mainstream jive

How is it apples to oranges? Drugs be dragons, guns be dragons. If things continue as they are now, you are going to run into an escalating scenario. No one turns their drum mags in, the number of firearms and accessories continues to expand, and any and all chaotic events will be much worse here than it would be in Japan.

The second amendment protects your right to defend your own life, and your own liberty. While it is true you want to protect yourself against the government, the only real way to do so is to band together. A lone Smoking Man out in the woods somewhere in a bunker is not the threat, it's the people that will fight them and band together and dissension in their own ranks.

Johnny's parents don't have to worry about the little bastard getting a hold of heroin at the CVS, what need is there for heroin at the CVS when it has no true function other than to make you an addict.

A recent example is Jared Loughner, the loon who opened up in arizona, he had a glock with an expanded magazine, got off 30 rounds in around 15 seconds and when he dropped the mag to reload he was pounced upon. There is one instance where lives could have been saved if the jackhole wasn't rolled out with an extended magazine.

What evidence do you have that a larger magazine makes you safer? If as you say 10 round mags x3 is just as well as a 30?

I don't hate guns, I hate what unhinged slapdicks do with guns.

The military weapons ban of 1986 started it, which is still in effect... the assault weapons ban was simply an act to try and stave off the last vestiges of that 1986 ban long enough to make the rarity of legally owned pre-1986 high enough to not be an issue.

Jack Camwell said...

TSM,

Technically, despite the law, everyone still has the choice to put whatever chemical they want into their bodies. It's just that the law imposes an added consequence.

And you can't say "well because of the law, there is no *real* choice because of the consequence," because using drugs already has an extremely adverse consequence, even without the law.

The Smoking Man said...

Technically, despite the law, everyone still has the choice to put whatever chemical they want into their bodies. It's just that the law imposes an added consequence.

So you have the freedom to choose what chemicals go into your body, just not freedom from the consequences as defined by the law? In that case, lets just burn the Bill of Rights. You'll still be able to speak freely, it's just that there may be unforeseen consequences if somebody on Capitol Hill disagrees with what you say. If the physical consequences of drugs are already so adverse, then why in God's name do we need to have the government threaten people with fines, incarceration, rape, death... If drugs don't ruin your life, we will!

TSM

Jack Camwell said...

Surely you understand the difference between the right to flourish unabridged and the right to destroy yourself.

Why don't we just throw away the bill of rights? Because doing so would not do any good whatsoever. Why should extremely harmful and addictive substances remain controlled? Because that actually does some good.

You seem to buy into the notion that freedom is always a good thing. Freedom not being a good thing might sound crazy, but I would ask you to reconsider Brave New World.

Indulging in every whim and self-destructive urge not only does harm to the body, but it is a path to self-enslavement. You become a slave to your cravings, and eventually you lose control over yourself. Freedom is having control over your life, and surrendering that control renders you not-free.

Discipline brings true freedom, and since I'm sure that we would all agree that most humans are functionally retarded, many need a little extra push (the law) to stay disciplined and do the right thing.

The Smoking Man said...

Why should extremely harmful and addictive substances remain controlled? Because that actually does some good.

What good are you talking about? We are living in a police state. The US imprisons a higher number of it's citizens per-capita than ANY other country in the world. Even North Korea or places that we would think as being horrible places. Why is that? It's because of the war on drugs. Nearly half of the people in prison are there for something drug related. A lot of them simply for possession. You take non-violent people, you destroy their lives, you throw them in the soup to simmer with hardened criminals, when they get out they have no money or prospects, and low an behold they turn to crime. If that weren't bad enough, the gang problem we have been talking about is financed though the sale of illegal drugs. If they weren't illegal, these gangs would have no source of income. If you are hell bent on buying drugs, you are going to find them one way or the other. The difference is that if they were legalized, you would buy them from a reputable distributor who follows FDA regulations (as opposed to something cut with drain cleaner or who knows) and you would not be giving that money to criminal organizations. You'd then have the opportunity to seek help for your addiction instead of be hauled away to be bread into criminal. No good has come from the war on drugs. It hasn't kept drugs off the street. It hasn't kept drugs out of people. All it has done is increased the size of the prison system and put fat stacks of cash in the pockets of the private corrections industry.

TSM

Anonymous said...

*AHB representing R.J. Reyonolds

Did you know most doctors recommend Camel? We have sent over 190,000,000 camels to service men, women, and veterans laid up in quantico.

Why not change to camels for the next 30 days and see how you like the flavor.

You and your winston can have a real good thing too.


Jack Camwell said...

The good I'm talking about is the fact that the law actually DOES deter some people from using drugs. At least, there is potential good in it, whereas your example of trashing the bill of rights in some sort of all or nothing scenario holds no potential good.

"Nearly half of the people in prison are there for something drug related."

There's a very, very simple solution to that: don't break the law. If a person is willing to potentially go to jail over getting high or helping someone to get high, then perhaps that person isn't thinking so clearly. Is it really worth the risk? You can't really argue that it's WRONG to make it difficult for people to destroy themselves.

In a perfect world where human beings are generally responsible and NOT retarded, sure, there could be zero drug laws and the world wouldn't devolve into some sort of Aldous Huxley scenario. But, most humans are idiots and choose to ingest substances that can seriously wreck their lives--not to mention the lives of those who love them.

Jack Camwell said...

And don't call America a police state and then compare it to North Korea. If you think some drug traffickers in prison even comes close to the horrors that the people of North Korea face, then you must not know what happens in North Korea.

Unless you think that a bunch of people in jail for breaking drug laws is somehow more unjust than what the DPRK government calls "Three Generations of Punishment."

You are a fairly privileged individual compared to the North Korean woman who was forced to watch her newborn baby drowned in a bowl. So I'm not sure how, with all of the advantages of your relatively mid-born status, you consider yourself to be oppressed simply because you can go to jail for holding a controlled substance.

Anonymous said...

*AHB representing feminists

They are breaking the law selling/using drugs because they are oppressed and without the means to make enough money through a lawful channel. We... err I mean... They have to have enough money on hand to buy us... er I mean... themselves luxuries like food and rent.

If you could just give us... uh... I mean them more free shit, they wouldn't need drugs.

Free shit is the answer Jack.

Word is Bond.

The Smoking Man said...

I really don't see how your stance on drugs is any different than Jersey's stance on guns. You clearly don't like drugs. You have an idealized vision of a world without drugs, and because of that you are willing to overlook the massive mountain of negative side effects that exist because of ineffective drug laws. Who exactly is it that has stayed clear of drugs simply because of the law? Who are these McLovins? Too stupid to know better, but cowardly enough to worry about the law? Do these hypothetical people really make up for the police state and all the lives it ruins?

TSM

Jack Camwell said...

"Who exactly is it that has stayed clear of drugs simply because of the law?"

That's not a very strong argument to make, because it's pretty silly to say that out of the 7 billion people on the planet, not a single one of them avoids using drugs because it's against the law. I could trash that whole argument right now and say "I don't use drugs because of the fear of punishment from the law," and the whole idea of yours would be wasted words. It's never a good argument to say "no one thinks this way."

And the reason you don't see the difference between my argument and Jersey's is because you're obviously very, very impassioned about the issue. Here's the difference: a gun does not cause harm to a human being every single time it's fired. Crystal meth causes harm every time it is used. Jersey wishes to diminish the people's ability to protect themselves, whereas the spirit of drug laws is to diminish people's ability to destroy themselves.

"Too stupid to know better, but cowardly enough to worry about the law?"

So according to you, law-abiding citizens are cowards? I'm somehow less courageous because I'd rather live my life freely than be put in prison? If only I could be so brave and jeopardize my personal freedom and my ability to care for my children!

"Do these hypothetical people really make up for the police state and all the lives it ruins?"

Ruined lives? Are you talking about the drug dealers who chose to break the law, or the junkies they sell to? Again, I'm having a very, very hard time buying the idea that YOU are somehow oppressed and living in an police state. If this were a police state, don't you think that vandalizing private property, specifically religious icons, would be met with much more severe punishment?

Anonymous said...

*AHB representing the League of Shadows

Ra's Al Ghul has been reincarnated as a California Condor, and as we speak is setting your precious houses on fire in San Fernando Valley.

Our leader would like you to be informed of the following:

"You burned my house down and left me for dead, now we are even"

***** This concludes this test of the Emergency Beale System, we now return you to your regularly scheduled programming*****

Jack Camwell said...

Now if I were you, I would bring up obesity to support your argument.

Food, when abused, causes obesity and can cause very serious harm to a human. SO would it be right to make a law limiting how much food people can eat?

Of course, I would answer no, but coming up with a philosophical justification for the answer to that question would actually take me some time to think about.

Now THAT is the Socratic Method in action!

The Smoking Man said...

I stated a fact. The United States imprisons more of it's citizen than any other country on this planet, and that includes North Korea. Make of it what you will.

It's never a good argument to say "no one thinks this way."

You are putting words in my mouth. I never said that. I never came close to saying that. I asked you how many people you think are saved by drug laws and I asked you if you thought it was worth the price. Remember, it's not just evil meth heads that are negatively affected when these people go to jail. These people have parents, they have spouses, they have children. All these people are affected to, not to mention the innocent people who are victims of unrelated crimes, which are in part the result of the massive number of criminals we are creating with our prison system.

Here's the difference: a gun does not cause harm to a human being every single time it's fired. Crystal meth causes harm every time it is used.

You know methamphetamine isn't the only substance covered by law, right? Are all drugs created equal? If so, then why don't we put you and everyone else who has had a caffeinated drink in jail. What about tobacco? Cigarettes are more addictive than meth and heroin, they cause just as much damage, and yet they are completely legal. Why? Just because. It's an arbitrary line drawn in the sand by politicians who think they can manage your life better than you can, and partially because of the money behind the long standing tobacco industry... By your definition, it should really be illegal and punishable by incarceration. Better hide your smokes, AHB. Ask someone who smokes pot if they feel like it is causing them harm every single time they light up. I bet the majority of them would say "no," and you know what, I have enough respect for my fellow human being to allow them to make that call for themselves. My opinions on what I want to put in my body should have no bearing on anyone but myself.

The Smoking Man said...

So according to you, law-abiding citizens are cowards? I'm somehow less courageous because I'd rather live my life freely than be put in prison?

Living in fear of being put in prison because you did something which affects nobody but yourself? In that case you are already a prisoner.

Just to nip the obvious response to that in the bud: "Drugs don't just affect the person who takes them, it can affect those around them!" Well, if you are with someone who does drugs and it affects you negatively, leave them. If a child's parents do drugs and it negatively affects the child, then call child services and get that kid someplace safe. If a person is driving while impaired, then arrest them and charge them with DWI...

Ruined lives? Are you talking about the drug dealers who chose to break the law, or the junkies they sell to?

I like how in your mind, you have vilified people who use or have used drugs at one point in their life. They are evil drug dealers and disgusting junkies who would sell their own baby for their next fix. That must really make it easy for you to firmly keep your stance. These people are trash and they deserve whatever is coming to them, and I am righteous and therefor needn't fear anything.

When you can be thrown in jail because you happen to have a plant of a particular species in close proximity to you, you are living in a police state. When police shoot up a truck with elderly asian women in it simply because it kind of sort of looked like a suspect's car, you are living in a police state. When that suspect is cornered in a cabin and the police set it on fire to kill him rather than apprehend him and give him due process, you are living in a police state. When a city can be closed down and militarized police go do to door conducting warrantless searches that you can't decline, you are living in a police state. I could go on forever but this paragraph is already pretty long.

Am I impassioned about the issue? Not really. Believe it or not, I like you strongly dislike drugs. I'm not however going to tell other people what to do.

Dictated but not read
TSM

Jack Camwell said...

"When you can be thrown in jail because you happen to have a plant of a particular species in close proximity to you, you are living in a police state."

No, it means you broke the law, and when you break the law, you pay the consequences. That means you live in civilization.

"I like how in your mind, you have vilified people who use or have used drugs at one point in their life."

So now you're in my mind? How did I vilify anyone in my statement? You're the one who said their lives are ruined, not me. And seeing as how their lives are ruined because the broke the law, seems to me that they only have themselves to blame. They had the choice to NOT break the law, and they chose poorly (clearly, since they are in jail, and I'm not).

"These people are trash and they deserve whatever is coming to them."

If someone breaks the law, then they deserve the punishment it entails. That's the entire notion of justice: everyone getting what they deserve. Again, that's how civilized society works.

"Living in fear of being put in prison because you did something which affects nobody but yourself?"

So now, because I would rather live free and not serve a prison sentence, that means I'm somehow living in fear? It seems more like a rational, prudent decision to me.

"Remember, it's not just evil meth heads that are negatively affected when these people go to jail. These people have parents, they have spouses, they have children. All these people are affected too . . ."

And guess what: those meth heads already negatively affected the lives of those who love them when they decided to get hooked on meth, coke, or what the hell ever. So basically, what you're saying is that the laws should be removed so that it doesn't negatively impact people's lives, and so that people can have easier access to negatively impact their lives. See how that doesn't really resolve anything, except removing an added incentive to NOT deal drugs?

Jack Camwell said...

"When police shoot up a truck with elderly asian women in it simply because it kind of sort of looked like a suspect's car, you are living in a police state. When that suspect is cornered in a cabin and the police set it on fire to kill him rather than apprehend him and give him due process, you are living in a police state. When a city can be closed down and militarized police go do to door conducting warrantless searches that you can't decline, you are living in a police state."

No, you're living in a world where flawed humans sometimes have to make shitty decisions.

"Cigarettes are more addictive than meth and heroin, they cause just as much damage . . ." yeah, maybe after 30 years of heavy use. A meth or heroine addiction, if left untreated, will assuredly kill someone faster than cigarettes. Also, Cigarettes don't impair one's ability to function consciously as cigarettes don't get you high. And cigarettes ARE a controlled substance: have to be 21 to buy them and use them.

"Ask someone who smokes pot if they feel like it is causing them harm every single time they light up. I bet the majority of them would say "no,""

When I'm drunk, I don't feel like it's doing me any harm, but physiologically it most certainly is. Just because you feel good when you get high doesn't mean there isn't a negative physiological consequence.

Jack Camwell said...

"Believe it or not, I like you strongly dislike drugs."

I hope you forgive me for finding that hard to believe, or at least understand why I would find it hard to believe.

At any rate, this has been a good discussion. It's been way too long since I've had the pleasure of engaging in reasoned debate. AHB and I agree on too much, so we don't debate often.

Jack Camwell said...

ANd one last thing for the record. It's not about being righteous. I don't give a shit about that.

It's about making intelligent decisions in one's life. The dealers and addicts aren't so much evil as they are dumbasses.

And yes: someone who willingly breaks a law that carries a stiff penalty is a dumbass.

The Smoking Man said...

I feel like I am being trolled, but in case I'm not...

You talk about the law as if you are a moral absolutest, where right and wrong are defined by nothing but the letter of the law. If you do a little research you will find numerous articles where it is estimated that the average "law abiding citizen" breaks several laws a week without even knowing it. I guess we should all move to prison, because: the law.

You vilified people who have used drugs by referring to them a drug dealers and junkies, with obvious negative connotation.

You're the one who said their lives are ruined, not me.

Saying their lives are ruined by life long felony status and incarceration is not vilifying them. IDK what you mean by that.

If someone breaks the law, then they deserve the punishment it entails. That's the entire notion of justice: everyone getting what they deserve. Again, that's how civilized society works.

Now THAT is not a very strong argument to make. Laws are arbitrary. They are constantly changing. This "argument" hasn't been about whether or not drugs or illegal, they clearly are, and as you said, breaking the law entails punishment. The discussion is about whether or not it SHOULD be illegal, and I have presented IMO a strong case for why it should not be.

See how that doesn't really resolve anything, except removing an added incentive to NOT deal drugs?

What? Legalizing drugs removes incentive to NOT sell drugs? Where is the logic behind this statement? If drugs were legal, you would buy them at the store. Nobody is going to buy back ally meth when they can get pharmaceutical grade amphetamines licensed distributor. Hell, they can even put a Surgeon General's warning on the package just like they do for smokes.

No, you're living in a world where flawed humans sometimes have to make shitty decisions.

Humans are flawed, accountability dodged. Fhew.

yeah, maybe after 30 years of heavy use. A meth or heroine addiction, if left untreated, will assuredly kill someone faster than cigarettes. Also, Cigarettes don't impair one's ability to function consciously as cigarettes don't get you high. And cigarettes ARE a controlled substance: have to be 21 to buy them and use them.

Yeah, and there is no such thing as second hand heroine. What does it matter how fast it can kill you? Nicotine doesn't get you high? I beg to differ. What does it matter how much it impairs you? Alcohol impairs the living hell out of you while meth makes you clean your entire house. Did I say cigarettes weren't controlled? I'm not saying we should let minors buy narcotics. If you are going to sell alcohol and cigarettes to people at 21, then why not allow them to also but marijuana if that is their poison? Don't you see how damn hypocritical it is to say that some are OK and that some are BAD. Then to justify it you try to nitpick about the tiny details of each drug, even though in reality alcohol is easily just as destructive as just about illegal substance. How many people die each year because of alcohol? You have to include alcohol poisoning. Severe trauma caused while intoxicated. Drunken bar fights. Cancer. Cirrhosis of the liver. Crashing your car while intoxicated. Being hit by someone in a car who was intoxicated... But no. Alcohol is OK and MJ is BAD. It's the LAW.

When I'm drunk, I don't feel like it's doing me any harm, but physiologically it most certainly is.

So you are doing damage to yourself. That's your choice. But you would happily make that choice while denying others to make a similar choice? This has NOTHING to do with what the law is now, only what the law SHOULD be.


Holly hell this debate has escalated quickly. I think I killed a man with a trident. I better lay low for a while.

Dictated but not read
TSM

The Smoking Man said...

I hope you forgive me for finding that hard to believe, or at least understand why I would find it hard to believe.

You callin' me a liar?

No, but seriously. Why would I say that if it wasn't true? Yes, like most of our parents and like most high school students I have actually tried some type of illicit substance before. It was well worth the experience. That being said, I am an introvert and not exactly a super model or a body builder. That makes my mind pretty important to me. Things which dull or trick the senses are therefor a massive hindrance.

But hey, this could have just been the ramblings of a drug addled mind, which only by coincidence appeared to be coherent... Cause everyday we pay the price with a little sacrifice, jammin' till the jam is through.

We're jammin'
TSM

Jack Camwell said...

"You talk about the law as if you are a moral absolutest, where right and wrong are defined by nothing but the letter of the law."

That's an assumption on your part, and nothing I said gave any indication of that. It's simple logic: break the law, pay the consequence. That has nothing to do with just law theory. Even when engaging in civil disobedience, you have to willingly accept the consequences of your action.

Law is not arbitrary. You talk about law as someone who hasn't studied the philosophy of law.

And are you seriously going to compare the "high" you get from a cigarette to the high you get from shooting H?

"Drug dealer," is a neutral term. What should I have called them? Drug distributors? Would that have sounded less judgmental? I admit that the term "junkie" is pejorative, but I'm totally fine with that.

"Humans are flawed, accountability dodged. Fhew."

Bone up on your Machiavelli, then you'll see where you went wrong in making that assumption about what I was trying to say.

"This has NOTHING to do with what the law is now, only what the law SHOULD be."

So what makes you the grand arbiter of what the law SHOULD be? You said that law is arbitrary, so if law is arbitrary, then it's impossible to have a standard for what the law "should" be. You have logically contradicted yourself. If you believe in a standard of law, then you cannot believe that law is arbitrary.

As for Mary Jane, I don't really care about that. I don't think legalizing pot will do any real harm because it's far less destructive than, say, crack. How many crack heads have you met?

So you say that drugs should be legal, and you want to know why I think they should remain illegal.

Well, you'll have to read my article tomorrow to find out.

=)

The Smoking Man said...

I don't know if that was much of an assumption on my part. I kept talking about the morality and you kept falling back to what the law is at this time.

Law IS arbitrary.

Arbitrary, adj., based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.

There is no formula for determining if something should be illegal. People change, cultures change, values and morality changes. What's legal today may be illegal tomorrow and vice versa. There is a lot of pressure to keep these drugs illegal, and the majority of it doesn't come from people who like you think they are bad. It comes from big money who have invested in the prison state. Incarcerating people is a lucrative business and keeping incarceration rates high enures that there will be plenty of expansion in the private prison industry. People make money when you go to jail. Those people have incentive to bribe, er I mean support politicians into passing laws that will keep a steady flow of inmates coming.

I never pretended to be a grand arbiter. I stated how the system is broken. I stated why it is degrading to people as human beings to be told by their government what they can put in their bodies. This was a discussion. A discussion about what the law should be. I've given my perspective. That's what you do. You have laws and then you discuss whether or not they need to be altered or removed entirely.

You admit that MJ isn't really harmful. So maybe you might be willing to go as far as to admit that destroying peoples lives over it is therefor silly and because of that the laws should be changed.

TBH I still don't know why you believe they should be illegal. Your body, your choice. Drugs in the hands of responsible people don't hurt anyone, just like guns in the hands of responsible people don't hurt anyone. Stupid people can buy a gun and shoot themselves in the face while cleaning it, yet you haven't suggested we ban guns. But somehow stupid people buying drugs and being stupid with them is in now way similar. Surely at the very least you cannot say with a straight face that the prohibition of drugs has been effective in any way. Countless tax dollars wasted and yet in any city you probably only have to walk less than a block to find someone who can sell you any drug you want. All it does is fuel the cycle of crime.

TSM

Jack Camwell said...

"There is no formula for determining if something should be illegal."

Murder is illegal. Is that arbitrary? Do you really believe that there is absolutely ZERO logical basis for why murder is illegal?

How about theft? No logical basis for the illegality of theft?

You are still contradicting yourself. You cannot say that the current drug laws are unjust unless you have a standard of justice that you believe to be based on logic and reason, and not based on YOUR personal whim.

Otherwise, then your whole debate to the injustice of current drug law is completely pointless, because you're just arguing based on your personal whim.

So if law is arbitrary, like you assert, then why should YOUR personal whim win over MY personal whim?

That's a lot of rhetorical questions that amount to this: you only THINK you believe law is arbitrary, but your arguments are based (perhaps unwittingly?) in just law theory. You cannot argue whether or not a law is just if you think that all law is arbitrary.

Perhaps you should have said "drug laws are arbitrary," rather than saying that the notion of law, in general, is arbitrary.