29 January 2007

WAR! What Is It Good For!

The latest reported casualty of the never-ending drug war comes from Jacksonville, Florida where an 80 year old man was killed by undercover police. Seems that he took offense to their stationing themselves in his yard, and took a pistol with him to tell them to move along.

The investigation is ongoing, but this type of story is getting all too common. We hear all about the carnage in Iraq, but we ignore the body count of a truly useless "war" here at home.

How long do we allow the "security for freedom" mindset blind us to the fact that we have (and deserve) neither? How many of our essential liberties and our very lives do we sacrifice on this altar?

This is only the domestic cost. This doesn't even begin to address the foreign policy issues.

The Libertarians have long sought an end to the War on Drugs, but even they approach it from the wrong angle. They postulate that adults should be free to ingest any substance they choose.

Don't get me wrong, I think that drug use is a stupid waste, and only pathetic losers use drugs. Be that as it may, I think that the various forfeiture laws and the increasing use of "no knock" warrants are worse than the drug problem itself.

The only correct approach to the elimination of the drug war is to point out the toll it has taken on our Constitutional rights, especially as enumerated in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Additionally, there are studies done by various think tanks that show treatment of addicts to be far more effective and cheaper than busting dealers on the streets or trying (and failing) to prevent the entry of drugs into our borders. It's a simple supply and demand scenario, one that any Economics 101 student should be able to understand.

The sickness may not kill us, but the cure is doing a bang up job.

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