Call the Cops! Someone Stole my Crack!

A couple quotes from this article (click link for full story) on the violent crime rate in Flint, Michigan struck me and I’m not sure enough people understand the connection between the two.  The first concerns the circumstances surrounding the death of 6-year-old Jonaries Holden:

Jonaries was in the backseat of his father’s vehicle the night of Nov. 1, 2010, when a man in another vehicle confronted Jonaries’ father about a $60 drug debt. The man shot at the car.

The bullet killed Jonaries and sent Davontrae Benton to prison for 30-50 years for second-degree murder.

The second, near the end of the article, is Police Chief Alvern Lock’s lamentation regarding the preferred method of conflict resolution for many Flint residents:

…for there to be real change, a real stop to the homicides the whole city needs to help. The community needs to help the police department identify the killers – and there needs to be a change in mindset, he said.

People need to change how they resolve conflicts, Lock said.

Do you see the connection?

When you have a product with a strong demand, but onerous laws or regulations concerning its sale, an underground black market is invariably created.  With no legitimate way to handle disputes in a court of law, participants in the drug trade resort to the only means at their disposal – violence.  After all, if someone steals your inventory of crack, you’re probably not going to file a police report and contact your insurance company.

The war on drugs has been an utter failure.  When will we learn that you cannot legislate morality and that attempting to do so has resulted in far too many innocent lives lost and/or ruined?  When will we realize that this incredibly costly “war” can never keep people who want drugs from getting them?  Why don’t we abandon this failed attempt at prohibition and allow people the opportunity to resolve conflicts in a civil way?

In closing, I propose a little thought experiment:  Since it can be easily demonstrated that banning certain drugs has increased violence and even drug use (2) in some places, what effect should we expect if we were to ban guns?  No need to think too hard, just click the link to find out what happens.

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