Last Friday, my co-workers and I got into quite the discussion. It started with abortion (and I don’t even know how we got there) and went on. There is just one aspect of this discussion I want to touch on today. Another female co-worker any myself expressed our opinion that abortion should be legal in all cases. To this another co-worker said the line would have to be drawn somewhere. “What if a woman is eight months pregnant?” he asked.
I responded, “If I were eight months pregnant, I would choose to finish the pregnancy based on my morals and my beliefs. However, I would not force those beliefs on another person through the law. When it comes to law, the line should be drawn at birth.”
The conversation continued, touching on many things. Eventually, the co-worker who originally insisted a line should be drawn somewhere threw his hands in the air and proclaimed, “fine. Then we might as well make all drugs and guns legal. We can sell them in vending machines on the street.”
We then agreed. Yes, I have nothing wrong with those things being legal. I hesitate to say that guns should be treated that way, but as I pondered this conversation over the weekend, I’ve decided that I’m okay with the gun vending machines. Let me explain; I’ll start with drugs.
I am not arguing that doing drugs is okay. That said, laws against drugs have done very little to prevent people who want to use these drugs from doing so. What the laws accomplish is imprisonment instead of treatment. They take away sons, daughters, mothers and fathers from their family. I see absolutely no benefit to drugs being illegal.
However, if they were legal, these drugs could be taxed and regulated. When a bad batch of a drug hits an area, there are often many deaths associated with it. I’d be willing to bet many of these people hit up emergency rooms from unknowing using a bad batch of drugs and that they don’t have much, if any, health insurance. Gee, I wonder who ends up with the bill for that. If each drug was made in the same way, however, this could easily be avoided.
To reiterate, I am not saying I am okay with people doing drugs. However, I don’t think making drugs legal is the same as promoting their use.
I at first hesitated on this because I think guns should be regulated like cars. Then, I realized that guns are very similar to drugs. If you want a gun, you can get a gun. You can get one illegally if you want. Whose to know until you shoot someone? Whose to know if you always keep is concealed?
People like to jump on guns because of increased coverage surrounding acts of terror in school and in public places. If we set aside our emotional reactions and took a real look at what happened, we’d realize that the possession of guns is not the real reason these acts happen. What I see most often is people with untreated or poorly treated mental handicaps committing these acts.
Two things are frustrating about this. First of all, it’s sad that mental handicaps carry such a stigma with them. If people weren’t so afraid they were going to endanger their child’s future by getting them help (or endanger their own if they are already an adult), then treatment that could prevent a violent outburst in the future could be provided. No matter what their specific problem is, treatment can help the person figure out how to survive in society. The second frustrating thing is how hard it can be for people who want help to get it. I have a friend whose brother is autistic. There are many programs that may have helped him live an easier life, but his family didn’t have a lot of resources. Unless he did something dramatic to prove he was a danger to himself and/or others, he was mostly left to his own devices. It seems unlikely he will ever be able to have an independent life now.
Obviously, this is not the only issue surrounding guns. People fear criminals being in possession of weaponry. Let’s be honest, though, if a criminal wants a gun they are going to get one. They will get one illegally if they have to. What good do the laws do to prevent them from acquiring guns illegally?
Believe it or not, after all I’ve said there are a small amount of restrictions I would apply to these imaginary vending machines. I believe the machine should scan a person’s ID first. For drugs, the individual should be at least 18 years old (but I will settle for 21 years old if we want to match with alcohol). That’s it. So long as you are 18 years of age or more, you can enjoy all the drugs from these magic vending machines that you want.
(on a side note, maybe we should make a law that if you force or trick a person to take drugs without their knowledge that you are no long allowed to use the magic vending machines. If you use drugs, you aren’t interfering with anyone else’s rights. If you force or trick someone into doing drugs, you have.)
Guns require a little bit more because, if you don’t know how to properly use them, they pose a danger to the rights of others. As such, I think we should keep gun licenses. You’re going to have to scan both your ID and Licences to get a gun out of the vending machine. If you have been convicted of a crime or have been treated for a mental handicap in the past five years, you don’t get to have a license.
If I ruled the world and implemented my ideas, do you think the world would descend into chaos? If there were vending machines on the side of the street selling (heavily taxed) drugs and guns, would you purchase them? Do you think the amount of drug users and school shootings would rise if these things were regulated and made legal?