Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Knee-jerk reaction not a solution

Knee-jerk reaction not a solution

(My Clovis News Journal column for January 31, 2014)

How frequently people do the wrong thing for the right reasons.

It is right to care about people who hurt themselves or others through substance abuse. It is wrong to impose prohibition in an attempt to save people from themselves or others.

It is right to care about innocent victims of random violence. It is wrong to impose anti-gun rules which can only affect those who aren't the problem.

Not only is the knee jerk reaction- passing another law or more draconian enforcement of the rules already "on the books"- wrong, it almost always has an effect opposite the one advertised.

Prohibition is the federal government's "narcotics price support program", as well as the biggest excuse for violating every principle America was founded upon; as is the sad continuation of the 1920s-era prohibition: the anti-"drunk driving" rules and police state-style "checkpoints". You can have America, or you can have prohibition. You can't have both.

The same goes for anti-gun rules. Some leftists complain that the reality that criminals aren't affected because they don't obey laws anyway- by definition- shouldn't invalidate anti-gun proposals, but "should" or not, it does.

Anti-gun laws only harm those who have no intention of breaking laws, and would therefore not go on a murder spree to begin with. Advocating, passing, and enforcing those anti-liberty laws only empowers the bad guys.

This is the danger of doing the wrong thing with good intentions. Assuming the intentions are truly good, which is only speculation based upon giving the benefit of the doubt.

You can also do the right thing for the wrong reasons. The recent push for "state's rights" is one example. States have no rights; only individuals do. However, anything which diminishes the federal government's power will most likely boost individual liberty in the long run.

The re-legalization of marijuana which is slowly gaining momentum around the world is another example. It's wrong to fine or arrest people for possessing or using a plant, so anything that results in fewer drug war victims is a good thing, even if the new tax revenues are a stain on the good.

The liberalization of concealed carry, and open carry, rules is another cause for some optimism. The Bill of Rights is the law of the land, so anyone supporting any "law" concerning guns, including the issuing of permits for something which "shall not be infringed", is a criminal. But, even this diluted liberty results in more dangerous conditions for the aggressors among us, and that is a net benefit.


  1. Again, no comments section at the newspaper, just "share". So I comment here. The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." The governments--local, state, and federal--do not have rights, they have powers. They get the powers from the people. Those using the 10th Amendment for "state's rights" purposes completely leave out that important bit that says "or to the people." People have rights and powers. The people give up some of those powers (foolishly) when they institute governments.

    1. The newspaper's comments are tied to Facebook, so unless you have that you may not be able to comment.
      Sadly, "society" expects me to give up some of my rights and powers even though I never instituted a "government" nor consented to them doing so "on my behalf". I'm afraid I disappoint "society" in that regard.