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Joining Forces

Richard Feldman, President, Independent Firearm Owners Association, Inc. writes in the Huffington Post: Gun Rights & Marijuana Reform — Issues Joined!

As President of the Independent Firearm Owners Association (IFOA), I believe the time has come for activists across the political spectrum to join forces with marijuana reform campaigns in order to protect our civil liberties. The actions of the Obama administration require that gun activists protect our own 2nd Amendment liberties by helping others protect their rights to be treated like adults, thereby decreasing violence in the country and lessening calls for gun control.

By ending drug prohibition we have a merging of the right and left down the pro-freedom, independent center of the road. What a powerful alliance these two movements could become. Gun rights activists could negate the emotional rhetoric for gun control while marijuana reformers would find powerful political and grass roots support to end the insanity of marijuana prohibition. Our nation is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy; let’s stop digging our financial grave any deeper, let’s learn from our own history for a change: end marijuana prohibition; stop wasting 100’s of billions of dollars every year in policing, prosecuting, and incarcerating our citizens; stop funding drug gangs, ruining civil society and corrupting our law enforcement agencies on both sides of the southern border. This is a clear case where government doing less will mean doing more to lower crime, save money and help protect and preserve our civil liberties.

What do you think? I’d like to know.

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58 comments to Joining Forces

  • Paul

    It’s not a likely alliance.

    While a sizable minority believe in freedom in all circumstances, the majority of gun owners and marijuana smokers are inclined to view each other’s hobbies as dangerous and immoral. Each will vigorously defend their hobby as a God given right and then turn around and try to outlaw the other side’s hobby without a hint of irony.

    People who think government should just leave people alone regardless of which hobbies they choose are known as “libertarians,” 🙂 and they are about 15% of the population. You’re not going to easily jawbone the other 85% into enlightenment.

    • .454

      I often spend as much time eulogizing the work of Dick Casull and Jack Fulmer as I do drug legalization, so I would have to disagree with you.

      • Paul

        Oh, I don’t mind if you disagree with me, but do you really think yours is a majority opinion? Most people really do fall more or less into the left-right continuum, and both sides are hostile to freedoms of one sort or another.

      • darkcycle

        You too, Malcolm? The mighty Casull. As to the 629, I don’t like stainless, too gallable. Give me a model 19 anytime.

        • .454

          Yep DC; I love guns! At age 11, (in the UK) I used to get up before 4 AM to help our local milkman so I could buy the newest BSA Airsporter air rifle. At age 15, I sorted out my own permit and bought a single barrel 12 gauge shotgun. There was lots of fun to be had as we lived rural and had a ‘yankee’ (gray) squirrel infestation at that time and hunting them was eagerly encouraged.

      • darkcycle

        …but in my eyes the only choice when TSHTF is the Browning Hi-power (showin’ my age here).

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      If I had a rocket launcher…

      Well you know for anyone who’s got a felony record it really isn’t a good idea to own a gun. I wonder if these things can be made repeaters, or are they condemned to be single shot weapons?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spud_gun

      They have been “weaponized” by the military industrial complex.

      • my (least) favorite gun/drug story:

        Back in about 1984 I was broke and couch surfing, split up with my many years g/f, had an accident (no insurance – tho’ good lad that I am I paid her ins. co. back in full) so lost my license and totaled my pick-em-up (went aerial and did a 180)… so I hitch hiked a lot. Early morning was always best, salesman and truckers don’t mind the wake up company. One morning a low rider pulls over – ’63 2 door Impala, lowered, chrome wheels – and I’m good with that.

        We pull out, get on the road and they start talking. They’d been up all night smoking PCP. To make a long story short I had a BMF pistol 2 inches from my nose. Made me very uncomfortable…

        That was the bestest ever crisis intervention work I’ve done – ’cause I’m still here (if my counting is right that’s this cat’s life #7).

        So kids, when using weapons – no PCP. When using PCP – no weapons (prolly shouldn’t be driving either). Please…

        • darkcycle

          Last time I had a piece waived under my nose it was over a bottle of tequila. I’ll try the PCP next, lets compare chemical disinhibitors.

  • Christy

    I think there is a lot of common ground between Drug Policy Reformers and Conservatives (and I’m not talking only libertarians). The War on Drugs targets mostly men, who are often the breadwinners of their families. Think of all the social service bureaucracy that kicks in when the breadwinner of a family is arrested and jailed for an extended period of time:

    – Medicaid
    – Food Stamps
    – Housing Authority
    – Child Protective Services
    – Afterschool Programs
    – More services to directly address juvenile crime when fathers are out of the picture.
    – If father is incarcerated for an extended time, that means more money being spent on government-funded job training for the mothers to enter the workforce.

    We often talk about the costs of incarceration, but I imagine the social services cost to take care of the mothers and children left behind could easily rival (if not surpass) the cost of imprisoning a family’s breadwinner for drug crime.

    If anyone can post some more research on this, I would appreciate it.

    • .454

      Nora Callahan may be able to help:

      http://www.november.org/index.html

    • Read this damning piece of evidence: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/us/28cnd-prison.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1318937723-6Cl8hYfTxNaOi/0lpuFHiw

      Abstract: “Nationwide, the prison population grew by 25,000 last year, bringing it to almost 1.6 million. Another 723,000 people are in local jails. The number of American adults is about 230 million, meaning that one in every 99.1 adults is behind bars.

      Incarceration rates are even higher for some groups. One in 36 Hispanic adults is behind bars, based on Justice Department figures for 2006. One in 15 black adults is, too, as is one in nine black men between the ages of 20 and 34.” (my emphasis)

      Obviously such social destruction will have negative consequences. The Sex Pistols were having a good time when they sang “there’s no future”, but those minorities targeted – somewhat incidentally – by the drug laws will become a problem one way or the other. Either as welfare recipients, as criminals or, simply, neither they nor the nation will ever realize their potential fully.

      Statistically speaking, of course.

    • Francis

      What are you talking about? Incarcerating millions of non-violent citizens for engaging in consensual transactions is a good thing! People who are incarcerated don’t count towards the official unemployment statistics. PLUS, the more people we incarcerate, the more jobs we create for prison guards, judges, lawyers, probation officers, etc. Now that’s what I call a “multiplier effect”! Maybe this is Obama’s “jobs plan.” Imagine if we could just put half of the population behind bars and employ the other half to guard them. We’d reach full employment in no time!

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .
        With the half and half method there’s no need to build or maintain expensive correctional facilities. We simply make half the population sworn law enforcement officers, and then handcuff them to the remaining 50%. This should make all criminality vanish since there will always be a police officer present 24/7/365.

    • Christy Weaver

      Thanks for the additional sources! To expand on the cost going into juvenile services, there are also a shitload of nonprofits and faith-based groups who receive a lot of state and federal money (I believe drug-free communities grant money) to try to stymie the social decline caused by the War on Drugs waged zealously in many communities. But the govt often prefers to fund nonprofits like that ridiculous “Bishop” Ron Allen in California to appear that their efforts are truly community oriented grassroots.

  • I firmly believe that it is a sign of higher cognitive functioning – or even a higher level of spiritual awareness – when people begin to see many seemingly different phenomena as One Thing.

    Let gun owners, sex workers, drug users, sex educators, and everyone else in this join together to show that it is the Same Thing we’re fighting against.

    • Randy

      The enemy is the state. It will always be the state. More and more people are starting to catch on.

      As to the alliance, I think it is workable. When you connect the dots, it’s easy to see how the WOD increases violence, which in turn increases the demand in some quarters for restricting gun rights. If gun owners want to get the polititcal busybodies off their backs, the best way to do that is to reduce violence by ending the WOD, thus reducing violence and ending the calls for gun control.

  • Scott

    At the Wall Street Journal comments section, where I constantly post about our issue when I can (as part of my hopefully expanding effort to enlighten the Republican party), I noticed the similar complaints about gun laws, and seized on them to engage with the audience there about our issue.

    When looking at the words “drug abuse”, society needs to stop looking at the word drug, and start focusing on abuse.

    This principle includes all forms of abuse, including “gun abuse” and “capitalism abuse”.

    Demonizing guns and capitalism is as pathetically wrong as demonizing cannabis, etc.

    Abusive behavior is unhealthy to everyone, including the people engaged in such abuse, and is apparently connected to stress levels.

    Ironically, here is a statement by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (ironic in that they are prohibitionists) regarding stress:

    “Researchers have long recognized the strong correlation between stress and substance abuse”

    That statement was published back in 1995, and remains ignored to this day, at least in any mainstream sense.

    We need a ‘war’ on unhealthy stress to prevent abuse.

    We need a ‘war on abuse’, noting that the Revolutionary War that established our nation was a war against the worst form of abuse, given its generally broad scope of destruction, and that is the abuse of power.

  • Francis

    Here’s something I wrote a while back about the Fast and Furious scandal and the disconnect between conservatives who simultaneously support gun rights and the war on drugs.
    .
    .
    I think Fast and Furious is a potentially huge scandal. But let’s be honest, how many deaths did it really CAUSE? I thought conservatives were (rightfully) skeptical of the efficacy of gun control laws. Furthermore, the cartels have unbelievable resources at their disposal (courtesy of the drug war which makes possible their enormous black market profits). If they want guns, something tells me they’re going to get them–one way or the other. (We’re talking about the same people that can afford “narco-submarines.”) Conservatives like to say two things with respect to guns: (1) “if you outlaw guns, only criminals will have guns” and (2) “guns don’t kill people – people kill people.” I wish they’d apply that same logic to drugs, i.e. (1) “if you outlaw selling drugs, only criminals will sell drugs” and (2) “drugs don’t kill people – people kill people.” But the war on drugs DOES kill people. Over 40,000 Mexicans have been killed in drug war-related violence since 2006. Conservatives have another saying: “incentives matter.” Well, when you make (certain) drugs illegal, you create structural incentives that lead directly to violence. Indeed, it is the government that INTRODUCES violence. After all, what IS the “war” on drugs? It’s the policy of sending armed agents of the state to confiscate sellers’ profits, destroy their inventories, and lock them (and their customers) in government cages. (Hint: those are acts of violence.) All of the other violence that surrounds the (non-alcohol, non-tobacco) drug trade is fundamentally a reaction to the state-sponsored violence of prohibition. When you outlaw drugs, you also render contracts unenforceable and make it impossible for competitors to use the courts or police to challenge intimidation or settle disputes, conditions that further promote violence. And you make the drug trade extremely profitable (Econ 101: risk demands compensation), providing violent criminal gangs with billions in (tax-free!) profits — profits they use to bribe officials (leading to massive systemic corruption), buy weapons, hire thugs, and generally make life miserable for everyone around them.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      I need go no further than the crime rates in Arlington County V and the District of Columbia to see that absolute prohibition of guns is a failed public policy. Both Arlington and DC about 10 minutes distant from each other on the very convenient Metro. If Arlington were to suffer more than 10 murders in a year absent a mass murder, the County government would have conniption fits.

      I acknowledge that DC is more appropriately compared with gun crime rates of other cities but the only data that I have is State by State.

      What in the heck is Vermont doing right? People that don’t like gun violence would be well advised to study Vermont’s gun culture. They’re in 1st place across the board. Wyoming and North Dakota are solidly in 2nd or 3rd place.
      ……………………………………………………

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jan/10/gun-crime-us-state#data

      2010 gun murders per 100,000 population:

      DC 1,621
      VA 314

      DC’s 1,621 is not only the highest in the entire United State, it was the highest by far. Louisiana was second with 775.
      ……………………………………………………
      2010 gun robberies per 100k population:

      DC: 256
      VA: 32
      ……………………………………………………
      2010 gun assaults:

      DC: 99
      VA: 24

      She has to be kidding:

      “The only thing that would cause more murder and mayhem in this city is allowing freer access to guns.”

      – Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)

  • Corry O'Neill

    I am in favor of the alliance.

  • Please! Hurry & click & sign petition http://wh.gov/gP1
    to END MARIJUANA PROHIBITION at White House now!
    deadline Oct. 22 Petition to “Demand an Amendment to
    the U.S. Constitution to End Marijuana, Marihuana,
    Cannabis and Hemp Prohibition.”

    • Christy Weaver

      Let put our weight behind this one too. It has the most sigs of among all the White House petitions regardless of issue.

      “Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol.”

      57000+ and counting…..

      http://tinyurl.com/43abw3s

  • antifascist

    Some of the most powerful left-wingers in America today are phonies working clandestinely for the right-wing vampires and vultures, pretending to be on the side of drug-policy reforms while secretly being opposed. They become obvious when they exaggerate gun-rights as being evil, push the idea that all gun-owners are killers with no qualms about murdering people and animals for sport, and even go so far as to refuse to listen to anyone that opposes them.

    Anyone who uses an example of one guy going crazy and killing a bunch of people in a club as an excuse for collectively punishing all Americans by taking away their right to bear arms (all except the Neo-Nazi-Stasi police, of course) is definitely not on the side of the left-wing and definitely hiding the fact that they would prefer to do the same thing with people who use some drugs.

    The main reason why this “alliance” will not bode well with the majority is because it will be too easy for the drug-warrior types to mix up the ever-so popular marijuana with things like methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine, in their numbing propaganda. Letting guns in the hands of marijuana users is one thing but letting guns in the hands of meth-addicts is another. Obviously, there has to be some reasonable regulations. But don’t count on the drug-warriors pushing their ignorant propaganda to go into such details.

    We all know that they push the fear and ignorance card every time, especially with some drugs. Don’t expect them to bother defining the differences. As far as they are concerned meth and marijuana are close cousins with the same nasty effects and that is what they want everyone who doesn’t know better to believe.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      I find it mind boggling that you think that meth and cocaine addicts don’t have any guns. It’s likely true for heroin addict, but because they pawned theirs to buy more junk.

      Your line of reasoning is very similar to prohibitionists who seem to think that potheads want medicinal cannabis patient protection because they just want to get high.

  • Tony Aroma

    Just like I predicted, involving gun owners in the latest prohibition blitzkrieg is going to prove a big mistake for this administration. They’re a group that can and will fight back. Granted, it’s an unlikely alliance, but not out of the question. The enemy of my enemy…

    Same thing with the latest threats to the media over advertising. Another group that should not be screwed with. Without the media on their side, the drug warriors will have a hard time spreading their propaganda. The truth might actually start to come out. And that, of course, would be death to prohibition.

    • Scott

      I agree. Each time the prohibitionists increase their attack stance against us, they cannot help but shoot themselves in the foot by bringing serious public attention to their blatantly corrupt actions.

  • darkcycle

    I’m a leftist, and I support gun rights. Fact is the Second Amendment is the “revolution clause”. It is the part of the constitution that’s supposed to keep the government honest. It was expressly delineated as a constitutional right to make sure the people always had the means for rebellion. Maybe it’s my background (Dad was a cop at one time, so was Grandpa), or my training, or maybe just my PTSD, but I’ve ALWAYS had at least one longarm, one shotgun and one pistol. Even as a starving college student.

  • The bedfellows keep getting stranger…

  • Servetus

    I grew up with a virtual arsenal in my home, so I’m not opposed to weaponry as some urbanites are. Some of my best memories as a kid are opening the gun cabinet door just to smell the aroma of gun oil. Gun safety was always a stark reality, an absolute truth not to be messed with.

    I think many disputes over gun ownership owe their cultural and political distinctions to differences in geographic location and need. Urbanites in densely populated neighborhoods don’t like having bullets zinging about, and they often have access to police and emergency help getting to them in under five minutes. Whereas people living in isolated areas and near the perimeters of federal wilderness preserves are forced to depend entirely upon themselves for protection and survival, and therefore they frequently need a gun.

    What the federal memo means for medical marijuana patients is that marijuana users are being forced to endanger themselves if they enter into isolated or wilderness areas without a gun, and they are being forced to incriminate themselves if they do carry a gun. This latest action by the feds regarding marijuana and guns is little more than a persecution.

    The parallels between gun ownership and cannabis consumption are easy to make. All-encompassing prohibitions will fail no matter what, whether it’s guns, drugs, or books. Prohibiting guns would result in underground machine shops turning out exact duplicates of any and all weapons (minus serial numbers) for high paying customers. That particular business used to be one of Afghanistan’s private industries, along with drug exports. Under a prohibition of guns, underground gun mills would proliferate in the United States just as fast as marijuana grow-ops do now.

    There is common ground for both groups to get together and advocate for a common human right to endanger oneself or not, if that’s actually the case. Safety issues can be taught. That’s the best the government can do.

  • darkcycle

    In all of this brouhaha about the DoJ directive, it’s informative to recognize there’s really nothing new here. The memo was intended to provide direction to FFL holders (gun dealers) who were understandably confused. It was a clarification of a long established fact: that marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
    The confusion arose as a result of MMJ patients doing one of two things, either they answer “yes ” to the question: “Are you a user of illegal drugs, or addicted to narcotics?” (Federal form 4473) Or they ask the Dealer for clarification, admitting they are an MMJ user in the process. Both are strict no-no’s. The dealer cannot deliver the firearm if that is the case. Some dealers were confused as to whether they were to follow State law or Federal Law. I DON’T understand the FFL holder’s confusion, they are regulated and licensed under federal law first.

    • darkcycle

      Duh, contradicted myself (how’d that happen?). I do not understand the confusion of FFL holders. The confusion of MMJ users was the understandable one..

  • Dante

    Randy nailed it:
    “The enemy is the state. It will always be the state. More and more people are starting to catch on.”

    Deficits, wars based on lies, misconduct, violations of international treaty regarding torture, lying, selling out to corporate masters, taking bribes, cheating on their taxes, cheating on their spouse, cheating the American people…….

    All of the problems We The People face have been caused by local, state or federal government. They don’t solve anything, they just continue making things worse.

    And we have to pay for it.

  • dj

    1) EVERYONE that sees these links sign up and weigh in on the debate
    http://pvox.co/CdiFqY
    http://wh.gov/gDQ
    http://wh.gov/gf3
    2) Propagate those links and ensure that everyone that sees them go to those sites.

    Too many people are blaming the President for enforcing the federal marijuana prohibition. Contact Congress (the LEGISLATIVE branch [that’s the important one when it comes to law]) via the first link. Contact Obama (the EXECUTIVE branch [until Obama vetos a passed H.R. 2306 it’s on Congress – but tell Obama anyway]) via the second and third link. It really is THAT easy. Participate in democracy!

  • DdC

    “This year will go down in history.
    For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration!
    Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient,
    and the world will follow our lead into the future!”
    — Adolph Hitler, April 15, 1935

    The NRA paid for Mandatory Minimums. For guns used in crimes. The end result was a revolving door of lobby/congress maggots who lumped drugs into the mix. Purely fascist intent. The only reason is to deter jury trials. With help from 404 gag rules preventing a medical defense. All anti American acts anyone can clearly see and yet say nothing. Lawyers care less where their money comes from. Truth are words to sell hobgoblins. I’ve been on conservative boards with gunutz who sympathized and with gunutz as bad as dung worriers. Couldn’t see the similarities or care about the Unconstitutionality as long as it didn’t have an effect on them. That is the problem trolls work hard to keep going. Division denial and diversions.

    As long as we are divided on petty political and ideological grounds. We go from 100 to 50 instantly cutting our argument in half. Half the people don’t participate in voting or campaigning. So it’s more like 50 cut in half by trolls doing their Neocon jobs for the 1% who won’t give them the time of day or bennies with their paycheck. Pitifools and traitors. When they hang upside down on the Supreme Courthouse steps I’ll feel Patriotic and jerk a Hemp r,w&b flag. Not like the war broker’s chumps paying Iraqn by jerking plastic flags made in China. Somehow these Teabog ditto cannabinoid deficient obedient gun worshipping ducky’s need educated. But it seems that is one of the things they are rebelling.

    The religionists protest for the right to kill God’s creations, Cage humans and give Cattle prime real estate. Nature is killed and manufactured into products sold. While Man’s creations, like Guns and Bibles are worshipped. Nature’s Ganja and Hemp are destroyed while the blackest vilest substance on the planet is sucked out of the bowels of hell to burn in every machine they can find. Or radioactive Nukes as day-glow green energy. While deterring or outlawing renewable resources that might save some of these gun nut farmers. Cannabinoid deficiency with chronic herd mentality disorder. Administrated Education Depravation providing cheap labor the same as outsourcing the 1%’s tax breaks, prison slave labor and scabs.

    I was raised with guns and believe in the 2nd amendment right to form a militia, not the National Guard. I believe in a personal right to bare arms to a point, Nothing of mass destruction or Military caliber. I don’t like southerners using dogs for deer hunting. In Pa we were told to shoot the dogs chasing deer because they would hurt the deer and then leave it to suffer. I gave my guns back to my father when I was 16. Smoking pot with hippies was safer than a 30:06 and pint of Seagrams stashed in a hunting vest pocket eager to shoot something, anything that moved. Especially after the governor opened up out of state licenses. It became a shooting gallery in the National forests. Midnight shoots with bucks sold to the tourist gunutz. Total disregard for the environment and safe gun use and care.

    I hunted with quite a few Pittsburgh cops. Hard core drinkers and no guilt about much of anything. They had scars of battle and notches on their belts. But in the mid 60’s they were adamant about leaving the area cleaner than arriving. Nothing was killed for trophy or to make the animals suffer. Some of the funniest story tellers I’ve ever heard. Ken Kesey was good at telling stories too. Lots of commonality most won’t see because of trolls and censorship. So since the gun concerned are actually closer to the rest of us American stoners than they might realize. I think we would both advance our causes in solidarity/ if only to make a truce against each other in Justice toward the 1% shafting us all. Manipulating the dung worriers and the CSA Bible Tzar Gilligan prostilisizes from.

    Heston died, NRA’s Mandatory Minimum Didn’t

    It’s contageous, spreading to Canada…
    from Harpo and Boosh having unprotected sex with their cowboy hats….

    Stop Bill S-10 (Mandatory Minimum Sentences)

    Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act 2012

    GOP Rule is More Dangerous to Our Health, Study Proves
    (100 Years of Data)
    When Neocons rule, Americans experience epidemics of violent death.
    Politicians and the political process, even in ostensibly democratic countries, can be deadly. James Gilligan has discovered a devastating truth that has been “hiding in plain sight” for the past century – namely, that when America’s conservative party, the Republicans, have gained the presidency, the country has repeatedly suffered from epidemics of violent death. Rates of both suicide and homicide have sky-rocketed. The reasons are all too obvious: rates of every form of social and economic distress, inequality and loss – unemployment, recessions, poverty, bankruptcy, homelessness also ballooned to epidemic proportions. When that has happened, those in the population who were most vulnerable have “snapped”, with tragic consequences for everyone.

  • penispickings

    where my post

  • penispickings

    fuck the constution

    • CorporateConjectur

      Huffing gasoline is no guarantee you’ll develop superior cognitive wherewithal!

    • ummm… and uh… you are aware that picking your penis in public is uncouth (far worse than picking your nose or butt)? Doing so after huffing gasoline is sure to make your testicles (if you have any) explode.

  • Scott

    For those who may not know, the opinion section of the Wall Street Journal is mainly very conservative.

    After reading this post and the great comments herein, I decided to post the following comment for an opinion piece titled “A New Spending Record”:

    Sorry for being mainly off-topic, though my post concerns a solid reduction in public servant spending and a restoration of the brilliant principles our nation was founded upon.

    I just read a blog post talking about the alliance between gun-rights advocates (of which I am one) and cannabis-rights advocates (of which I am also one) in a forum for the latter, and thought conservatives here (and perhaps others) would find it nice to see (and perhaps participate in) the comments in what conventional wisdom concludes is a liberal issue.

    http://www.drugwarrant.com/2011/10/joining-forces/

    I hope to see more evidence that an increasing number of people are breaking free from the use of “slu-tty” words like liberal, progressive, conservative, and libertarian to demonstrate the blurring of the lines into a group of people who want to correct the problems caused by the abuse of power (the form of abuse our nation was established against). That, to me, is the real Tea Party movement.

    Hope and change we can believe in starts with the true government of the United States of America, “We the people”. Our public servants will never give up power on their own. We must take the corrupt to the true highest court of the land, the court of public opinion, where we nationally wield our fundamental and constitutional rights to the point where we effectively take their greatly excessive power away.

    Americans need to understand that legally defining risk to reduce tragedy is ironically too risky, since to legally define risk is to illegally define your liberty, automatically creating the slippery slope we are now on towards greater public servant control of our lives.

  • pyramid

    I’m all for this alliance. It makes sense. I was watching a vanguard documentary called guns in american the other day and the part they kept leaving out about how the kids and the gangs got their hands on guns was the drug money they use to finance their operations and the business of drug dealing that prompts them to actually use those guns.

    I have also been a long time supporter of gun rights and a legalization advocate so both arguments make sense to me and dovetail nicely into something I’ve been saying for a while. “You don’t need to worry about people owning guns if they have no motive to do someone else harm”. IMHO removing the motive of drug war violence would do more to make our streets safe than any misguided attempt to ban guns would.

  • JDV

    History shows that gun control and prohibition/the war on drugs are inseparable. Alcohol prohibition gave us the first federal gun control law – the National Firearms Act, and today drug warriors are constantly agitating for banning “assault weapons.” Actually the war on drugs is hostile to pretty much all civil liberties.

  • Steve Rolles

    tbh its hard to relate to this from a British perspective. We dont have gun rights (with the very narrow exception of some farmers and shooting sports), and theres no call for them either. Ive never even seen a gun (except when I came to the US) let alone have any desire to carry one or have one in my house. Our police dont routinely carry them either. From this side of the pond this line of argument seems pretty strange.

    • I understand. It must be very odd. We have a significantly different culture here in this regard, one which goes all the way back to a dispute we were involved in back in the late 1700’s. And although the 2nd Amendment’s plain text can be seen as less than crystal clear, there’s always been an understanding that part of the sentiment behind it was to give a means, however slight, of facing another King George.

      We’re also significantly different geographically. Hunting and wilderness is much more part of the historic structure of the geography of this country than it is for your island kingdom.

      Personally, I’ve never been much interested in guns, but I find my lack of interest irrelevant, because I’m committed to my core to the Bill of Rights, so I’m perfectly happy to go after problematic use of guns along with supporting reasonable regulations.

      In a similar vein, even without any interest in drugs themselves, and even absent the horrendous costs of drug prohibition, I would still be supportive of the liberty interest in regulated drug legalization.

    • darkcycle

      The difference is a recent revolutionary history, as opposed to royal rule for a thousand years or so. The firearms the colonials owned were an absolute necessity in a land where settlers had displaced the native population. And for the first years in the colonies farming was very marginal and hunting was a needed supplement.
      Constitutionally the second was included to make sure that no despot or oppressive form of government could arise without the people having the means to revolt. Fat lot of good that did, eh?
      So important were firearms both to the survival of white folks here and to the very genesis of the United States, they were enshrined in the highest law of the land (at that time of course, now it functions merely as a symbol and an excuse).

      • Windy

        There is actually more to it than even that, dc. The right to life includes the right to defend one’s life and property from those who would wish to take it. That right to self defense extends from the one on one situation to the many against a despotic government, but the basis for the 2nd Amendment is clearly self defense first.

        And the firearms the colonials owned protected them as much, perhaps more, from dangerous wildlife, as from retribution from the displaced native population. I have to say, I am glad that we no longer (as a people, the military is another story) go about conquering lands that rightly belong to others (and perhaps, when Ron Paul is president, the military will become extraneous, unneeded).

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Steve, how did Great Britain get rid of guns already in the hands of the public? In the United States we have about 1/4 of a billion privately owned guns floating around.

      The no demand part is probably very pertinent to the success of getting rid of guns in your country. Being situated on an island makes it much easier to control. To the best of my knowledge the only other country that has managed to actually get rid of guns is Japan, also an island. Hmmm, does Hawaii have gun control?

      I also know how the black market works from direct personal experience. Supply will rise to meet demand. If the US was to repeal the 2nd Amendment and ban guns there most certainly be demand with all those guns still out there. Unlike describing cannabis using the word muggles, describing a gun as an equalizer is most certainly an apt word.

      Guns are not very sophisticated devices. A machine shop in a suburban basement would have no problem keeping the assembly line rolling. Just like a grow room in the basement.

  • Francis

    Speaking of the intersection between gun control and drug prohibition…

    Soulja boy arrested for pot, gun charges.

    “Each faces three felony counts, including possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in commission of a crime.”

    So… the three felony charges boil down to: (1) possessing a non-toxic plant; (2) having the “intent” to “distribute” said non-toxic plant; and (3) exercising their second Amendment rights while in possession of said non-toxic plant. Damn fine police work, Officer Gray. I’d say you’re in line for a promotion or at least a commendation.

    • darkcycle

      I think this is clearly a case of racial profiling on the part of Georgia police, as well as a case of criminally bad judgement on the part of the rapper “Soulja Boy”:

      “Soulja Boy was riding in a rented Black Cadillac Escalade with four other men on Interstate 20 about 50 miles west of Atlanta when they were stopped for a routine traffic violation at 2:30 a.m., according to Temple Police spokeswoman Dana Rampy”

      ‘Nuff said.

  • claygooding

    We are trying our best to follow Ghandi’s ideals of peaceful demonstrations,and doing real well at the moment.
    Adding the gun crowd does bring a guest to the table that could prove to be a touch more violent. And it may take that to ever get the cartels or corporations that support prohibition to ever relinquish their grip on our congress about this issue.

    Ghandi has said that first they will ignore you,then they will laugh at you,then they will attack you,,and then you win.

    We lived through the ignore stage,during the times of 2 weeks to answer propaganda in our local papers,if they would print your response.

    The laughter started about the time the internet started catching on and has lasted until we really started talking to each other daily.

    Now they are attacking us and their biggest mistake was to threaten newspapers,,,does the federal attorney that made that threat still have a job? I bet Kerli and the think tank at Rand are burning the midnite oil trying to figure out how to fix that boo-boo.

  • darkcycle

    There is no reason to consider gun owners violent, Clay. The gun lobby doesn’t condone violence.
    In any case, if they decide to back legalization, or even drug law reform, they would be a formidable force. They are organized, very well funded and have the ear of every self identified “law and order” politician out there. If that were to happen, the “thud” would sound like a thunderclap.

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  • Steve Rolles

    Pete – yeah fair enough. I wasnt being critical – just pointing out how odd it looks for us.

    Duncan – there has never been any signififcant numbers of guns here to get rid of. Sure, we have gun crime but in relative terms its tiny compared to the US. We have less than 100 firearm murders a year compared to 12,000 in the US.

    There is an almost total ban on all gun ownership – except as I said for some farmers (and I think pest control), some heavily regulated sports (like clay pidgeon shooting), and a small number of armed police units. After the dunblane masacre in the 1990s even most guns for sport were banned. heres some background http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_the_United_Kingdom

    US citizens often dont appreciate how bizarre their gun culture seems in most of Europe.

    • Windy

      And Europe is too steeped in the culture of subservience to government to understand Americans or for Americans to understand European culture. When one is raised in freedom one has a different outlook than when one is raised under even the lightest form of tyranny, even if said tyranny is quite “benevolent”. Americans do not like being told by government how to live their lives, we are individualist not collectivist.