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Drug Users are Not Non-Violent

From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 1
1/11/2013


By Taylor Ramsey

You may have noticed that my thoughts on these pages are based on the old fashion idea that all of us must take personal responsibility for ourselves. We must do our best to obey the laws of our society, help one another and pass along good values to the next generation. I get the feeling now-a-days that many of us are trying to be an exception to the premise that personal responsibility is a trait to view as valuable. Doing whatever we please and not facing the consequences for our actions is becoming more acceptable. It reminds me of the 60s when the beautiful flower people were promoting the idea of doing whatever “feels good” as a worthy rule to follow.

As an example, I continually read articles, editorials and letters regarding drug lawbreakers being referred to as “non-violent” offenders. I wonder if those authors use or used drugs, which would lead to classifying drug users and dealers as non-violent as a way to feel better about themselves. Or, perhaps they assume everyone feels drug users are non-violent.

In my opinion, referring to people arrested for using or selling illegal drugs as “non-violent” is very shallow thinking. Are legislators, judges and the public in general in denial of the tremendous number of killings on both sides of our southern border and in our cities further north due to the industry of moving drugs to “non-violent” criminals?

According to “The Guardian” during the period of December 2006 through November 2010 as many as 7 Mexican cartels were responsible for 34,612 deaths due to the production and distribution of drugs. In 2010, they recorded the highest number of deaths at 15,273. I wonder if the “user” living in average town U.S.A. thought about all those dead people while enjoying his non-violent dinner party?

No matter the illegal product, whether drugs, stolen cars, televisions, etc., if a person knowingly accepts illegal or stolen property that person is a very guilty party in a crime. At the end of 2010, California was holding approximately 25,000 drug offending prisoners. I can only imagine all the carnage involved in supplying 25,000 people illegal substances.

A person involved with buying and using illegal drugs contributes to the loss of property, life and the well being of our individual communities. That person can only be described as an active participant in a violent crime and should accept the consequences.
I must take a moment to address several letters to the editor responding to my article regarding the question on when life begins and abortion. One letter led the reader to believe I wanted to force women to have unwanted babies and then went on to explain in detail how simple minded my thoughts were regarding abortion and adoption and touched on many social issues I did not take into consideration. Another letter writer suggests I stay out of the abortion discussion because it is something only a woman, her doctor and God should decide.

I also received some very positive feedback from people who actually took the time to understand the point of the article. I never suggested a woman does not have a right to make the choice and I never proposed women should have unwanted babies. As a matter of fact, I specifically stated I would not address whether abortion was right or wrong.

Whether I believe in abortion or not, my point was that it is a fact no one can tell at what precise moment between conception and delivery a cluster of cells become a life. Therefore, the action to abort must be considered a gamble. Viewing abortion as a gamble on whether a life was taken or not may not feel good to some readers and I can understand how those feelings could stir strong thoughts of anger. As I stated at the beginning of the article, the idea was to encourage the reader to think.

Lastly, I know families and individuals whose personal experiences would lead anyone to consider adoption a good option and gamble.

taylor@longbeachcomber.com

Taylor’s Blog: www.lettertotheeditorblog.com
Twitter: @TaylorPRamsey