In one of my first posts on this blog I mentioned the usage of “the” as a catch-all term to include a variety of government-”offered” “goods” and “services” that people in general refer to offhandedly (“the” schools, “the” roads, etc.).
The Florida Department of Health has launched a campaign to eliminate second hand smoke from bars, parks and other public (or should that be “public”?) spaces. And what better way than to get folks behind this campaign that to be as inclusive as possible. Thus, the marketing/propaganda material uses “our” as much as possible. “Make our bars smoke-free” says one. Another one: “Make our public spaces smoke-free.” And — because we care about “the” children — “Make our parks smoke-free.”
After a horrific and murderous weekend in NYC, Mayor Bloomberg, frustrated that folks determined on committing crimes are ignoring those magical incantations and spells enacted by local legislators, does what must necessarily follow in the mind of the statist: call the feds.
“We cannot tolerate it,” Bloomberg said while speaking at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn. “There are just too many guns on the streets and we have to do something about it.”
New York has the toughest gun laws in the country, but Bloomberg said the city alone cannot stop the onslaught of shootings. “We need the federal government to step up,” he said.
The problem of crime is that it finds a way. And prohibitions are, at best, marginal; but they are totalitarian nonetheless and have no place in a free society. To try to control the means of the few by subjecting the entirety of society to the dictate of a despot is a symptom of desperation. After all, not every place experiences the same level of overall crime or the same numbers of crimes committed by firearms.
And then there is the elephant in the room. As Robert Wicks points out, “‘getting guns off the streets’ is just code for ‘getting poor urban minorities to disarm themselves.’” Indeed, NYC’s own government report on crime shows that minorities both commit and experience a higher percentage of crimes. Yet because most minorities are not criminals but potential victims, gun disarmament leaves minorities in a greater situation of peril. Of course, politicians do not understand economics or how incentives work so they would never think that ending drug (and gun) prohibition, welfare, taxes, zoning and licenses, rent control and compulsory education would radically lower crime across the board.
As for Bloomberg, his policies, and the policies of Albany, are–let’s face it–pretty much an epic fail. The last thing anyone needs is the federal government coming in to “fix” things.
* but surely not the guns of the state, that is. That’s the jive I get from RFK’s daughter’s comments on further limiting gun freedom:
Townsend said she believes the Justice Department and “this country have got to do a better job on gun regulation and on gun control and making our citizens safe.”
“As my father said, we glorify killing on movies and on television screens and call it entertainment,” she said. “We make it easy for men of all shades and sanity to acquire weapons, and violence breeds violence. Repression brings retaliation, and only a cleaning of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.”
Repression brings retaliation? Gosh, sounds also like an argument against foreign invasions and wars and the imposition of various kinds of legislation on other countries. If we want to be coherent about banning guns, should we not start with the military?
“Should Be Legalized” is a a great, high quality parody of Eminem’s “Love The Way You Lie.” The video reminds us of the dangers of prohibition and urges Congress to legalize marijuana. I must, however, object to the video’s desire for pot to be regulated or taxed.