I am intrigued by many things. Many of them are related to the natural wonders of the world we live in, the world created by God. Others have to do with man, his actions, and his thought process. Such is the case with a theory that seems to be common among many in this country. We know criminal behavior exists in America, as well as good behavior. It should be no big secret that evil and good can and do coexist. They have done so since God created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. What I want to discuss in this post is the prevalent idea that we need more laws to help good overcome evil. You may think that isn’t the case, but I believe I can prove otherwise. I would also encourage you to read Trestin’s commentary on this subject, at Don’t Tread On Us.
The first and most glaring example is the effort to continually crack down on guns. Let’s start with the premise that the 2nd Amendment grants individuals in this country the right to keep and bear arms and go from there. I’ll try to keep it simple. Yes, we do have the aforementioned right, as well as the responsibility to use that right correctly. Do we all agree on that? I believe we do, so let’s move on. Do bad people have access to guns? Do they do bad things with them? The answer to both questions is, of course, yes.
What is your first response to that? If you are like most people, you are already thinking, well duh! Let’s keep the bad people from getting the guns and doing bad things with them. It’s a natural response, one I have had myself when I see a news report of some idiot going off half-cocked and shooting people they didn’t even know or care about. Here is my question to all of us who have had that thought before. How do you propose to do that? What measures would you like to see taken to prevent bad people from getting guns?
If I am completely honest with myself and the readers of Political Realities, I have to admit that I believe some gun regulations may be needful or helpful. Clearly, there are some people who have no business owning a firearm. At the risk of putting myself in the same category as President Obama, he has stated he believes in commonsense firearms regulations. There is just one problem that comes to mind. Those commonsense regulations put restrictions on the good guys, but what about the bad guys? Not so much, it seems.
Let’s change course for a moment and talk about another example that I can think of, one that seems to be the topic of conversation for a lot of people. Nearly every day, I hear advertisements on the radio, sponsored by Stopmethnotmeds. They are mounting an offensive against the movement in many states to require a prescription for any medicine containing pseudoephedrine . For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is the main ingredient used to manufacture methamphetamine. Commonly known as meth, this illegal drug is a scourge and bane on our society.
My home state of Oklahoma implemented a plan to restrict the sale of cold medicines that contained pseudoephedrine in 2006. These medicines were placed behind the counter and identification was required for its purchase. We thought we had a success story, as the number of seizures of meth labs dropped in 2007 and 2008. Then, in 2009, they began rising again, as the meth dealers, the bad guys, found a way around the requirement. Their meth manufacturing operations kicked into high gear and they have been going strong ever since. What was our solution to the problem? That would be House Bill 1235. This legislation would reclassify pseudoephedrine as a Schedule III drug, thus requiring a prescription to receive many medicines used to treat allergies and the common cold.
Obviously, this another attempt to restrict access to a substance that can be used for good, runny noses anyone, but has been abused and used for many bad things. I understand the sentiment behind the measure, but that doesn’t mean I agree with it. From the reading and research I have done, it appears it would do nothing to restrict the bad guys’ access to pseudoephedrine, as they will surely find a way around it. It’s what they do. What it will do is to require law-abiding citizens, who have no intention of abusing the medicine, to have a prescription before they can purchase it. Need I point out what that will require? Visits to the doctor to obtain the prescription, taking time off to make those visits. Instead of going to a local store to purchase the medicine so they don’t have to take time off work.
HB 1235 was defeated in committee, which I believe is a good thing. One thing I do not understand is the support given it by John Bennett, our State Representative in Sequoyah County. He is a good man and a strong conservative, but I do question why he coauthored the bill. I plan to ask him that question when I see him next.
I understand the need and the desire to keep pseudoephedrine out of the hands of the drug dealers. I also understand the need and the desire to keep guns out of the hands of the bad guys. However, looking back at the results of the laws passed to accomplish both objectives, I can’t say that either have been achieved. Therefore, I pose this question to any and all who may read this post.
Is passing more laws to stop criminals the right thing to do if those laws continually stack layer upon layer of regulations and restrictions upon law-abiding citizens? I am truly interested in your answers.
Linked at Sentry Journal.
Linked at Conservative Hideout.
Linked at Motor City Times.