Quite fortunately for Kim du Toit, he happens to be more disposed to conduct his voluntary and consensual affairs in ways that happen to be legal in Texas, and more generally, the U.S. Although, with all the traveling around he does for his gun shows, I just wonder if he edges across the legal line in any of the states he must traverse to get from one place to the other.
Not that I mind, of course. But there are sure plenty of "concerned citizens" who’d be perfectly happy to see him locked up for a good long time in order to "protect" the rest of us.
Equally, of course, others who conduct their own voluntary and consensual affairs are not so fortunate. All the while, the irony and hypocrisy seems to completely allude good ol’ Kim:
The U.S.A. leads the way with 2.2 million prisoners out of a
population of 300 million (0.73%, or over 4.5 times the world average).
Excellent. So we stick our lawbreakers in jail, rama lama ding dong.
He goes on to question the idea that prison is not efficacious in dealing with crime, asking: "Efficacy by what standard?" By which he means: a standard of rehabilitating criminals, or a standard of protecting the innocent from them?
Ok, fair enough. But he sure doesn’t continue the logic, does he? By what standard are people convicted as criminals? It’s certainly not clear harm perpetrated on others, is it? How is getting high necessarily harming others (or materially different from getting drunk)? How is producing, buying, or selling some substance necessarily harming others (or materially different from producing, fermenting, and distilling grain)? How is exchanging money for sex necessarily harming others? How about "illegal" gamblers? How about in Washington State, where you can go to jail for years for engaging in online gambling? And how about the numerous British public-company executives arrested, charged, and awaiting possible prison time for operating legal online gambling enterprises in their own countries? And what about the states where you can be locked up for the manner in which you conduct your peaceful affairs surrounding your interest in firearms…? What about that? Kim? Should I go on?
And I’m not even getting started on all the failed social programs that have literally created home-grown war zones where innocent kids are born and bred to be predators.
I recall reading a quote somewhere recently that went something like, "where there are laws, there you will have criminals." I couldn’t find a reference, but here’s one from the 6th century, B.C.
The greater the number of laws and enactments, the more thieves and robbers there will be. ~ Lao Tzu
Get it? Two-thousand, six-hundred year-old wisdom, and it’s still not enough for most people. Well, Kim du Toit is probably a generally nice guy, someone to whose care you could entrust your daughter; often gregarious, kind, and honorable. But he’s not wise, and I think that’s what this world needs. Far more than anything, this world needs wisdom — true, deep, humble, thoughtful, honest, non-politicized, non-advantage-seeking: wisdom.
I’ve actually addressed this whole issue before, but let’s refresh.
- Over 9 million people are held in penal institutions throughout the
world, mostly as pre-trial detainees (remand prisoners) or having been
convicted and sentenced. About half of these are in the United States
(2.03m), Russia (0.86m) or China (1.51m plus pre-trial detainees and
prisoners in ‘administrative detention’).
- The United States has the highest prison population rate in the
world, some 701 per 100,000 of the national population, followed by
Russia (606), Belarus (554), Kazakhstan and the U.S. Virgin Islands
(both 522), the Cayman Islands (501), Turkmenistan (489), Belize (459),
Bermuda (447), Suriname (437), Dominica (420) and Ukraine (415).
- However, more than three fifths of countries (60.5%) have rates
below 150 per 100,000. (The United Kingdom’s rate of 141 per 100,000 of
the national population places it above the midpoint in the World List;
it is the highest among countries of the European Union.)
Did you get that? The U.S. has 4% of the entire world’s population,
yet 22% of its prisoners. It has more people locked up than any other
country, including communist China, and it locks up more as a
percentage of the population than any other country. 701 out of every
100,000, which means you have a far greater chance of being a victim of
American enthusiasm for creating and prosecuting "crimes" than you’ll
ever, ever have for getting whacked by a terrorist. 701 out of 100k in
America. Western Europe? Less than 100, on average. If you’re a Swiss
citizen and you immigrate to the U.S., you’ve just made it 10 times
more likely that you’ll spend time in prison during your lifetime.
The awful French, right? Well, if you move there from here,
especially if you’re an inner-city black man, you’ll cut your chances
of ever going to prison by a factor of eight.
But at least we have some close company, eh? Russia. Belarus. Kazakhstan. Feel honored, Kim? Seeing as how we’re locking up about 15 times more "criminals" than Japan, and about seven times more than most of western Europe, we ought to see immense crime waves passing through those countries any day now.
I’ll expect you to gloat about it, too. Serves ’em right for not being man enough to lock more people up.