I’m starting to think "how
many more people have to die" is the wrong question. I fear that
pondering how many of these deaths it will take to spur people into
seeing the perversity of our drug laws and their enforcement, and
demanding reform is the wrong way to look at it. I’m starting to think
that we’re now moving in the other direction — that these stories
fatigue people. Numb them. Each one gets a bit less outrageous than the
If that’s true, how sad. How incredibly fucking sad if the idea of a
17-year-old kid getting gunned down in his own bed in the name of
preventing people from getting high is no longer capable of making us
angry. And how incredibly fucking scary.
Radley’s right, of course. Still, I don’t know how to keep from wondering. It’s a simple recognition of a manifest fact: a lot more innocent people are going to be murdered by their government in the "War on Drugs."
And then one day, it’ll stop, but only to be replaced by the next "social crisis" that’s used to justify kicking down people’s doors while they sleep, and murdering those who don’t take that invasion in the precisely "correct manner" in the eyes of the marauders.
Once again, it will all be conducted under the veil of "unfortunate tragedies," "complete investigations" ("can’t comment: investigation, dontchaknow"), the very occasional prosecution and hand-slapping of the most egregious, and admonitions that it’s the "sad price we pay" for maintaining social order.
You know the story: to make the omelet (of civil order), you’ve got to break a few eggs (murder a few innocents).
The "War on Drugs" will end when it’s good any ready to end — maybe when enough stupid, scared, malicious AARP old fucks are dead. Or, when people no longer see drug prohibition as a "value" worth pursuing.
That’s when kiddie-porn — or whatever — becomes the Next Great Threat, and we again have something with which to occupy our SWAT teams and Cops shows on the Teevee. Poor 17-yr-old Daniel Castillo could just as easily have been shot in the face a couple of feet away from his sister and 1-yr-old niece had the murderers been executing a "warrant" for porno, guns, "contraband" (uh…no tax stamp) smokes or booze — or any of a hundred other things.
You know what I think the root of it is? I think there are tens of millions of "citizens" who love being citizens, and who love the idea of a sovereign authority. Nothing quite says "I love you," from State to citizen, like dead bodies. An "acceptable" number of innocents is just the unavoidable cost in pursuit of the "greater value."
The value being pursued –acted for — by most everyone, is domination by authority. Used to be the Church, now it’s the State, and the War on Drugs and the next thing, and the next, will all just be minor acts in that overall play.
If people ever value freedom and independence in a non-contradictory way, then things will change from the bottom up. Until then, it’s all just remodeling and window dressing along the march of time.