Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What is worth giving up for personal security?

Is there a connection between crazed attacks and pharmaceuticals?  A side worth hearing:

Some thoughts to ponder.  If there is a causal relationship between these mass killings and the unfortunate side effects of psychopharmaceuticals, would it be better to mostly give up the massive availability of these prescription drugs for the populace.   Assuming for the moment that more suicides are prevented by these drugs than caused by these drugs (and many are caused by them), is it better for there to be more adults and teens taking their life (and trying to address this problem through other means) than to have kids turning psychotic and possibly harming several pre-adolescent children?

Let's set the gun issue aside for the moment and try to answer that question honestly.  There are many other causal policies that impact so many other childrens' lives; so many potential laws (concerning medical practice or automobile use or toxic chemical use, etc.) that could mean so many more parents not having to spend a sad Christmas wondering why fate singled them out for this ultimate tragedy.   Of course, it is apparently not sheer numbers of children harmed that seem to foment a demand for action, but the idea of several small children meeting a linked tragic ending all in one foul swoop.  That supposedly must be prevented at all costs, even if it means suppressing serious discussion of 2nd Amendments rights as the "price of our freedom," the availability of arms as our ultimate guarantee against totalitarianism.  Preventing similar tragedies that result from terrorist attacks is however not considered so essential that we need to give up our Constitutional rights of privacy (which Amendment is that?), or at least that is what most progressives and liberals expressed prior to Obama's presidency.

What if the Columbine killers had successfully carried out Plan A, which was to blow up the school and kill every kid inside, instead of the few that they settled for?  Would that have been worth a Patriot Act or more intrusive invasion of privacy to prevent the accumulation of materials that might possibly be used to make a bomb?  What rights of privacy should we give up to prevent sex trafficking in the U.S.?  Would a kind of Patriot Act be worth having fewer women chained surreptitiously in the basements of private residences?  Is leaving these women in hell the "price of our freedom" (as President Obama would phrase it)?

I don't think there is a single issue like this that can't be demagogued and essentially reduced to an emotional argument.  What amount of safety and security is worth giving up essential liberty?  

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