We all mourn the loss of those beautiful children at Sandy Hook, but there are children dying daily as a result of this war too. Here's how Dan Kahan, Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School, put it in describing his reaction to the shooting in Newtown.
The shooting upset me (as it did many, of course). But it upset me, too, to realize that I’m not that upset more or less continuously, because in fact young kids are being shot more or less continuously—not in elementary schools in communities like Newtown, but on street corners & playgrounds in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles and Detroit.I know people will say its a pipe dream (pun intended) to think about actually stopping this particular brand of carnage. And I'd agree that its not likely to happen overnight. But when we see people as diverse as those involved with the Breaking the Taboo movement aligned with the likes of Pat Robertson and the pages of the Wall Street Journal, perhaps its time to start taking it seriously.
They are essentially part of the War on Drug’s “collateral damage.” And I guess in the same way we don’t worry overmuch about “collateral damage” in the form of deaths to civilians in our other wars, we don’t really get distracted by it here at home. . . .
However much progress one thinks can be made by laws restricting firearms, orders of magnitude more can be made by ending drug Prohibition, which like alcohol Prohibition combines opportunities for monopoly profits with the necessity for violent, extralegal enforcement of commercial obligations, creating a hyper-homicide cocktail potent enough to bend the historical curve of pacifism that is the signature of liberal markety societies.
There's no one answer to the problem on gun violence in this country. But as we begin the conversation, it would be crazy to not include ending this stupid war on drugs.