Stop the war and end the killings
Friday, Aug 3, 2012
* The Sun-Times’ John Fountain wrote a column last month entitled “Why can’t we stop the killing?”…
I am sick and tired of writing stories about kids caught in the crossfire — about a little boy having his brains blown out while watching cartoons, or little girls being shot while jumping rope, or being pushed by their mother in a stroller, or while selling candy. So sick and tired.
When will it stop?
And after all these years, I finally know the answer. It’s simple: When we muster the collective will — moral, ethical and political — to make it stop, by any means necessary.
* Former Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney James Gierach responded…
As a former Chicago prosecutor, I sat on the edge of my kitchen chair as I read Sun-Times columnist John Fountain’s July 5 piece,“Why can’t we stop the killing?”
But like many in positions of influence, Mr. Fountain cannot see or chooses to ignore the prohibition elephant in the room. His answer is that we need the “moral, ethical and political will” to make the killing stop. I don’t know which to do first: vote, pray, go to church or continue doing all three.[…]
I support CeaseFire, but all mainstream violence solutions have a serious shortcoming: They start with prohibition as a given. Prohibition has been the bipartisan political consensus ever since President Richard Nixon declared the glorious war on drugs in 1971. I support calls like that of Mr. Fountain for more social, religious, economic and political initiatives.
But each of us should demand an end to the war on drugs—not because drugs are good but because the drug war is worse.
The war against drugs doesn’t work; it puts more uncontrolled and unregulated drugs everywhere. Both the good guys and the bad guys support it: the drug cartels and Chicago street gangs on one team, and the police, court and prison personnel, drug treaters and municipalities that share in forfeited plunder with the relish of Uncle Scrooge on the other.
Who is against the drug war? Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
LEAP is an international nonprofit of former drug warriors. Drugs are too dangerous not to control and regulate, and prohibition has surrendered that control to street gangs and cartels. It is time to create a system of control and taxation with different regulations for different drugs depending on the relative harm posed by different substances.