A recent comment to our blog was provocative enough that we want to make it an official blog. Bry asked: “Just curious what all of you think regarding the causality of these crimes and the widespread availability of assault style weapons. Liberals would say such easy access to such weaponry is far more responsible for the carnage of mass shootings than marijuana use.” Thank you, reader, for the following response to the question about marijuana or guns:
As far as assault rifles, it would be interesting to see statistically what role they have in mass murder, at least within the US. I may be wrong, but I suspect their role is minor. Personally, I do think we can restrict their availability and still not infringe upon our 2nd amendment rights. There’s got to be some limits to ‘gun rights’ and personal protection, otherwise at the logical (and absurd) extreme, a person can’t be allowed to build a nuclear bomb in their living room, for instance, for ‘home security.’
But you are onto something profoundly pertinent, and that is are guns and their availability the problem behind American violence, or is it mental derangement correlated with prior drug abuse? For me, all the big red arrows are pointing to drugs.
Politically, the left gets mileage by blaming guns exclusively because they know that guns are prevalent within much of rural, conservative America. The strategy is transfer the blame to conservatism for the ideological gain within the eyes of the American public.
Yet the shooting madness invariably revolves around drug abuse, mostly in the big cities where drugs are dealt. It’s gangs, cartels, people on drugs, people seeking drugs- a whole drug culture that can turn deadly violent from time to time. Additionally in my opinion, it is very likely that the violence derives not so much from the illegality of drugs, but from drug-induced mental derangement. Nearly all, if not all, these violent criminals in the drug trade, are abusers of drugs themselves- a little known fact! And personally, I think their use of marijuana over years of abuse, has completely depleted whatever naturally empathy for life they may have once had.
Establishing causality is one of the most elusive challenges of modern science. There are a host of factors to consider- genetics, age, cultural environment, economic status, health, nutrition- all of which in conjunction with drug abuse can influence outcomes.
One school of thought is that violent crime is genetically determined, so there’s not much we can do about it. I think that genetics can play a role, but it’s merely one element within the complex panoply of influential variables. Otherwise we would have to conclude that our ‘minorities’ are genetically more prone to violence (as per statistics), and there’s nothing we can do about. Not only is that racist in principle, it’s wrong. There are many other factors.
But the one persistent variable among all situations, appears to be to be drug abuse! And that specific drug is marijuana. It’s amazing how it always seems to pop up where ever evil acts are performed.
Just Google search any crime and marijuana. Just moments ago, for instance, I was trying to find information about something completely unrelated, but one of the first search results was about a grisly crime recently in southern California where some Middle Easterner was just apprehended I think in Iran, was being extradited back to the US. He and others robbed a medical marijuana dispensary, kidnapped the owner, (this is all ‘alleged’) took him into the Mojave desert where they tortured him.
It’s all too weird, so uncanny. This is happening in our beloved country, founded on ‘goodness’ and care for the human plight, yet this horror continues to happen among us, and appears to be growing. It seems this evil stuff going on, somehow, some way, ALWAYS has a connection to marijuana.
Marijuana is tricky as the devil. We can’t seem to pin it down scientifically, because for whatever science that comes about, it always seems to be ‘iffy’ and inconclusive, or even immediately refuted.
But, if there is a ‘devil’, an agent that brings about wickedness, (picture the dying baby at the Oklahoma City bombing, for instance) in my opinion, marijuana throughout the ages, mostly unsuspected and unbeknownst to mankind, might be its incarnation.