By Leyland A. King June 10, 2017
After centuries of arduous work to give me freedom by saving me, I beg of you, please stop. The fact is, that when there is any rescuing done at all, the beneficiary is only you. For centuries!
Of course, external threats and domestic terror are exempt. That is your cardinal role, and even that needs rethinking, but it’s not my focus here. What are my focus and consternation are the sweat and treasure needlessly expended; all devoted to saving me from myself. I never made an appeal and I am so aware that even if I did, the remedy you concoct is too often detrimental to me and those similarly entangled in the widening, strengthening, all-consuming tentacled web flung upon me. Me! A person whose greatest vice is a weekend gelato and a pecan sticky bun.
You, having made vices crimes, then turn around and tax the very crimes. I am flabbergasted that you could not have distinguished (1) the difference and (2) the consequence of the crimes you created.
Since our institutions follow your lead and adopt your worldview, one cannot be surprised that the sale of two cigarettes might be more important than human life; in your zeal to save me from myself, I pay the price through my insecurity and unceasing surveillance. Thus, I don’t have to actually engage the marijuana crime, it is sufficient to lose my personal freedom or life because a cop claimed to have smelled marijuana as he passed my car. Demanding that my constitutional rights are respected could bring upon me a swarm of law enforcers to kill me. I’m not exaggerating, this is what you have done to save me from potential vice. Me!
Gambling is a vice. You made it a crime. A few retirees and six slot machines in a storefront, bring hell’s coals upon them. Secretive sex; having a beer all by myself on my own driveway, could get me manhandled and arrested if a paper bag didn’t cover the bottle. Masked, armed men could break down my door and enter my home night or day and take me out or take me away because, I suppose, they think I am some sort of a combatant in the war on drugs.
The interesting thing is, despite my plea not to be saved from myself, you’re determined to do it anyway because you are obsessed with what you call law and order -what I hear as control and contain. We ask for jobs, you offer us 10,000 more cops. Not to be outdone your Attorney General, who has panic attacks at the mere mention of the word marijuana, called for increased prison time; more private prison space; he decided, based only on his addled notion, that the police need to be unfettered from such inconsequential matters as arbitrary arrests, detention, brutality, and murder.
So, as state governments grapple with pressing matters like drug testing the poor; increasing the rate of executions lest the chemicals expire; to shoot death row criminals because it’s cheaper, unhindered by pesky constitutionality, and trips back and forth to the Supreme Court. So, my dear rulers, I’m not asking for much, just to be left alone to self-regulate me.