Barry Fagin (courtesy
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“If inanimate objects like firearms or pills are the root cause of our problems, we can happily skip down the path of the easy answer. If we just vote for the right people and pass the right laws, we’ll legislate bad things into oblivion and our problems will be solved. That’s far more comforting than thinking about mental illness, hopelessness, and the lousy economic prospects for America’s poor. Those issues, the real, substantive ones, are much more painful to confront.” Barry Fagin, Guns don’t kill people, neither do drugs [via]

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  1. I always say just make guns illegal like we did drugs! Then nobody will have them – just like drugs!

    • Have you noticed that some of your drugs come in blister packs. I will leave it up to you to figure out why

      • It is my understanding that blister packaging was not instituted to reduce suicides, it was to prevent contamination (mostly atmospheric) and then make tampering more difficult. Levitt and Dubner also think they are the smartest guys in the room, so much so that they are extremely irritating to listen to, they rather drip with arrogance. Emanuel, well, he is the medical version of his brother.

      • Some are for convenience. Some may be marketing, A lot because when the pill is exposed to air they will lose form and go back to powder.

      • I’m noticing more and more geriatric patients with meds prescribed/dispensed in blister packaging.

        I haven’t asked our MD’s yet why this is, but I’ll tell you this: It helps answer one of our SAMPLE questions right away: “Did you take that medication today?” Just look at the blister packaging and there’s your answer.

        Pills from a bottle? Well, for some people, remembering whether they took it is increasingly a challenge.

    • Given that most/all state governments and our federal government apply the same “solution” to chemical abuse, Mr. Fagin’s argument is dangerous.

      • He has it right about the root of the problem, but then giving a example of a ONE method of suicide and accidental death that has been lowered by regulation is not the best way to promote your argument against increase regulation of firearms.

      • The truth often is painful. The arguments on every side rest mainly on irrational and immoral base assumptions, which is the actual source of the “problems.”

        First, who owns your body? Do you think someone else should control what you do, say, ingest?
        Second, do you think you (or anyone else) have any legitimate authority to control other people and what they do, say, ingest?
        A lot of people don’t want the first, but have no problem with the second. We call that hypocrisy… or politics…

        The desire/lust to control the lives and property of others is the ROOT of all evil. There is no rational, moral or legitimate way to control the life of anyone but yourself. You can agree with others, cooperate, associate voluntary in an infinite number of ways, but once you move to FORCE others to do anything, you have become the evil you think you are fighting.

        • Yep.

          As I get older, I find that the taxonomy of human existence comes down to only two sorts of people:

          Those who want to meddle in other people’s lives, and those who want to leave other people alone. That’s it. That’s the whole of human existence, from the time of Moses until now.

          Why the first group wants to meddle in other people’s lives can be broken out into dozens of reasons, both stated and obscured, but regardless of whether we’re talking of Genghis Khan, Chuck Schumer, the Bush clan, whomever – they want to meddle with other people’s lives.

        • I pity you. And just like with the smelly, dirty, lazy and drunk homeless beggar on the intersection, my pity for you is mixed with disgust. Your rotten mind is even more repulsing than his rotten flesh.

    • ‘Also, itโ€™s worth noting that most Times commenters think the idea is daft.’

      Actually there are a lot of similarities between trying to control weapons and trying to control drugs. First, like drugs there is always a substitute weapon. If you’re going to kill someone you don’t have to have a g un, you c an use a baseball bat or a machete, etc. Likewise if you can’t get your heroin you c an crush up some oxycodone and it will do just fine. If they take your oxycodone you c an go back to heroin, or if you still can’t get that they’ll switch to jenkem or wasp spray. You can’t stop people from getting high or killing people by taking away objects because there are always substitute objects.

      Second, there will always be a black market for banned objects if there is a demand for them. They c an flood our southern border with vaqueros carrying 70lb packs of pot, they c an smuggle g uns just as easily. G uns c an be manufactured in your basement just like methamphetamine. Governments have proven themselves impotent to stop the flow of drugs from reaching those who abuse them, and they’re just as impotent at keeping g uns out of the hands of the gang bangers that commit the majority of murders in this country.

      And third, both drugs and g uns are responsibly used by millions of people, and attempts to keep either out of the hands of those who abuse them only succeed in keeping them out of the hands of those you need them and would use them responsibly.

        • Yes, when I learned about jenkem I realized that the War on Drugs was officially unwinnable.

          What they’re doing with wasp spray these days is almost scarier though.

    • That’s just it; he is in favor of more gun restrictions. He goes on to write:

      “Who should have access to guns and who should not? That’s the right discussion to have. It’s the only discussion that can make progress.”

      Even when he ostensibly focuses on individuals, he still comes back to restrictions on guns. “Access to guns” nominally means defining prohibited possessors and enforcing those prohibitions. Well, we’ve already made those definitions and we already (weakly, but it still happens) enforce those prohibitions. Yet, there are still thousands of criminal homicides annually and presumably far more gun-related assaults, armed robberies, etc. than that.

      After that, the only way to go is toward wide net restrictions that entangle the harmless many in the name of depriving the dangerous few “access” to guns. That’s how we get waiting periods, background checks, purchase quantity limits, magazine limits, etc.

  2. Mr. Fargin’s commentary is like a breath of fresh air in it’s facts and brevity. Unfortunately the politics of “personal responsibility” is a loser for all the reasons he gave. Humans are the most gifted of animals and yet often so dangerous to themselves and others through incompetence and stupidity.

    • So, why in the world would anyone want to prevent the stupid and evil from eliminating themselves from the gene pool? Self selection at its finest. Defend from aggression, most assuredly, but why assume responsibility for those who won’t exercise it for themselves?

      • So, do you wear you seat belt? Do you drink and drive? Do you smoke? I can tell you if you were living in the 70s what your answers probably were. Your “morals” come just as much from the society that you live in than any “responsibility” you demonstrate.

        • BS. You and You Alone are ultimately responsible for your own morals. Choose carefully. You may not get a do-over.

        • Yes you are, and that’s the real bitch of it. YOU and you alone are responsible, but if you think that for one second that you are the only one shaping your morals and actions, then you are also delusional.

        • I was born in 1946, long before seat belts. A really impressive number of us survived that amazing fact. But people have been making bad choices, for whatever reason, since the beginning of human existence.

          The ideal of life for most people is freedom, individual liberty to make their own choices and a life that works for them. It is only in the last 100 years or so that the idea of “safety” has been promoted to the point where people are relieved (or robbed) of their ability to choose, and responsibility for bad outcomes is placed on inanimate objects or other people. Now, that’s a real problem.

          Morals are a distillation of principles. Good from good, and bad from bad, however you internalize them. My principles are non-aggression and a refusal to take part in trying to control the lives and property of others, by any means. Almost everything else comes within those limits.

        • I love how people talk about how much better the past was, Current death rate per billion miles driven is 12, in the 60s it 50 and in 40s it was 100.

          As long as no one else because of insurance or medical bankruptcy had to pay for your stupidity then great, have fun. I wonder how much your insurance would increase if you had a no seat bet rider.

          You can always ride a motorcycle. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Binder, socialized medicine (which is the basis for your moral hectoring here) is another instance of meddling in other people’s lives. A huge one, in fact.

          All supposedly being “for their own good.”

          I always distill this argument down to one question: Do you believe in creationism or evolution?

          The people who answer “evolution” should practice what they preach.

        • ‘Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialized state.’ – Vladimir Lenin

        • Nothing wrong with socialized medicine. It is good to know in an emergency I can go to a hospital or a doctor, receive a diagnosis, get a prescription, and still be able to eat and pay bills afterwards. I only have to pay for the medicine and I have the option of taking generic medicines instead of the brand name ones.

          The marvels of bulk billing. But if you are not a citizen or resident, you have to pay full fee.

  3. The whole point is we do not need a “nanny state” to take of us. Most of us where raised with a book of rules. Government replacing religion and forcing guilt by making even more laws(sins) will never work. A government needs to be a way that thinking people with their own religion can react with other people of different religion(book of rules). While we can not abide crimes that hurt other people, who made the government into God, with final say in the matter. The more laws we make just shows hypocrisy and the futility present. Laws should not be made, they should be monitored and fine tuned. Making of new laws just make lawyers and lawmakers rich by doing the will of for profit entities. Most Christians will go to writings of important people about religion, but the Bible(particulary the New Testament) is the final place to find out what you want.
    We should always go back to our Constitution, BORs, and DOI, before we modify any law. Laws that conflict or are redundant should be abolished – any new law should have an automatic expiration date and our lawmakers should work to make them better or allow them to die.

  4. If you click the link to The Gazette, you’ll notice a couple ads in the sidebar for what appears to be a local gun range.

    I found that refreshing. A lot of news outlets wouldn’t think of allowing such ads.

    • The Gazette is a pretty conservative paper and there are some pretty nice ranges in the Springs. There is also the world (in)famous DragonMan’s just outside of town.

  5. The Gazette tends to lean a bit right, but the news stories are generally without bias, and it does a great job of presenting both sides on the editorial page.

  6. On Pills and Guns ….. Pennsylvania Governor Wolf issued an ” Emergency declaration ” on the opioid problem. —- Trouble is , a State of Emergency now limits LAWFUL gun owners Rights. — No Open Carry , for starters. It will also hurt the NRA Outdoor Show in Harrisburg in Febuary.

    ( I’m sure Dems. regret this …../s/ )

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