Sunday, January 15, 2012

Correlation With Liberty

One of the blogs I read regularly (look, see? It's over there to the side of the page) is M. Simon's Power And Control; he's a fellow USN vet and frequently addresses a number of different topics I am interested in but don't have the academic background to follow at a detailed level of discussion - he's good at explaining technical topics to a lay readership. Imagine my surprise upon reading this post title Gunners Look At Drugs.

The Gun Values Board appears to be a forum and one I'm not familiar with. I do know that writers and interview subjects don't always have editorial control over the titles on their published work, but "The Second Amendment Community Tends To Ignore The Connection Between The War On Guns And The War On Drugs" strikes me as more than a little ill-informed in my blog reading experience. The interview reads like an e-mail exchange (and if so the lack of supporting links is kinda annoying, but, again, editorial control and all that) and makes a reasonable if shallow case for the proposition that ending drug prohibition is consistent with defending our Second Amendment rights. You decide.

What I found compelling was the observation that:
Long term PTSD (everybody gets it short term if the trauma is severe enough) is a genetic problem, and roughly 20% of the nation is susceptible. Of that 20%, roughly half have problems well into adulthood. That would be the 10% of the population that are “addicted” to illegal drugs and alcohol.

The core organ involved seems to be the amygdala although the hippocampus is thought to play a role as well. The interesting thing about these organs is that they don’t “communicate” with the brain much except as chemical factories. Neural pathways are sparse into and out of the amygdala. So you can’t “think” your way out of the reactions those organs produce. You can’t will away the fear messages that the amygdala broadcasts.

Two thoughts come quickly to mind; "Just Say No" isn't gonna work for these folks, and it seems a quick jolt actually does make some people better (without quotes, scary or otherwise). I think it's pretty well established that the British shooting community (what there is left of it at any rate) is a good deal more tolerant of shooters having a "quick bracer" over the course of the day than we are on this side of the water. Might be time to give that a second - and actually science-based for a change - look maybe. Probably not, prejudice is so much more comfortable, and this from a group that ought to be more familiar than any with the virulent racism and class-based elitist prejudice that inspired so many of the gun-restricting laws and regulations that bedevil us in the US.

One other consideration did occur; of the roughly 10% of Americans that are genetically susceptible to long term PTSD, and of whom some portion is likely also among the 10% addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, how many are also members of the 60+ million households (that is the number the NRA claims isn't it?) that have one or more guns therein? Which, when you stop to think on it (and for a given value of us), makes them part of us. You know, fellow "gunners", members of the militia if they're the right age, all that inalienable rights guff we prattle at each other about. Unless they're sick, then it's a disdainful sniff and a quick view of our backsides as if they were unclean defilers of our privileged sect.

A closing thought; how about we make a concerted effort to shine a little medical (or any other that seems relevant) science onto what ails them and seriously consider offering our fellow citizens some of the treatment that contributes to unit cohesion and morale, just as we do amongst ourselves now (there's a very backhanded joke in there if your personal kink permits that sort of quirk). It is well established that we the citizenry are "the militia" the 2nd Amendment refers to; I don't read any exclusion to that other than age, so maybe we ought to act - and more importantly, think - just that way and treat our fellow militia members as such.

Think of it as strengthening the frailer links in the chain that guards our mutual rights, if metaphor helps at all.

Go and offer comment at M. Simon's post, he needs better gun rights material to work with. While you're there read the drug related stuff on his side-bar, it's informative. Liberty does have limits, but "Liberty is indivisible" has quite a ring to it.

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