Pubdate: Thu, 15 Nov 2001
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
Copyright: 2001 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


The Nov. 12 article "Children killed with guns a mind-numbing reality" 
dishonors the dead by grasping for the convenient scapegoat of drugs as the 
cause of violence. To speculate that if you could snap your fingers and 
eliminate drugs, the crime rate would drop by 70% to 80%, is unrealistic 
and misleading. The real culprit here is drug prohibition.

The homicide rate today rivals that at the height of Prohibition. Eliminate 
the obscene profits to be gained by drug dealing, and you eliminate the 
violence associated with turf wars and drug deals gone sour.

While we are engaged in wishful thinking that drugs or the drug war will 
simply vanish, why stop there? If we could just snap our fingers and 
eliminate guns, alcohol, poverty, unemployment, hunger, discrimination, 
educational disadvantages or injustice, wouldn't there be a general decline 
in violence, too?

We need to take a cold, hard look at the war on drugs, the booming prison 
population, the increasing racial disparity in who goes to prison and the 
violence engendered by drug prohibition and shift the paradigm from the 
simplistic "blame it on drugs" approach to a comprehensive, sober, mature 
analysis of all of the factors contributing to violence in our city.

Paul Mozina

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