morriswalters wrote:I'm not sure what to make of this discussion. If the idea is that drug interdiction causes drugs to become valuable enough to smuggle, well sure. So what? Legalizing drugs would probably make things better in the short term. But in the long term the forces that drive gangs would still be there. And they will be directed somewhere. And the weapons wouldn't go away.
To me, your comment sounds like that: "Let's not legalize drugs because gangs would then use other business opportunities".
Well, what are they gonna turn to, I ask you? Human trafficking, prostitution, exploitation, arms smuggling? Breaking news, they already do that. Taking away their most basic, most stable and most valuable source of income is surely more helpful than leaving it to them. And things do get better in the long run, too - there are at least three countries in Europe showing this. And it's not that it just becomes magically valuable only because of illegality - there's also a huge part called "demand that can not be satisfied otherwise".
Whenever basic human needs are pointlessly restricted, it completely undermines authority, trust in authority and, by extension, the belief in democracy because people see an unjust and cruel system. At least I know that I feel uneasy and anxious around police all the time, no matter if I'm innocent or not.
That's why I'm as a former hardcore anti-gun person reconsidering my position, standing firmly on "undecided"-ground for now. Philosophically it's a very easy question for me (= no gun prohibition), but there ARE effects to be taken into account in the real world.