Four hours ago, Australian nationals Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the ringleaders of the heroin-smuggling syndicate known as the “Bali Nine”, were executed by firing squad on Nusakambangan Island in Indonesia. A ten-year-long media feeding frenzy might now finally come to a halt.
I have already copped a gutful of abuse, not to mention threats, for articulating the Libertarian position on drugs on this forum. Which of course was deliberately misunderstood and misrepresented. So once again, in simple English: No-one I have ever met—no-one—wants to see more drug addiction, more families destroyed, more parents burying their children or more children growing up in state care because their parents are high, in jail, or dead. We all want to see less, and ultimately none. But you won’t, and you never will, achieve that end by passing laws against drug use or drug trafficking.
PROHIBITION. DOESN’T. WORK. It doesn’t. History has demonstrated it over, and over, and over again. How much more proof do some people need? Be it drugs, be it guns, or be it alcohol, prohibition won’t stop people getting what they want badly enough. Here’s what prohibition will do, and already does: criminalize those who are otherwise not minded to break the law, foster contempt for the law generally, skyrocket the market price, place distribution into the hands of professional criminals—like Chan and Sukumaran—and corrupt police, government and the courts while exploding the prison population. That’s the situation we face today—all that, just so a few moralists and statists can feel good about themselves. A bloody high price for the rest of us to pay, if you ask me, especially since the addicts keep piling up.
I am also against the death penalty. It is state-sanctioned murder. I am against it for a multitude of reasons that I’m not going into today. Maybe a dedicated thread later this year. Self-defence, of yourself or your loved ones, is an accepted defence at law against a charge of manslaughter. And the state has officially decreed that these drugs are deadly. Well, you join the dots.
But please: let’s get a sense of perspective. I’m not going to shed any tears for these two low-lives. They were caught ten years ago attempting to smuggle 8 kilograms of heroin into Australia, with an estimated street value of AUD4 million. These weren’t some foolish young kids skylarking: they were a syndicate of hardened, career criminals. The crowds of people holding candle-light vigils for them, including our national leaders outside Parliament House last night, were a joke. As was this sententious video of the usual conga-line of actors and celebrities telling Prime Minister Tony Abbott to “grow some balls” and “bring our boys home” His name is mentioned in the clip over forty times:
“The time for diplomacy has now passed?” “You have the power”? “Mister Abbott, go to Indonesia?” And do what? Storm the beaches?
What a bunch of narcissistic, attention-seeking hypocrites. So, they stand for mercy? Oh, really? Do you have any idea how many hundreds of lives four million bucks worth of heroin can destroy? What about the innocent victims? Not the addicts—theirs was an act of free choice. But what about the families of the addicts? Not to mention the victims of crimes committed by addicts? Where were all these actors, celebrities and other self-seekers then? Where were their candle-light vigils—outside the court houses, the hospital emergency wards and the morgues? Chirping crickets, as usual. They’ve already forgotten about them, as they’re chauffered off to their next photo op. Their pleas for “mercy” appear highly selective, wildly misplaced, not to mention cynically political.
It makes me want to vomit. I spent years pulling half-dead bodies (and more than one dead one) out of the gutters of Sydney’s Kings Cross and Darlinghurst. I don’t need pious lectures from anyone: I’ve seen for myself the damage hard drugs can do, I watched them take my best friend, and I still don’t want laws passed against them. Those laws just don’t work, and they inflict irreparable harm on our society. The sooner we start treating drug abuse as the physical and mental health problem that it is, instead of wiping our hands of responsibility by artificially criminalizing them, the sooner we put scum like the Bali Nine (now just the Bali Seven) out of business permanently, and the sooner we start on the long road to rid our society of their scourge once and for all.
No, those two bottom-dwellers shouldn’t have been shot. Not by the state, anyway. But by the father of one of their victims? Don’t get me started—I’m a dad too.