Pubdate: Tue, 16 Apr 2002
Source: High Point Enterprise (NC)
Copyright: 2002 High Point (N.C.) Enterprise
Author: Clifford A. Schaffer
Referenced: (March 29 Letter)
Referenced: (April 1 Letter)
Referenced: (April 12 Letter)


Arthur Lyon suggested that we should shoot all drug dealers (Letter Box, 
March 29). In response (April 1), I asked him a couple of simple questions:

1) How many people are currently killed by drugs?

2) How many people should we kill to solve the problem?

I asked these questions so we could determine whether his proposal would 
kill more people than the problem we are trying to solve. I then stated 
that people who make this suggestion never know enough about the subject to 
answer basic factual questions.

In response to my letter, Lyon says that he has decades of experience 
working with alcoholics and drug addicts and rants about the damage caused 
by drugs (April 12). Of course, there is no question that drugs cause 
damage to both individuals and society, and Lyon certainly should be 
congratulated for a career of helping others. But that wasn't the issue. 
The issue was whether Lyon can answer basic factual questions about the 
subject - enough to determine whether his plan is a good idea. He 
apparently can't.

I want to thank Lyon for demonstrating my point - the people who make these 
extreme proposals have never read any of the most basic research on the 
subject and can't answer basic factual questions.

If he is actually interested in the answers to those questions, he can find 
a wealth of information on the subject at The collection there includes the full 
text of nearly every major study of drug laws over the last 100 years.


Canyon Country, Calif.
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