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The Terrible Logic of Kids, Drugs and Killin

February 19, 2007

By Theodore Dalrymple

Whenever I met young drug dealers who had either shot others or themselves been shot, I wondered whether they had any real notion of death as a permanent state of oblivion. They imagined themselves as the heroes of their own funerals, which they themselves would observe and enjoy in some ethereal fashion.

After it was all over, they would come back and resume where they left off. They had the weapons and bodies of men, but the minds of children.

For the moment, at any rate, they seem mainly to shoot each other, except in the odd case of mistaken identity. That is one of the reasons I am against the legalisation of drugs: if it weren’t for the drugs trade, they might turn their guns on the rest of us rather than on rival dealers. Deprived of their stock-in-trade, I doubt that drug dealers would beat their needles into ploughshares.

There is nothing quite like a spate of killings to get the Government’s hands a-wringing. It says it will reduce the age at which a minimum sentence of five years attaches to a crime committed with a gun to 17. I suspect that this will result in a spate of shootings by 16-year-olds. Who says that deterrence doesn’t work?

The Government will admit anything other than that its social policies, and those of previous governments, over the past 40 years have fashioned a psychopathic society in which an uncomfortably large part of the population looks on other people in a purely instrumental fashion, as means for the procurement of their immediate ends. It feels no social bond with them whatsoever.

When you look at the shooters and the shot, a depressingly familiar pattern emerges. They come, for the most part, from broken homes; abandoned by their fathers at an early age, if not before birth, because fathers now believe that incomes are pocket money and are not to be used for the trivial purpose of raising a family (the State being the father of first resort), their harassed mothers, who never seem to learn anything from experience, struggle to bring them up, alternating unreasonable strictness with grotesque overindulgence.

From all of this, the child learns that human relationships are but those of power, and that the only question worth answering is what you can get away with. He soon understands that the golden rule of life is shoot, that ye be not shot. Anything less than a confident swagger is weakness that invites exploitation or worse. The size of the ego is matched only by its tenderness and fragility.

Welcome to the world where Gordon Brown is the nearest thing you have to a father!

Original Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article1403235.ece

 

 
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