I have always said that people should be willing to admit that they were wrong, especially when the facts prove that to be the case; well, I was wrong and I’m admitting it publicly.
A couple days ago, maybe even a week or so, I had a discussion with a friend of mine concerning whether or not DUI, (Driving Under the Influence), should be a crime; punishable by fines or jail time. I took the position that it should, due to safety concerns for others. My friend argued that unless a crime had been committed there should be no punishment.
Looking back on it, I’m pretty ashamed of myself for arguing so fervently in support of my position; I had used the same tactics and arguments I condemn others for using on a variety of issues; employing the emotionally driven ‘What if…’ scenario so often used to support all manner of laws that deprive us of our freedom. For that, I am sorry.
I did not come to the conclusion that I was wrong about this consciously; I think it was something that happened in my subconscious; where emotions were not as strong. It was almost as if my subconscious evaluated my conscious position, then presented it with facts, saying, “Here you go you dumbass, what the hell were you thinking?”
One of the glaring facts I came to accept is that unless there is a victim, unless someone’s life, property, or liberty was harmed, there can be no crime; therefore there can be no law punishing someone for doing that. If someone gets behind the wheel while intoxicated, and makes it to their destination safely, (without harming someone or their property), have they committed a crime? They may have broken a law, but as Jefferson said, ‘Law is often but the tyrants will.’
While I do not recommend driving while intoxicated, (and as someone who nearly lost their life when they did so), I cannot support DUI laws; especially when they are enforced by random check points and routine traffic stops. Saying someone might do something under certain circumstances does not justify denying them their rights. That’s like saying that a person should not be allowed to vote because they MIGHT vote for the candidate who starts World War III. What if, and what might need to be stricken from any argument regarding rights; for they are emotionally based responses, not fact driven logical ones.
Now I’m not saying people should go get plastered and get behind the wheel, I think they should exercise a certain amount of common sense and responsibility; but I do not believe that our legislators, or the police, have the authority to punish people for what they MIGHT do. Using my former logic we may as well fine or arrest ALL gun owners, for they MIGHT commit murder.
I couldn’t see this before, but my subconscious set me straight on it. It’s really quite simple; no victim, no crime; I just couldn’t see it because my emotions got in the way.
Anyway, I wanted to publicly apologize to my friend for being such an idiot, while at the same time making people aware that I was wrong; and that I have the courage to admit it publicly. If more people could/would do that then maybe this country might have a future.
Until next time…