Friday, October 26, 2007
Had a small discussion going on Dan'l's blog recently about bars and booze, and he allowed as how he'd be uncomfortable owning or running a bar, because of some moral qualms about serving alcohol to drunks.
Fair enough. I'd have trouble working in a butcher shop, or driving a truck for Phillip Morris.
My contention is that the guy who bellies up and asks for a cold one is solely responsible for his own actions. Assuming he's not a child, mentally-impaired, or a criminal, nobody should be allowed to tell him what he can or cannot do as long as he isn't transgressing against the rights of others.
Laws, in my mind, should be designed to protect people from each other; not to protect sane adults from themselves.
Read: If somebody drives drunk or stoned and puts somebody else at risk or actually causes them injury or death, then he should get nailed for it. I got nothing against the laws that are designed to keep the inebriated from getting behind the wheel.
This is a big can of worms vis a vis personal responsibility. In my view, if you are an adult in our society, you are on the hook for your actions. You have to take care of your own business, and if it slops over onto somebody else and causes them problems, unless they volunteered to clean up after you, then you have to do it.
The Frankenstein Concept: You create it, you take care of it. If you have a big rock to roll up the hill, you can hope for aid, you can ask for it, but your neighbor down the street doesn't owe it to you to add a shoulder, it's his option.
You don't get to make your problem into my problem unless I offer.
And there are different places to draw the lines. This doesn't mean that you can't help your neighbor if he falls in a hole. Nor that as a functional member of society, you don't have some dues to pony up to enjoy the benefits. Yeah, I hate taxes, but I pay 'em -- that's part of the deal. And yes, we need national health insurance, because it is criminal to have people who can't afford medical care sick or dying when they could be helped. Our country is too rich to be shoving folks off the sled for the wolves.
Starting wars for fun and profit is evil. Evil.
Guy who sells cigarettes, knowing they are poison? Not as evil, because that includes every checkout clerk in nearly every corner grocery, supermarket and 7-Eleven in the country. Do I blame them for death by cancer or emphysema? No. They didn't go out and pull a gun on people and force them to light up.
Guy who buys and tokes on coffin nails these days? He doesn't get to bitch about it if he gets sick from smoke -- it says right on the package the things are going to kill him, anybody with the brain of a turnip knows this, and if he is willing to risk that they won't? It's on him. I'll be sorry that he didn't get that, but it's not my fault.
Guy with heart-disease wants to chow down every day on a couple Triple Whoppers with Cheese and Bacon, that's his choice. If he does so knowing the risks and falls over with a plugged-up coronary artery? Whose fault is it? Not the kid flipping burgers for minimum wage, and not the Burger King Himself. We live in the information age -- if you want to know about what is in your food, you can find out. If you don't care, that's a choice, too.
Like Baretta used to say, "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime."
(And yeah, yeah, I know that Blake got off ...)