Wow… The media really got to you, huh?

Lately, I’ve been making an attempt not to talk to our cabbies as we ride from one place to the other. This is made easier by the fact that the cab companies are hiring older men who can’t hear, so the CB’s turned up all the way, and we’re deafened by static the entire ride. But occasionally, we get a guy closer to our age, who doesn’t get that silence means we don’t want to talk to him, and a conversation held in hushed tones about our block, where he doesn’t live, doesn’t need his commentary. And they all feel the need to throw their two cents in.

The more they do, the more confused I get about their choice of occupation. I mean, why would you be a cabby in the ghetto if you hate black people? What could possibly make you consider a profession that forces you to spend a good amount of time in a rolling box with the very people you hate? In some cases, it’s gotta be that they really just can’t do anything else. Because Jesus, these people are stupid.

For example, did you know all the violent criminals in the US, and especially in Schenectady, are either drug dealers or drug addicts? No one has ever been arrested for beating, raping, stabbing, shooting, mutilating, or killing another human being who wasn’t involved with drugs in some way. And the second they arrest one young blood drug dealer (who’s black, by the way), another one takes his place, and starts hurting people again.

Yeah… that’s what yesterday’s cabby said in response to my comment on New York’s police force seeming to be more interested in drug busts than murders and assaults. “That’s because the murderers and assaulters are all drug dealers and drug addicts. It’s all over money and drugs.”

o.O

But Rayne! My cousin’s sister’s aunt’s best friend’s uncle tried meth just one time, and he was hooked, and started stealing and stuff to get money for it. And someone caught him stealing their stuff, and he went nuts, and killed them.

I hear ya! Drugs do bad things to good people, and some violent criminals were on drugs when they were picked up. But “some” is not “all”, and just as many armed robberies are about the person being flat broke and having to feed their family as they are about drug money. Desperate times, and all that.

For that matter, I’d venture to say that your cousin’s sister’s aunt’s best friend’s uncle is more to blame than the meth. Being a former addict, I can tell you there’s a moment where you go, “Hmm… I wonder if I’m just a little too into this. Maybe I should quit.” I don’t know that I met any addicts at rehab who didn’t say they had similar thoughts. Many say they make a conscious decision not to care before spiraling out of control. I mean, no one really thinks it can happen to them, you know?

“Oh, whatever. I can stop whenever I want. It’ll take a lot more than a couple lines here, a few more there, to get me addicted.”

Not to mention the conscious decision the addict makes to try the drug in the first place. There are very few people who aren’t subjected to some form of drug abuse prevention therapy at some age in these great United States.

The thing about a drug dealer is, usually, the hustler on the street, or behind the door at the knock spot, is just a cog in the wheel. The cashier at the grocery store. A dude trying to make a buck to feed himself and his family. Half of them only own weapons because of who they have to deal with, and the dangers surrounding being a drug dealer, not because they actively seek to use it. The vast majority of the ones I’ve known intentionally keep their weapons in a place only they know, out of reach, and never look at it again unless they’re cleaning it, or find themselves in a position where they have to use it.

I’ve known a couple who had never been in a fight. I’ve known a couple who only fight in defense of themselves or those around them. I’ve known a couple who found themselves in a position to defend a stranger on the street in a situation they knew nothing about, or just walk on by, and they stopped and saved the stranger.

And I’ve known a couple who would just as soon kill you as look at you. But they are in the minority, by far, and usually didn’t come up right to begin with, so they were gonna go bad whether they got involved with drugs or not.

And, naturally, you’ve got the psychotic, power hungry thug often portrayed on television, or the big screen. They’re even fewer and farther between, and they’re easily deflated. Just plop someone in front of them who is completely unfazed by their abuse, and isn’t really afraid to die. They become completely confused, retreat to a dark room to try and figure out how to hurt the person, and finally just wither and die.

Okay, maybe that last is wishful thinking. The psychotic thugs seem to have nine lives. So maybe use nine people who are unfazed?

Let’s say there’s no need to point out that some drug dealers are the equivalent of a WalMart cashier. Let’s, instead, point out to these ignoramuses the fact that most serial killers are white males, and plenty of white people have been arrested for and convicted of armed robbery, assault, possession of drugs with intent to sell. Hell, the chief of police up here was arrested for heading a drug ring, and he’s white!

While the cabby is correct in his belief that in order to do away with the drug-related violence, we have to go after the people involved, he’s completely wrong about which people we should be going after.

We shouldn’t be arresting the weed dealer on the street because the crack dealer behind the window killed a crackhead for looking at him funny. We shouldn’t be putting nonviolent criminals behind bars for the majority of their lives because other people who choose their illegal line of work think they have the right to go around hurting people who piss them off. That’s like hating all bus drivers because one of them intentionally splashed water out of the gutter on your brand new thousand dollar suit. Or deciding to put down all the pit bulls in the world because a few that weren’t properly cared for hurt children. Or executing all the AIDS patients because a few assholes are going around intentionally infecting people.

I’d love to see stories in the news about the dealers I knew who were constantly trying to find and hold down a legitimate job, and barely covering their bills with the money they made selling drugs. I’d love to see an exposé on the ones who try really hard to hold their families together, and don’t go to work till their kids are in bed, and make sure to be there when they wake up, and keep it completely separate from their families. Or even the ones who are heavily involved in the community, and not the way the mafia was–or is, depending on who you ask.

But you might not even see that if pot is legalized. I think even if that happens, it’ll be demonized. Just like alcohol, and cigarettes, and now carbs, and trans fat, and gluten, and high fructose corn syrup.

Anyway… That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

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