By Kevin Boyle Posted May 30, 2012
Our society has copious amounts of cultural wars that are fought on a daily basis. Wars on drugs and bullying just to name some, have taken the blame for problems that we see with our society. We see school shooters and civil disorder and we try to find an answer to fix them. But is it possible that war is not the answer?
The war on drugs is by far the most pointless crusade in the nation today. While drugs are bad for our society, they are not the real problem, drug abuse is. How often do you see someone with a stable heroin habit? Instead of locking them up, it may prove more beneficial to them and society to help them get over their problem. Treatment is better than punishment when it comes to drugs. So what is the point of punishing those with a serious problem?
The first time the U.S. tried to instigate laws against drugs was in the late 1920s. The sale of alcohol was banned and that sparked the most infamous criminal organization. Simply put, substances that people want will find their way whether they are legal or not.
While drugs are an age-old issue there are new scapegoats such as the bullying epidemic. Apparently, kids are bullied at school; this problem has arisen out of thin air. Adults just don’t seem to recall this issue when they were kids, maybe because it wasn’t. Maybe we see a school shooting on the television and think bullying caused this. The simple truth is there is no known correlation between shooters and bullying; the only known thing is they are male and socially awkward. The truth is we don’t know as much as we think we do and when we jump to conclusions we waste time and money. Yes, bullying should be stopped but there is no way it can be, it is human nature.
Both of these campaigns are results of rash thinking. I’ll offer a third case involving Yellowstone National Park in the mid-1930s park rangers mistakenly thought the elk population was endangered. So they killed off the wolf population, which led the elk population to skyrocket and overgrazing killed the elk and other herbivores. Pretty soon the entire ecosystem was destroyed due to a mistaken belief that the elk were endangered.
Generally, those who act first are least informed. We should spend less time acting and more time thinking. For every action we take we affect everyone else. So we should ask ourselves is war the answer?