A Higher Calling

Here's the crime story of the week. New York City cops busted a heroin ring comprised of five religious Jewish guys. Prosecutors allege that the men sold a variety of hard drugs out of a Brooklyn apartment, but would not deliver the narcotics from Friday night to Saturday morning because of Shabbat. The rest of the week they would sell you all the heroin, cocaine and oxycodone you want.

This might seem bizarre unless you think about it. Many on the left, including some in the media, are peddling the sick scenario that selling hard drugs is not a violent crime and should not even be harshly punished. In New York State, liberals have been screaming for years to end tough mandatory prison sentences for hard drug dealers because, in their opinion, the punishment does not fit the crime.

Drug abuse, you see, is not a criminal act in their eyes. It's a disease and the pushers are only serving a demand. They are not doing anything immoral or destructive to society.

That is so wrong-headed it's frightening.

According to the latest statistics available from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly 40,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2010. Between 1999 and 2010, the drug death rate rose an astounding 102%. Why? Because the narcotics are more powerful than they used to be.

In 2011, about 2.5 million people were treated in the nation's emergency rooms for drug emergencies including tens of thousands of children. That's not a disease, that's an epidemic.

Making the death and suffering possible is a small army of callous drug dealers who sell poison. They know that hard drugs can enslave and even kill human beings. They don't care. They also know that once they sell the drugs, they could be used by children. They don't care.

When I was a teenager, drug dealers were pariahs in my Levittown neighborhood. Yes, that was in the suburbs but it was a fairly tough place. Pushers were the lowest rung. Nobody respected them, and few outside of junkies, associated with them. Karma being what it is, many of the pushers wound up dead or in prison breaking the hearts of their working class families.

Now drug dealing is acceptable in some quarters and a segment of our society actually feels sorry for pushers. Editorials describe these parasites as committing "non-violent" crimes. The kind of crimes that should be overlooked. The kind of crimes where you can attend Temple or Church with no problem.

Let me be clear about this. Anyone who sells drugs is a degenerate criminal, a person who should be shunned by decent people. There is no excuse. If you're addicted, get help. If you need money, work for it. When the left shows sympathy for these devils, I ask them how they would feel if their young daughter or son was shooting up heroin. Okay with that?

Blank stares usually follow.

America is in decline and one big reason is that we the people now often refuse to condemn destructive behavior. Many of us have lost perspective.

Drug dealing is a violent crime. It harms human beings. That's it.

  • Bob Hadley

    “Drug abuse, you see, is not a criminal act in their eyes. It’s a disease and the pushers are only serving a demand. They are not doing anything immoral or destructive to society.”

    If you need to build a straw-man to make your case, it’s time to re-evaluate your case. But, you don’t actually need to build straw-man (as embodied in the quote above). You have a very strong case on the merits.

    The quote above is absurd. I bet there are more people in the Flat earth Society than people who espouse that view. Certainly there are more people who believe President Obama is a Muslim, socialist, Kenyan, illegal immigrant than people who espouse this view.

  • Tova Feinman

    I’m thinking this group never cleared their business activities with their Rabbi. I can only imagine their prayers on Yom Kippur.

  • Josh

    I get it that a lot of people feel dealing dangerous, harsh, chemical-laden drugs is a crime worthy of a lifetime in prison, if only to remove that person from society. But by that logic, it seems to me that fast-food peddlers and soft drink distributors are also guilty of crime, albeit to a lesser extent.

    And this is where it gets really strange. The liberals want to police white powder if it’s used to sweeten your tea, but not if it’s used to snort up your nostrils. The conservatives want to demolish the drug trade and give stiff sentences to drug dealers, but it’s a personal responsibility issue if someone wants to sell greasy burgers loaded with fat and cholesterol.

    One argument I hear is that fast-food consumption is something with an accumulative effect, whereas a single shot of heroin has the potential to kill you. Okay. But what do they have in common, though? A person is willingly putting the substance into their body.

    If no one wanted a quick burger, McDonald’s wouldn’t be in existence. And if no one wanted to get high as a kite, drug dealers would be about as commonplace as polio in the US.

    The left and right need to come together on this issue. I can understand where both are coming from. To the drugs in particular, the dealers are scum. But giving dealer A a harsh sentence does not deter dealer B. As long as the market is thriving, policing dealer A is only going to open up territory for dealer B and even teach dealer B how to avoid arrest. Just like if Wendy’s got shut down for health concerns, another fast-food restaurant would move right in to take its place. The demand for the product is still there. The demand for the product is what needs to be treated in equal force.

    I’m not entirely sure if guys like Holder actually have sympathy. My guess is that they just see the inanity of shoving dealer after dealer into prison while drug consumption just goes up in many precincts. “Throw away the key” is obviously not a working policy for the drug police or the drug dealers. Or society.

    Folks need to be deterred from using.

    If my child was shooting heroin, I’d bust my child’s behind and get them into rehab. But do I honestly blame someone else for my child using? I’d have to look at myself, not the guy selling. There’s a lot of bad stuff being peddled out there–most of which is legal!–that I don’t want in my child’s hands. Is it everyone else’s fault?

  • Brian Fr Langley

    There once was a President named Barry,
    and drug use he thought rather merry,
    with others as well,
    all thinking they’re swell,
    but my friend in a pine box I did carry.