Ban It!

There seems to a penchant these days, particularly in the UK, for banning things. Our government just loves to do it – smoking, guns, knives, drugs, driving too fast or too slow, even paid for sex by devious means (although most men would argue that almost all sex is paid for, indirectly at least, but I guess that’s an argument for another day), underage sex – which makes sense when an adult is involved, but what will be next? Overage sex, just in case you have a heart attack and cost the NHS a couple of quid to be certified dead?

I don’t disagree that most of these things (apart from the sex) are undesirable and some are possibly even bad (in a way), but what difference do these idiots think banning them really makes? It’s not as if banning something stops whatever it is – it just becomes illegal and  more expensive and, to some, more interesting!

Think about it! What’s wrong with drugs? If an adult wants to wreck his or her life by becoming addicted, isn’t that his/her choice? If it’s an informed choice and if it affects no one else. But that’s the real and only point – because it will affect others! What is really bad about addiction is the misery it brings to those around the addict and the harm it does to society as a whole. What should be done about that is to explain and demonstrate to young people when they are old enough to understand, but young enough to be persuaded, all the bad things that can and very likely will result.

Education is always the answer to almost all our problems as a species. You won’t get through to everybody and you can’t change the past, or probably even much of the present, but you can explain why a future with or without something would be better and get the vast majority of people to understand it. Guns are not bad. They’re lumps of metal and wood or plastic. Owning a gun is not bad. Even carrying a gun is not bad. Being an asshole who threatens people with a gun, or shoots people because of an argument or just for the hell of it is bad! But the gun itself? Of course not! It’s people who are bad, not objects, or even substances and, like I said, if you want people to be different, then you need to explain logically why to people young enough to make a difference in the future.

Above all, though, don’t lie to kids. Don’t use religion, myth, legend and speculation to explain something you can’t otherwise spell out. Don’t make wild statements about the evils of something you don’t like in order to persuade them to leave it alone, because they’re mostly a lot smarter than most of us think and, in all probability, they already know a whole lot more about the subject than you and I do. Education with total truth is essential and the only way forward and it’s about time we started realising that and acting upon it.

6 Responses to “Ban It!”

  1. Food for thought!

    Where we will have to agree to disagree is:
    1. Siting faith as an explanation for why not to do something (or why TO do something, for that matter.) But you and I know we come from two different schools of thought there.
    2. What and how you explain to children that something is potentially harmful. I feel it’s age dependent. I would tell a 5-year-old something different than I would tell a 12-year-old because there is a difference in the amount of detail that can be fully understood.

    Banning things is rather like locking your door – it keeps the honest people honest and does little to deter the bad guys.
    I so enjoy the passion with which you approach things, Adam!
    I posted on breast cancer awareness today and I’d like you to read it because I can pretty much guarantee it’s a story you’ve not heard before. How do I know this? Because each time it’s told, I hear, “…….I’ve never heard of that before!”
    It’s an important topic and October is an important time to focus on it.

    Have a great day and thanks!!!

    • Thanks for taking the trouble to read the post and comment. I’m not quite sure that we disagree as much as you think…

      I’ll start with #2: Of course, I agree entirely, it’s a question of degree and I DID say when children are old enough to understand. The amount of truth, or the way you explain it, depends on the child’s ability to understand and therefore what you say will depend on age. What you shouldn’t do with reality (rather than fun and fantasy) is to get yourself into to the situation where you have to admit when they’re older that you lied – the “no Santa” syndrome with something that is fundamental and important is just not good.

      As to #1: Yes of course we start from differing standpoints, but if you base everything just on faith, then if they lose their faith then you lose eveything that it based on it. I don’t believe in any religion, (I have my own ideas, but that’s personal), but that doesn’t stop me being honest and decent and probably following at least some Christian prinvciples a whole lot better than quite a few public figures I could name (but won’t because I can’t afford the lawsuits). In my opinion you should educate a child to believe that it is wrong to murder someone and explain why without just saying “Don’t!” If an adult does or doesn’t do something because he or she believes it is the decent way to behave, then that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. If that strengthens their belief in their religion then that’s good for them, but I believe that’s the way round it should be. They should believe in Christianity or any other religion for that matter not only blindly but BECAUSE it follows and promotes the decent values with which they were brought up. If it’s wrong to kill someone then it’s wrong to kill them – not it’s wrong to kill them unless you’re a pro-lifer and they’re a believer in abortion – how does THAT work?

      The one place I believe we really do disagree is that banning things is like locking the door. If a person needs a locked door to keep them honest, then they’re NOT honest and that’s the point I was making about believing in the principle rather than the faith. Locking the door keeps the criminals out – IF you’re lucky 🙂

      I will indeed go and read your post right now since it is a very important subject in the modern world.

      • Good Golly Gosh, where I come from the “locked doors only keeping honest people honest'” is an expression that means ‘locked doors are ineffective’. Bans are ineffective. Saying ‘no’ (in and of itself) is ineffective. Conversely, those same things sometimes entice. It’s all about the challenge for some people,

        I laughed so hard I choked on my coffee when I read your comment on my morning post!

      • Yes. I agree with that entirely, which sort of makes us pretty much in agreement even if we do come at it from very different angles.

        Which (more seriously) is something I’ve always believed – people with good will can sort out most things if only they’re prepared to listen to each other, because most of us want the same things at heart, just not always in the same way 😉

  2. That’s a lot to think about but I mostly agree. Bans almost never work.

    And I too, LOVE your comment on my blog today. Thanks.

    It’s always a pleasure AF.

    • The pleasure is all mine and I apologise for the typos that are no doubt in my comments on your blog (I always seem to manage a few) 🙂

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