Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Baby Steps in Reform

Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

His crib.

The Georgia toddler was badly burned by a flash grenade during a drug raid gone wrong. A remorseful sheriff’s department claims they could not have known what would happen.

But such botches are not rare.

The War on Drugs is habitually conducted via late-night, no-knock, violent intrusions into homes. That’s now a main part of the standard modus operandi.

OverkillThe raids are often based on scanty and unconfirmed information. They proceed even if no dangerously violent criminal is known to be inside. The drug warriors’ primary concern, they say, is to stop suspects from flushing contraband down the toilet, not to avoid needlessly jeopardizing the lives of known and unknown occupants.

A couple of Georgia lawmakers have offered legislation to reduce the chances of such collateral damage. One would slightly restrict the circumstances in which no-knock warrants could be issued. Another would require most no-knock raids to be conducted between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Though modest steps, they may help save some lives.

But the fundamental problem? The persistence of the War on Drugs.

Waging that war permits endless “botched raids” like the one that almost killed Bou Bou. So long as such invasions remain a standard means of trying to catch dealers with their stash — indeed, so long as the War on Drugs is being waged at all — innocent persons will always be needlessly at risk from the persons charged with protecting them.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Drik says:

    Protecting people from victimless crimes calls to mind the Mai Lai massacre, where Lt. Calley had to destroy the village in order to save it.
    Drug use is now more prevalent than it was when the War on Drugs was started.

    “Now, when what you’ve been doing has not worked for 50 years, it’s time to try something new.” _B Obama.

    Unless it’s the War on Drugs, the War on Poverty, or the Department of Education.

  2. Paul Jacob says:

    Great point, Drik.

  3. Drik says:

    Thank you.
    Curious that this rationale IS being used to justify trashing a policy that has kept in check the influence of a socialist state just off our shores who would have no qualms about serving as a haven or base of operations for those who would seek to destabilize the US.

  4. Bobby says:

    Yes, sadly, there are innocent victims in the War on Drugs. I intuit that there are far greater numbers of innocent victims of drug abusers, whose numbers would be even greater were it not for federal and state successes at interdicting the supply of illicit drugs. This article being a rare exception, I like most of what you write.

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