Vice Squad
Friday, October 17, 2003
Pyrrhus Watch: Victory #10

The reverse stings in Chicago (noted earlier on Vice Squad) just go from success to success! Here's the latest from Chicago television's Channel 7: they report that in the first three hours today, 253 of our friends and neighbors have been arrested, and 85 cars have been confiscated! This victory in the war on drugs more than compensates for the disappointing Cub's loss on Wednesday! No longer need we fear that any of our friends and neighbors will seek to pursue their pleasure through unapproved means.

According to the local ABC news report, "The crackdown, with other strategies, helps to curb the number of violent crimes. It lessens turf wars and drive by shootings and murder, which is ultimately the goal." Gee, can anyone think of any other strategies that might be even more effective at reducing turf wars and drive-by shootings? Hmmm, would prohibiting alcohol do it? Maybe not; I am flummoxed. Looks like with this brilliant reverse sting operation, we have stumbled upon an optimal drive-by-shooting-minimizing strategy.

Typing with candor for a second, I think that, given the criminalization of drugs, some efforts to suppress open-air drug markets might be a good idea. But the "given" is so much a second-best (or nth-best) solution that it is hard for me to judge whether any particular tactic is worthy or not. These now thousands of arrests, and the all-but-unconstitutional auto seizures, are far from obvious winners to me, even within a prohibitory regime.

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