I read in Sunday's paper about the Watertown father who
The story really makes the dad sound like a hero. Let's look at the facts.
- Man, 24, walks into store and buys legal product
- Man consumes product
- Man winds up in hospital
- Man's father calls store, threatening to fucking kill employees
- Man's father walks into store, threatens employee who may or may not have carried out the initial transaction with a baseball bat
- Man's father destroys store displays and other legal products
- Man's father calls the police on himself and waits around to be arrested
Well, at least he did the last thing properly.
Look, say what you're going to say about bath salts as a new drug of choice for a lot of people, and say what you want about the synthetic drugs being legal in many communities, and in most communities until very recently.
The fact is that these substances have been legal and people and stores have been paying taxes on their purchase.
Here's another fact: People have been using substances to escape their drab, wretched lives for millennia.
A third fact: We still use them. Some of them (like alcohol and tobacco) are legal and taxed. Some of them (like heroin and cocaine) are not. Some of them are misappropriations of legal substances (for example, I burn incense once in a while so my bedroom doesn't smell like dog; other people wrap it in paper and smoke it for a high).
Love it or hate it, we're a free market economy. People are going to sell whatever the free market is willing to buy, whether that stuff is legal or illegal.
Let's take the same situation and make it a different product, also legal, also known to be dangerous if misused.
- Man, 24 years old and severely overweight, walks into McDonald's and orders 3 Big Mac sandwiches, a large soda and some French fries
- Man consumes the food in one sitting at the restaurant, refilling his soda cup twice
- Man goes to hospital with chest pains, has heart attack
- Man's father calls McDonald's, threatening employees, "You saw my son is obese and you sold him all that salty food? I'm gonna fucking kill you."
- Man walks into McDonald's with a baseball bat, smashing up the restaurant and threatening employees.
For some reason, that's just not a stretch to me. Our free market economy values easy access to quickly available foodstuffs. Most people shouldn't be taking advantage of that access, and that access can be dangerous if misused. Same with the synthetic drugs.
Forget for a moment that the dad was protecting a grown man who, at 24 is very much responsible for his own actions, not a 12-year-old or even a still-growing-into-his-skin 20-year-old. The dad's not a hero. He's a violent guy who threatened people taking home a small paycheck who were working at a legal retail business that pays things like property taxes (even if through rent), sales tax and payroll tax – a business he defaced, destroying merchandise and displays.
He's not a hero, he's a danger to people around him.