I’m all for rational discourse about topics on which many of us cannot and may never agree. But, when the arguments of those in favor or or against a particular issue are so bizarre and angular, it is clear they are just reaching.
The latest is Wendy Wright, head of the Concerned Women for America group that opposes today’s FDA approval of an over-the-counter post-coitus birth control option. I’m sure there are plenty of good arguments for not allowing adult women to buy contraceptives. I can’t think of a good one, but there has to be some health-related logic that could at least be WORTHY of debate.
This particular reason, however, is not…
Wright also worries that adult men who have sex with minor girls could force the pills upon them.
“Statutory rape is a very serious problem. This decision is going to allow statutory rapists to rely on this drug to cover up their abuse,” Wright said.
First off, this argument makes the mistake of singling out an incredibly small segment of the population and then decreasing that to an even smaller group – Statutory Rapists Who are So Concerned with Getting Caught That They Foist the Morning After Pill On Their Victims. Yeah, I’m sure that is a HUGE segment of the population.
Second, the statment that “Statutory rape is a serious problem,” is enough. If you want to combat the problem, great! I’m all for it. It is serious. It is a problem. But, preventing millions of adult women from using the drug because you want to stop statutory rape? That makes so little sense, I won’t even bother to argue.
But maybe the worst infraction on logic here is the fact that any statutory rapist who purchases the medication WILL ACTUALLY HAVE TO SHOW ID TO DO IT! There solves your problem of them trying to “cover up their abuse.”
Seriously, Ms. Wright. Just stop.
In the second category of bad arguments today, we have John Zotos, co-chairman of the Downtown Entertainment District Association and owner of St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin. The city of Houston is trying to put into effect an all-out ban on smoking in public places including bars.
There is a partial ban already in restaurants and a recent finding by the US Surgeon General’s Office that secondhand smoke is a serious problem (duh!) has bolstered the argument for a full ban in many cities including Houston. Even the city’s restaurant owners would prefer a ban. So, enters Zotos…
Zotos said he also worries a full ban would push his business to bars outside city limits.
Here’s the problem with this argument: it didn’t happen to restaurants. Despite the ban in place, restaurant business has not suffered. The same has been found in cities all over the country who have bans in place. And I don’t know about you, but does anyone honestly believe that a person who lives inside the loop is going to drive half an hour to go to a bar outside the city limits just to smoke inside? Someone might, but enough to make a difference in business. I seriously doubt it.
But, even if you could argue that point, there’s this…
Zotos said he doesn’t think it should be his job as a restaurant owner to enforce the city’s laws.
“It’s hard enough to sell food and booze without having to worry about policing the actions of people,” he said. “It’s just a drag.”
Oh, you mean like carding people you think might be under 21 or calling the cops when there is a fight or calling someone a cab when they are too drunk to drive or asking people to leave when they are disturbing other patrons…that kind of policing? Clearly, this is just TOO difficult. C’mon, there are better arguments than that one.
Like I said, I don’t have a problem with the debate, but at least use better logic in arguing your point. It was like Patrick Ewing saying during the 1999 NBA lockout of why NBA players were demanding higher salaries, “We make alot of money, but we spend alot of money too.”
When you feel something like that coming out of your mouth, best to close it before it escapes.