By Bretigne Shaffer, April 23, 2015
COMMENT: This essay is especially timely in light of the hysteria surrounding the so-called measles “outbreak,” the coordinated push to require mandatory vaccination, and outlets including USA Today calling for the arrest of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.
Britigne Shaffer adroitly sums up ten rhetorical tricks used by pro-vaccine propagandists to shut down intelligent discussion of important issues surrounding vaccination. A must read!
Whatever Your Views on Vaccines, the Prospect of Forced Vaccination Ought to Make You Very Very Afraid
Do those who believe in mandated vaccination really want to establish the precedent of granting a government body the power to compel people to be injected with substances against their will? You may support the forced vaccination of other people’s children because you think vaccines are undeniably beneficial and problem-free. But you may not be so thrilled about the next substance the state decides everyone should have forced into their veins.
Do you really want to establish the precedent of being able to demand from your neighbors that they pose no risk to you at all? The corollary of course being that they may then demand the same of you? If as a society we decide that we have the right to demand a 100% risk-free environment in which to live then the potential intrusions into our lives are infinite.
… If you do not believe that individuals have the right to control what goes into their own bodies then I have to wonder what rights – if any – you do believe people still have.
It seems to me that, save choosing our mates for us, the last remnant of our self ownership lies in our right not to be directly assaulted, not to have unwanted drugs or other substances forced into our bodies. If you believe that the state has the right to do this, then there is essentially nothing left that it does not have a right to do.
The pro-vaccine lobby has done a phenomenal job of inciting fear among the American public in a way that happens to serve its interests: Fear of little children who may not have been vaccinated; fear of other parents who may make choices different from yours; fear of a disease that in the developed world is far less deadly than lightning strikes. But they’ve left out one of the most frightening specters of all, one that has a truly horrifying historical record of death and destruction: An all-powerful state that can literally do whatever it wishes to those living under it. If that prospect frightens you less than the remote possibility that you might contract measles from my five year old, then quite frankly you scare the hell out of me.