ON MAKING STATE LAWS

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Who should make the laws governing the practice of chiropractic? We all understand that while the legislature makes the laws, their responsibility is to pass legislation that represents or reflects the will of the majority as long as that will does not infringe upon common sense or the rights of the individual. We safeguard their ability to do that by having the checks and balances of the Executive and Judicial branches of the government. Perfect examples were the civil rights laws of 1964 and 1965. They were in the sense that this country was founded upon the premise that what is beneficial for the individual (in this case a substantial minority) is what is best for the entire country. It is a good system. Protecting the freedom of the individual protects the freedom of all, the majority included.
When it comes to chiropractic legislation the elected officials are usually nonplused. They want to protect the public, the majority of which do not utilize chiropractic. They want to give freedom to a minority group known as the mixers and an even smaller minority, the straights. They attempt to get the two sides together to work out a bill that is acceptable to both. Sometimes it works, most of the time it does not. What is the solution?
Would you rather churchgoers or prison inmates make laws governing criminal behavior? Most people would answer churchgoers. People who attend church regularly, for the most part, live by certain principles which benefit society. The key word here is principles. Criminals have no principles. They have rejected proper behavior necessary for the perpetuation of a society. There are always exceptions to the rule but we don’t make rules for the exceptions. It is conceivable that abuses would occur. The churchgoer may make laws too restrictive, infringing upon the rights of the individual. This has happened historically (the Sunday Blue Laws). But, there is always a safeguard, a solution. In the United States we have the Constitution. While the churchgoer may occasionally violate the rights of the individual, the criminal does it as part of his lifestyle. He recognizes no ones rights with the exception of his own. He may violate someone’s right to life but expects to be set free if the arresting officer fails to read him his rights. Rape, robbery, murder, etc. are, for all intents and purposes, a lack of recognition of another person’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (property). The criminal may have standards or a “code of ethics” and every prison has its “unwritten laws.” They are usually warped and totally subjective. The burglar doesn’t view himself as bad because he would never think of murdering a person. The prostitute doesn’t view her activity as a crime. The embezzler doesn’t think he’s hurting anyone. Even the murderer looks down on the child molester.
How does all this relate to chiropractic? Before beginning I should preface my remarks by saying I am not inferring that mixers are criminals. Only the courts have the right to judge who is a criminal. I am not even inferring that the vast majority of mixers think this way. However, I see some pretty frightening similarities in the thinking of a small group of mixers. Unfortunately this small group is trying to change state laws. Those who know their limitations should make the laws. Those who stay within certain boundaries should define the boundaries. Those who see no boundaries should not have the right to define them. The straight chiropractor has standards. He calls them principles. They make up the philosophy of chiropractic and dictate his objectives and scope of practice. By calling himself a “straight” chiropractor he is imposing a code of conduct upon himself relative to his practice. The mixer, on the other hand, is continually attempting to broaden the law. Year after year he goes back to the legislature with the request that they make legal what was once illegal. Today, physical therapy, tomorrow acupuncture, the next year minor surgery. The mixer belittles the principle or standards of the straight chiropractor. Philosophy is a compilation of principles with implications as to practice.
He ridicules philosophy. He sees nothing wrong with every chiropractor practicing as broadly as he so desires. The straight limits his practice to the correction of vertebral subluxation. He recognizes the rights of others, particularly the M.D. and the allied therapies. They have prior rights to the treatment of symptoms and diseases. Those are their property rights and any infringement upon them should be as illegal as claim-jumping or horse-stealing. The mixer ignores those property rights. He believes anything is his as long as he can hold on to it. However, he also sets standards. When he feels his rights are being infringed upon (the P.T.’s manipulating), he wants to call in the law. The old saying that freedom to swing your fists ends at the beginning of your neighbor’s nose applies here. The chiropractor should have the freedom to practice as long as he is not stealing someone else’s property (prior practice rights).
Criminal psychologists tell us that the greatest problem in dealing with a criminal is arrogance. The criminal has a high opinion of himself. He thinks he is above the law and that the rest of the world is stupid. He thinks society owes him everything and he owes society nothing. The “straight” person of society, the person who lives by the law is a fool. There seems to be a bit of that attitude in the mixer with regard to his opinion of the straight. He feels he is above these principles that we call philosophy. He has a high opinion of himself and his ability to practice a broad spectrum of procedures (and run the human body). He sees the straight as a fool, not nearly as smart as he. He thinks nothing of depriving the straight of his rights (witness the laws excluding the straights from practice). There are hundreds of graduates of straight colleges that are denied the right to make a living and the pursuit of happiness. That right has been stolen by a mixer. For what reason? Because the straight wants to practice within the confines of a standard, set of laws and principles called the philosophy of chiropractic. Not allowing a graduate of a straight college to practice in one state is wrong. Not allowing him or her to practice in 35-48 states is criminal. The legislature is not responsible for that, the mixers are. If it seems that I am a bit upset it is because I am. The mixers are here and I am afraid they are here to stay. But the straights had better recognize this small group of them for what they are.
The world is full of criminals both in and out of institutions. They will always be with us. If they want to change, fine, but otherwise we recognize them for what they are a threat to law-abiding citizens and satiety. We don’t befriend them, we don’t allow them to work with us, we don’t join them, we don’t give them positions of authority in government or industry and we don’t trust them. The straight chiropractic movement had better be just as wary.  V3n1

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