“A nationwide outbreak.”
According to the FBI, there were 11,004 gun homicides in the U.S. (65% handguns, 6% rifle/shotgun, 30% other/unknown type) in 2016 alone. Now I’m not denying that the vaping industry needs to be scrutinized and held to the highest possible standards; but companies like Juul aren’t the ones who are shooting up children in public schools. It’s been 20 years since the Columbine Massacre, and we still have people mass-murdering kids all over the place in this country, with a new massacre happening every week. So why aren’t these issues being prioritized the other way around? Our lawmakers care enough about our children to try and ban vaping, but not enough to ban civilizans from owning grenade launchers or sniper rifles? What’s wrong with this picture?
And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 480,000 people die in the U.S. each year thanks to cigarette smoking—and more than 41,000 of those deaths are the result of secondhand smoking, meaning those poor souls weren’t even smokers themselves. So 11 people die from vaping and we’re all supposed to treat that as an “emergency”; but the 480,000 people who die per year from smoking? Nevermind them, that’s just a statistic. Our politicians will crack down on vaping quick as you please, but they still drag their feet on much more critical public health issues like smoking and gun violence. This indicates to me that they really don’t care about protecting our children or making the country safer. They make too much money off all that tobacco and all those guns to do any different.
Congratulations to the Reverend Deanna Hollas, whom the Presbyterian Church has appointed as the nation’s first ever gun violence prevention minister. This is part of an attempt by Presbyterians to make their churches more active in preventing gun violence. Here’s wishing Reverend Hollas all the best as she blazes this new trail. I would love to see more churches (of all faiths) participate in this kind of program. This is no longer a partisan issue between conservatives and liberals, but a national crisis that is harming all of our children (including the ones who survive).
Earlier this month, the NRA tweeted this:
Someone should tell the NRA to shut the fuck up and let the medical community do its job. Nobody bats an eyelash when doctors advise their patients to quit smoking; I fail to see how gun ownership should be treated any differently. Newsflash, assholes: our gun culture has now become a major public health crisis. With all the mass shootings that keep happening across this country every week (including this week), there is simply no way to deny this fact anymore. And something clearly needs to be done about it, because this situation just isn’t sustainable. At the current rate, we’ll be lucky if any of our future generations make it to their high school graduations alive. Honestly, it’s getting to a point where I don’t ever want to leave my house anymore, because the world outside has become even more unpredictable and dangerous than it was before.
The NRA has no business telling the medical community what to do. These people are doctors, nurses, and other medical experts; they’re the people you want by your side when you have a fatal gunshot wound and mere minutes to live. And as far as I can tell, none of them are talking about banning guns altogether. They’re only calling for more intensive research on gun violence, and for talking to patients about the dangers of gun ownership. That’s it. And just like smokers who continue to light up after they’ve been advised not to, gun owners won’t be under any obligation to listen. They can keep their guns and perform fellatio on them for all anyone cares. The NRA is just bristling about this because it doesn’t even want the issue to be discussed, and that is an extremely dangerous position to take. I don’t care how much you dislike the idea of gun control; if you think doctors shouldn’t be discussing this issue at all, then perhaps you should forego calling an ambulance the next time someone shoots your ass.
Hats off to all the ladies and gentlemen who work in medicine and who have been reacting to the NRA on their social media. Now is not a good time to be silent.