Outlaw heroin! It now kills more people than guns!
Oh wait, you mean to tell me that there is already a ban on heroin? Oh. wait, and drug dealers and drug users are still selling/using heroin despite the ban? So, bans don’t work? Is that what you’re saying?
Okay, you see the obvious parallel here. Despite the War on Drugs and state and federal laws criminalizing the possession, use, distribution, transport, etc. of heroin, drug cartels are still finding ways to disseminate heroin into the U.S. at what appear to be record levels.
So, by the same logic, what would a universal gun ban accomplish? Would it stop gangs and drug dealers from obtaining firearms? Heck no. It would only disarm the law-abiding gun owners.
The takeaway is that so long as there is a strong demand for something, there will be someone willing to supply it. On that note, troubling statistics from the CDC, released Thursday, indicate that more people died from heroin-related causes than from gun homicides in 2015.
In total, there were 12,989 heroin deaths in 2015 compared with 12,979 gun homicides. Overall, opioid-related deaths surged to over 30,000 last year, up nearly 5,000 from 2014.
“The epidemic of deaths involving opioids continues to worsen,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden in a statement. “Prescription opioid misuse and use of heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl are intertwined and deeply troubling problems.”
Fentanyl, a synthetic opiate that is 40 to 50 times more potent than street-level heroin, seems to be the main culprit driving up the death tool. Ingesting even a very small amount through the skin can be deadly. Watch the video below for more details.
As mentioned, since there is already a ban in place (that clearly isn’t working), lawmakers are turning to alternative measures to address the problem.
“The prescription opioid and heroin epidemic continues to devastate communities and families across the country—in large part because too many people still do not get effective substance use disorder treatment,” said Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy, in a statement. “That is why the President has called since February for $1 billion in new funding to expand access to treatment.”
The question is why won’t gun-grabbers learn from the failed War on Drugs? Bans or supply-side approaches don’t work! They never will. To address the issue of drugs and crime you must address the individuals who are at-risk of doing drugs and committing crimes.
On that note, check out this article: A Real Solution to Gun-Related Violence? Programs Targeting ‘Key Offenders’ Show Promise. It shows that we must stop focusing on the item and start focusing on the criminals who use or misuse it.