If Obama Wants to Save Lives, Ban Tobacco, Not Guns

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How many times have you heard Barack Obama say that he wants stronger gun control laws so that we can save more innocent lives? He wants you to believe that guns are responsible for thousands of deaths each year, as if they have some sort of evil influence over people.

If he is really serious about saving lives, then perhaps he needs to take a look at other causes of death in the United States.

According to the CDC, there are 38,851 unintentional poisoning deaths each year in the US. Traffic accidents account for another 33,804 deaths per year and unintentional falls kill another 30,208 deaths per year. All toll, the CDC says there are 130,557 unintentional deaths in the US every year.

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According to CNN, there were 33,636 gun related deaths in the US in 2013. That’s nearly equal to traffic accidents but less than poisonings.

But what about tobacco related deaths? According to the CDC, there are more than 480,000 tobacco related deaths in the US every year. Perhaps the saddest part of that statistic is that 42,000 people a year die from the effects of second-hand smoke. That’s more people dying from second-hand smoke than from guns, falls or poisonings.

Tobacco kills 14.27 people for every one person killed by guns. That’s not to mention the thousands more that suffer from various health problems created by using tobacco products. According to the CDC, using tobacco products has been linked to or exasperates asthma, Buerger’s Disease, cancer, COPD, diabetes, gum disease, heart disease, stroke, HIV, pregnancy, mental health and vision loss.

According to the American Cancer Society, at least $133 billion has been spent from 2000-2012 to treat tobacco-related illnesses.

Looking at the facts, if Barack Obama really wanted to save lives, he would launch a war against tobacco. Banning tobacco would save many thousands more lives than his war on guns. It would also save billions of dollars in medical costs. Just think of how much it would save healthcare insurance companies if they didn’t have to pay out billions of dollars for tobacco-related health problems. It could actually make some insurance companies financially sound.

However, by Obama’s failure to address the tobacco issue indicates that he’s really not trying to save lives as much as he is pushing an agenda to restrict and eventually eliminate the Second Amendment rights of Americans.

I once had a conversation with a man who was anti-gun and supported Obama’s war on the Second Amendment in order to save innocent lives. He was puffing away on a cigarette at the time so I used the tobacco argument with him and he angrily said that he had the right to smoke if he wanted to. I replied that the right to smoke is not guaranteed in the Constitution or Bill of Rights, but my right to own and carry a gun is constitutionally guaranteed. He said that banning tobacco would put thousands of people out of work and I replied that stricter gun control and banning many types of guns, magazines and ammo would also put thousands of people out of work. He paused for a moment and then admitted that I was right.

Next chance you have, try this argument for yourself. I’ve yet to lose this argument with anyone.

Dave Jolly

R.L. David Jolly holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Biology – Population Genetics. He has worked in a number of fields, giving him a broad perspective on life, business, economics and politics. He is a very conservative Christian, husband, father and grandfather who cares deeply for his Savior, family and the future of our troubled nation.

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