Quote of the day—DebateChallenge

If you care about saving lives than you should crack down on cigarettes. Cigarettes cause about 480,000 deaths per year, there are far more deaths by cigarettes than there are deaths by guns. And of those 480,000 deaths, about 41,000 of them are from secondhand smoke. So just secondhand smoke alone causes about as much, if not more, deaths than guns.

December 17, 2017
Comment to Should Hawaii become the model for nationwide gun-control?
[Good point. One could debate the numbers of deaths correctly attributed to secondhand smoke, but those who are anti-gun (control freaks) tend to be the same type of people who want to claim secondhand smoke is a serious threat as well.

While I think one can make a freedom/liberty case for unrestricted recreation drugs for consenting adults, including tobacco and alcohol, they aren’t a specific enumerated right and the push back against restrictions would have less constitutional standing.

So, when someone want to ban guns (such as “assault weapons”) “for the children” you can point out that if they really wanted to “save the children” they should be an advocate for banning tobacco instead of guns. They would have a much higher potential pay off with less constitutional resistance.

We all know it’s not about saving lives and if you point out their misdirected concerns they will come up with some rationalization to remain fixated on guns. But you can hammer them with their lack of logic and make it clear to everyone “in the room” the motivation for this person is not “saving lives”. It’s about control of people who would own guns.—Joe]


9 thoughts on “Quote of the day—DebateChallenge

  1. Of course, if they’re amenable to banning tobacco, they should be amenable to accepting the same kind of social and criminal consequences that resulted when alcohol was banned, and as various recreational pharmaceuticals are now.

    The phrases “speakeasy” and “crack house” didn’t spontaneously arise without the legal prohibitions that conjured them. The Mafia, MS-13, the Cartels, et ceteras would all thank us for expanding their market opportunities.

  2. Alcohol is responsible for 88,000 deaths a year.
    Doctor error causes 250,000 deaths per year.
    Automobiles are responsible for 1.3 million deaths a year.
    Without suicide, firearms don’t even make the top 20 causes of death.
    In fact, more children are killed through child abuse by their caregivers (1,530) than are killed by firearms (1,297).

    Outlawing any of these would save more lives than outlawing firearms.

  3. “Outlawing any of these would save more lives than outlawing firearms.”
    That’s assuming that “outlawing” means it goes away, which it doesn’t, and you know that, and so your argument is sloppy.

    The leftists DID go after tobacco, they spent decades on it, and in the end it became clear that their only intent was to turn tobacco sales into a cash bonanza for themselves. Are they not even now actually subsidizing it at the production level?

    Every, last, little, tidbit of the “save the children” rhetoric and all the other horseshit they pumped out at us for fifty years was the excuse. The money was the reason. That put the lie to their “standing up for the little guy” horseshit too, because, since lower income people are more likely to smoke, their taxes on tobacco are mostly a tax on the poor.

    One you realize that everything an authoritarian does has an ulterior motive, that even if one of them occasionally tells the truth it is for the purpose of a ruse of some kind; once you realize that it becomes much easier to deal with them. Coercion is their holy grail, and the little lie is just a little bit of homage to that holy grail.

    For one thing you’ll understand why it is pointless to compromise with them, debate them, or pay any attention to them at all outside of trying to defeat them utterly. You might justify a compromise as an occasional, tactical retreat that must be followed by a redoubled attack the next time. The ultimate goal must be to rehabilitate the scant few who can be rehabilitated (but they’ll only pretend to be rehabilitated, so they can come back and attack you later), and destroy the rest.

    Short of that, you’ll always be living in a world run by criminal conspirators. The power mad will always be the ones most drawn to positions of perceived authority, just as pedophiles will be the ones standing in line for jobs at the day care centers, in the clergy, the elementary schools and the youth camps.

    • “The leftists DID go after tobacco, they spent decades on it, and in the end it became clear that their only intent was to turn tobacco sales into a cash bonanza for themselves. Are they not even now actually subsidizing it at the production level?”

      I worked with the attorneys in Missouri who represented the tobacco companies in their settlement with the gubmint. It was simply coincidence; the company I worked for happened to employ the same law firm, but for completely different purposes.

      The interesting thing I learned from them was that it was the tobacco companies’ idea to pay wheelbarrow loads of cash to the gubmint every year in return for which gubmint would quit complaining so much about tobacco. It was a simple quid-pro-quo: the tobacco companies bought silence, and of course gubmint couldn’t turn such an offer down. The attorney was extremely proud of the deal, as the net cost to the tobacco companies was a pittance. Business-wise, it was a stroke of genius, but, at least in Missouri, the idea originated with the lawyers of the tobacco companies, not with the gubmint.

      “Every, last, little, tidbit of the “save the children” rhetoric and all the other horseshit they pumped out at us for fifty years was the excuse. The money was the reason.”

      No, there was one more reason, one that, for some of us, was and is damned important, one that tobacco users and supporters generally don’t like to talk about.

      A fact about smoking tobacco is that the smoker cannot inflict the air he pollutes on himself without inflicting on everyone who breathes the same air. The problem with that fact is that those so inflicted don’t like being so inflicted and the smokers who so inflict them seldom care that they do. Smokers do indeed have the right to inflict it on themselves, but they do NOT have the right to inflict it on others. Much of the impetus to pass laws restricting smoking come from this, and notions of the unhealthful aspects of secondhand smoke are irrelevant thereto.

      There is a cliché which describes the rights involved. A person’s right to swing his arms in the pursuit of happiness ends at the end of the other guy’s nose. There is another cliché: A person’s right to foul the air he breathes ends at the air the other guy breathes.

      I personally don’t care what a person does to his own body and I don’t care what it costs him or how it harms him. I say this, and I mean it literally, despite smoking having killed both my parents. But, one of the absolutely best things about modern laws, to me, is that I no longer have to breathe tobacco smoke as I go about the daily business of living, especially in public places. I have NEVER met a smoker who understood this complaint except my mother, and that understanding began six weeks after she quit after a lifetime of smoking and realized, via the evidence of her own nose, what she had inflicted on me my whole life.

      So, I do NOT support any laws which would prohibit smoking outright. They would not work, and they would infringe on the rights of smokers to damage their own bodies however they wish. But I DO support laws which restrict when and where they can smoke such that they do not inflict it others.

      This was, and still is, a big motivation for passing laws which restrict when and where smokers can smoke, but, of course, those who oppose such laws don’t like to address it. So, those who oppose such laws make noise about uncertainties of the harm of secondhand smoke, and those who favor such laws respond to that noise, and thereby a great (*ahem*) smoke screen obscures the core issue, which is that smokers have a right to inflict their smoke on themselves, but not on others. If smokers would simply own up to this and agree with it, loudly and publicly, they could shut down opposition to them inflicting it ONLY on themselves as a matter of rights. But they won’t, will they?

  4. “Secondhand smoke” can be traced back to some stewardesses with Braniff Airlines being pissed off because they simply HAD to wash their hair before trolling for millionaires at poolside at the Shamrock Hotel in Houston.

  5. This merely reinforce that the real motivation of gun control advocates is putting a thumb in the eye of people they hate. Us

  6. Hawaii as the model? Isn’t Hawaii the state that has “may issue” but the bureaucrat responsible for approving carry permit proudly boasts of having NEVER approved an application?

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