Cigarettes are causing more harm than guns

With all due respect to the authors of anti-gun letters published on May 5, a writer could substitute any of society’s chic “anti-campaign” facts, and jump to the same conclusion. For example, smoking is responsible for 443,000 deaths annually; 49,000 related to exposure to secondhand smoke. Daily, more than 3,800 people under 18 years of age start smoking. That’s more than 1 million future victims. Annually, smoking-related illnesses cost all Americans $150 billion.

Why is no one suggesting limiting the number of cigarettes a person can possess, reducing the capacity per pack or outlawing them entirely? The numbers are far more significant. These casualties were found at the end of an implement whose purpose serves none other than to facilitate death.

It’s time for people to work together toward eliminating the root cause of the real problems we face with illegal drugs, a broken education system, child abuse and illegal aliens. Each of these issues is far more harmful and costly to our country and its citizens than guns.

No law conceived would eliminate the tragedies we have experienced. But a gun in trained hands would have indisputably reduced the casualties we collectively mourn today, simply by engagement or diversion of focus from the intended targets.

So instead of bullets, let’s campaign to limit cigarettes with the same passion that gun control is pursued, and save thousands of Americans lives.

David Hanitz