Just curious. I got to thinking, as I am wont to do, about the constant drumbeat of gun control advocates: 33,000 killed by guns every year in America. In 2012, 11,000 of those deaths were by murder or violent crime. The rest suicide. That suicide number is tough, because there is no way of knowing if tighter gun laws would reduce suicide. It might. It could go up. We don't know. Then again, we don't know if gun regulations would help. Gun violence spiked after the gun regulations that hit back in the early 70s. In some countries, there does seem to be a link between non-existent gun rights and non-existent gun deaths. But then, sometimes those countries are known for their fast and loose approach to rights overall.
Beyond the suicides, 11,000 are killed by guns in violent crime. And yet, in 2012, almost 14,000 died of AIDS. That's right, died of AIDS. That's not counting those newly infected. That's those who died. That's almost 3,000 more than were killed by guns. I'm not sure, but I'd wager you heard a lot more on the news about gun deaths than about AIDS deaths.
Why? I can only guess. But I have a feeling that if we were really about reducing preventable death by whatever means possible, then we'd be doing more than we are. And if it means getting crazy about the 2nd Amendment to reduce gun violence, I'd think it might include something like getting crazy about our sex and drugs culture. Call me a simpleton, but I'm one of those types who bucks the scientific consensus that AIDS exploding on the world stage in the 1970s was just bad luck and had nothing to do with the drugs and sex culture that had been going strong and spreading its message around the world for the previous generation or two. I think there's a link. I think we could reduce AIDS by returning to some pre-Freudian/Kinseyan approaches to sexuality.
And you'd think, if human life is really so important, that we'd all agree. At least as much time spent calling for radical solutions to gun violence would be spent calling for radical solutions to the sex and drugs driven AIDS pandemic. You'd think. Assuming, of course, that it's all really about saving lives and reducing preventable deaths.
Oh, and lest you say the solution lies in more sex education, three of the five states with the highest rates of new HIV infections have either mandatory comprehensive sex education and/or comprehensive HIV education. But then again, think of the endless millions, if not billions, spent on mental health, and yet our suicide rates are higher than they have been in times past when such things as mental health counseling and treatment as we know it were virtually non-existent. Again, if we want to solve the problems, like we do with guns, we should be willing to go radical. If not, then it does make you wonder about the commitment to solving the problems. As some might say, I dare suggest that this is a pro-life issue.