Funny that you don’t see bumper stickers proclaiming: “Cigarettes don’t kill people. People who smoke cigarettes kill people.”
Nor do you see firearms plastered with warning labels and lurid pictures of gun-violence victims.
But now that there is new momentum behind tougher gun control in the United States — a legacy of the Sandy Hook school tragedy in Connecticut — perhaps there is something to learn by making a connection between guns and smoking.
Or, if you like, put it in the form of a dare: could governments chip away at the cherished American gun rights in the same, systematic way they have taken on smoking and the tobacco business?
It’s not really a huge stretch to compare gun owners and smokers.
Sure there are big differences, but both are consumers of potentially lethal products, with the capacity to harm innocent people around them.
Since the 1960s in the United States, firearms and tobacco, as well as alcohol and explosives, have been lumped together in one crime-fighting and taxation bureau.
And hard as it may be to believe nowadays, it wasn’t that long ago when smokers actually believed they had rights to indulge their addiction, free of public reproach.
The fact that we scoff today at “smokers’ rights” is proof that governments and politicians are capable of radically shifting the culture around dangerous goods in our society.
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