Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Can you see the similarities?

We gun loving folk constantly point out the hysterics, inaccuracies, and outrageous statements that the media likes to portray when it comes to guns. Try as we may, the problem always seems to exist, but it is fun and useful to correct them.

When I opened up this Reuters article this morning on the dangers of prescription drugs I had to laugh at the blatant attempt to scare the hell out of those who would read this trash. If you bother to read it you will be treated to the same scare tactic bullshit that you see in gun related articles. Think "deadly assault thingys" and ".50mm terror," and you will be in the same league.

This is what the entire article is built on, and is pretty surprising:
Other deaths are less celebrated. In the 45-54 age group, overdose deaths fueled by prescription drugs now surpass motor vehicle deaths as the nation's No. 1 cause of accidental death, federal data show.

Wow. Prescription drugs are regulated, and people still die. This flies in the face of the those who say that having a gun in your home make you xxx-this-weeks-number-xxx more likely to die, and that your endangering "The Children" by keeping them, because it would now seem that if your being treated for arthritis than your teenage kids are in great peril. Also of note is this:
The federal data also show nearly 7 million Americans abused prescription drugs in 2007 -- more than cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, Ecstasy and inhalants such as marijuana combined. The figure is up 80 percent since 2000.

This may be entirely possible, but I think that this little factoid is painting with too broad a brush. How many thousands of types of prescription drugs are out there to compare with these five common street drugs? The seven million Americans who "abused" line is dubious as well because it makes you think that all seven million are junkies, when the number is probably a fraction of that. Does the tactic sound familiar? How about the line that "30,000 people die every year to gun violence," that tries to imply that 30,000 people are murdered every year with guns, when that is nowhere near true. If you bring the number up high enough by lumping everything together, than you can make it sound worse than it really is. Same tactic, different subject.
"What you have among over the counter and prescription drug use is a very low perception of risk," said Stephen Pasierb, president and chief executive of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, a nonprofit advocacy group.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership says the exact same thing about CCW. Weird!
"There's very low social disapproval. In fact, there are parents who almost relieved that their kid is using Vicodin and not smoking marijuana," he said.

Funny. I've always thought the same thing, just replace "smoking marijuana" with "trap shooting" and you see what I mean. There are, of course, calls for regulation as the government is the only vehicle to your complete salvation from danger.

Len Paulozzi, an epidemiologist with the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, testified recently in Congress that he believed physicians were improperly trained in the long-term dangers of therapy involving opioid painkillers, or drugs containing opium.

"There are guidelines out there, but we don't think that they're being routinely followed," he said.

Sen. Joseph Biden, a Democrat from Delaware, proposed to make August 2008 "National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month" in a resolution now before the Senate Judiciary Committee, saying the Internet had become "an information superhighway" for abuse of medicine in the United States.

Do I even need to explain this one?
But containing the abuse is notoriously difficult. Thirty-eight states have passed legislation for prescription drug monitoring programs to trace the source of drugs, and police in some states have had success in reducing pharmacy break-ins.

Hello! Tiahrt Amendment? Trigger locks?
A University of Maine program provides pre-addressed, postage-paid pouches to the elderly so they can mail their surplus prescription drugs to state authorities for disposal in a bid to reduce the amount that get into the wrong hands.

Sounds "common sense" and helpful right? We're gonna stop this problem by helping the elderly rid the world of their deadly pills. Surely there's no way that this would inconvenience them by making them count out all of the pills in all of the different bottles that they have? What exactly constitutes a "surplus" and who gets to set the bar on the number of pills that grandma can "safely" have? Oh, and lets not even get into enforcement. Because if grandma refuses to send in her "surplus" of pills that she stockpiles because Medicare takes so damn long to get her what she needs, than we can push legislation that would give her three days to get them in the mail, or we will send these guys to take away the dangerous assault pills. What could go wrong?
It is as easy in the United States to buy opiates or other abusable prescription drugs online as it is to purchase a book, said David Festinger, a scientist who has studied online drug sales at the Treatment Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. Regulating such trade is tough, he said.

Does this just smack you in the face or what? Remember the Brady line about teddy bears being more regulated than guns (no link intentional)?

For many children, getting the drugs is simple.

In Philadelphia, Roisman and her friends raided family medicine cabinets for the big prizes -- OxyContin, a kind of synthetic morphine also known as "hillbilly heroin," along with Ritalin and Vicodin -- until she eventually passed out one day in school.

How about: For many children, getting the guns is simple.
In Philadelphia, Shannon and her friends raided family gun cabinets for the big prizes -- A Henry Repeating rifle, a kind of 19th century weapon also known as "poor man's assault rifle," along with a Saturday Night Special and .50mm anti-armor terror weapon -- until she eventually went berserk one day in school.

Sounds all too familiar.
She blames doctors for failing to "watch what they are prescribing" and parents for failing to understand "just how hard people will work to get what they want when they are an addict," adding many teens use the drugs to help study.

Blaming doctors! Awesome! At least she puts the blame on parents as well. This article may have legitimate facts, but the article flat out sucks with all of it's PSH. This is why I hate reading the news. My whole point in this is that as far as the news goes, maybe they just don't know how to write anything without sensationalism these days.


Anonymous said...

Man, those similarities are downright creepy. According to these panty-wetters I can buy both an AK-47 and a month's supply of thorazine online for less than a hundred bucks! SWEET!

Before you know it we'll have to keep Advil stored in separate containers and disassembled.

Mike W. said...

I hate that, because of the "crack down" on perscription opiates I was only able to get ~10 pills when I had jaw surgery. I ran out and would have been screwed had I not had stuff left over from previous surgeries.

Tougher rules and cracking down on Physicians(who are downright scared to prescribe such drugs) does nothing to affect the black market for such drugs.

Unknown said...

Yes indeed. What we really need is a new government agency that sends an agent with us wherever we go to insure that we don't stump our toe, walk out into traffic, or get brain freeze when we eat icecream.

It won't be long now.