There’s a lot of talk of treating the “gun violence epidemic” as a public health threat.
Fine. Eradicate “gun violence.”
Take polio, for instance. Polio has been eradicated in America, and is virtually extinct in the rest of the world. How did we accomplish that? Vaccination.
Prior to that, there was an epidemic in the US with 58,000 cases in 1952, out of a population of 157.55 million. Compare that to 73,505 shootings in 2013, out of a population of 316.23 million. If math is hard, that’s a 36.8/100K rate for polio, versus 23.2/100K rate for shootings. Polio was worse then than shootings now. Today’s generation may have never seen a polio victim, but I grew up knowing them.
But we beat it. With vaccination.
We can beat “gun violence,” too. With vaccination.
How does a vaccine work? With polio, that being my example, a person is given an inactivated or weakened polio virus that will not cause the disease. The body uses that to build up a resistance to the actual disease. The body uses what it was given to recognize and repel the aggressive disease. If a live polio virus shows its ugly little face, the body uses its own polio resistance template to kill it.
This works for several diseases. Diseases which were once common, but now rare in the US. It works so well at protecting the public from epidemics that vaccination is mandatory in most of America. Little children have to show proof that their bodies have learned to fight diseases before they can attend school.
I’ve been inoculated against the “gun violence epidemic.” I have a variety of defensive firearms with which I’ve learned to counter aggressive violence. As a result, I’ve effectively resisted criminal violence; I’ve been through three mugging attempts, none of which succeeded.
Vaccinations are mandated. You typically need a medical exemption to not get them, because they protect the general public from epidemics. Often, you can get vaccinations at reduced prices, or even free. Because it protects everyone.
If only inoculation against the “gun violence epidemic” were so simple. In most of the country, you need to get special permission from the government to get vaccinated with a concealed carry license. In some areas, state and local governments have outlawed such vaccination for all practical purposes; you can ask, and they can — and do — say, “No.” It took multiple lawsuits to get Chicago and the District of Columbia to stop a regulatory process intended to keep people vulnerable to the “epidemic” of violence.
Imagine a doctor telling his patients, “There’s too much polio, measles, mumps, and rubella out there. Do not get vaccinated.” But they will grill patients on defensive firearms possession, and recommend they get rid of their “vaccinations” or render them useless.
If you seriously want the government to end the “gun violence epidemic” (personally, I prefer an individual approach), health departments should be offering free or reduced cost firearms and ammunition to honest people, and holding free training sessions every weekend.
Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could really use the money, what with truck repairs and recurring bills. And the rabbits need feed. Truck insurance, lest I be forced to sell it. Click here to donate via PayPal.
(More Tip Jar Options)