A column by Mike Myer, executive editor of The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register
WHEELING, W.Va. — I’m told it’s not at all difficult to buy drugs such as heroin, methamphetamines and others. Matter of fact, I suspect I could do so without any guidance or help.
But wait a moment. Those substances are illegal. How is it that they’re so common and easy to buy?
Medicine I use to combat allergies is a different story. I have to go to a pharmacy counter, show my driver’s license, swear in writing I’m not going to abuse the drug, and wait for someone to check a computer that shows when I last purchased the pills. If it’s been more recently than a month, I’m told I’ll just have to suffer unless I can produce a prescription.
And here’s the thing: The largest box of anti-allergy medicine I’ve been able to find holds just 20 pills. Someone in charge apparently hasn’t noticed there are not 20 days in a month.
There’s a reason I’m tracked and limited. The medicine I use contains pseudoephedrine. It can be and is used by the bad guys to manufacture methamphetamines. So, to keep them from getting their hands on too much of it, law-abiding folks like me suffer.
What’s wrong with this picture? More than you may think.
Pseudoephedrine isn’t the only product government restricts. There are limits on something else tens of millions of Americans buy and don’t abuse: firearms.
And the liberal anti-gun crowd wants even more limits. That will prevent most mass killings such as the recent one in San Bernardino, Calif., they assure us.
No, it won’t. It’ll merely make it more difficult for law abiding citizens to buy guns. And even if it keeps firearms out of the hands of those with homicide on their minds, it’s unlikely to stop them from killing. Remember, the San Bernardino murderers’ arsenal included 12-15 pipe bombs. Do you really suppose that, had they been unable to buy guns, they wouldn’t have used the explosives to kill and maim?
There’s another problem with more strict gun controls. If you think our society is saturated with illegal drugs, you haven’t seen anything yet.
Americans already own about 300 million firearms. More are being bought at a record pace – about 15.2 million already this year.
The genie’s out of the bottle. You could ban all firearms sales in the United States and the bad guys and gals would still be able to get them, through the black market or theft.
Well, heck, ultra-liberals say to that – we’ll just enact a confiscation law.
I’ll give you a minute to recover from your laughing fit. You’re right: Assume that 99 percent of Americans react to such a mandate by turning in their guns. That still leaves 3 million out there.
And it wouldn’t be 99 percent. Many gun owners wouldn’t turn in their firearms. They’d decide a government willing to scrap the Second Amendment might be dangerous to them in other ways.
Stricter limits on guns would accomplish very little to prevent violence.
Some liberals are fond of suggesting we decriminalize illegal drugs – marijuana, at least. Despite all our bans, drug abuse is pervasive, they note. So we’d just as well give up and stop imprisoning people whose only offense is smoking a joint or two, they insist.
Really? Why is it the same people think severe limits on firearms could work?
Myer can be reached at: [email protected]
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