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Why Won't Government Treat Gun Violence as a Public Health Problem?

Why Won't Government Treat Gun Violence as a Public Health Problem?

Picture of Martha Rosenberg

Imagine lawmakers allowing lead to remain in gasoline because of the oil and gas lobby.

Imagine them allowing secondhand smoke in public places because of the tobacco lobby.

Imagine lawmakers allowing unvetted people to train in the US as pilots because of the flight school lobby. Imagine them allowing people to board planes with box cutters because of the hand tool lobby.

Pretty ridiculous except that's exactly why we have the parade of bloody AR-15 massacres--the gun lobby. The most recent being two days ago at LAX where a TSA officer was murdered.

Why don't the pols who consistently defeat assault weapon bans, improved background checks, ammunition control and laws against gun trafficking, crooked dealers and straw buyers, tell their constituents the truth--hey, we're sorry some of you are getting killed out there but we are afraid of the NRA.

Constituents would then realize the gun lobby is just like the Mafia in the 1950's which was also tolerated by politicians because of personal investment, threat of retaliation, extortion and political pressure. It was stronger than the government itself. In the 1960's, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy reversed the mob's historical terrorism by getting laws passed which restrain the black hand of the Mafia to this day.

Flash forward to 2011 when a Congressperson was shot in the head by a legal gun owner who was also a legal conceal carrier thanks to Arizona laws. The gunman could have made "the trek to the Legislature with his Glock and his high-capacity magazine legally concealed under his clothing, he could have strolled into the state House or Senate, walked into a committee hearing, or into the one of the galleries and picked off state legislators as if they were mechanical ducks in some carny's shoot-'em-up game," remarked Phoenix's New Times at the time. What was the collective reaction of federal lawmakers upon seeing one of their own savaged? Hey, these things happen. Read: the gun lobby is stronger than the government itself.

Assault weapon attacks are as inevitable as hurricanes says the gun lobby and lawmakers cosign the intelligence-insulting propaganda. No laws will stop these attacks say both the lobby and lawmakers as if weekly AR-15 massacres happen in other countries.

Exposure to lead causes high blood pressure, digestive problems, nerve disorders, memory and concentration problems and muscle and joint pain, particularly in young children. That's why it's banned. Expose to secondhand smoke causes an estimated 46,000 heart disease deaths a year in adult nonsmokers in the United States. It increases the risk of heart disease by 25 to 30 percent. That's why its banned in public. Almost 3,000 people died on 9/11 which is why eight comprehensive new laws were immediately passed.

But the same lawmakers who protect us from dangerous cribs and salmonella in lettuce allow innocent people to be killed in airports, movie theatres and schools because they won't stand up to gun lobby leaders. Or should that be gun lobby "dons"?

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