Guns vs. Booze, and Feelings. vs. Arguments
ThinkProgress (along with many others) treats the fact of gun deaths as if it were an argument in itself. The number of people who die by gun is indeed shockingly and horribly high. But you cannot reason from emotions (shock and horror) to a conclusion (we need more gun control) — although ThinkProgress, and gun-control advocates generally, clearly want us to.
To see why not, consider this:
Alcohol abuse kills some 75,000 Americans each year and shortens the lives of these people by an average of 30 years, a U.S. government study suggested Thursday.
Excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States after tobacco use and poor eating and exercise habits. . .
That works out to 205 deaths by alcohol per day, which is almost two and a half times as many deaths by gun each day. Does it necessarily follow that we should therefore enact much more stringent limits on the availability of alcohol?
Clearly not — and you can think of the obvious reasons yourself. Those who abuse alcohol are a small minority of all alcohol users; we have tried Prohibition and it didn’t work; etc. Similar arguments, obviously, can be made with regard to guns.
Kind of ironic that a group with the word “Think” in its name didn’t stop to.