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Author Topic: We could learn a lot about gun control from the war on smoking  (Read 1492 times)
WOOO
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« on: December 29, 2012, 07:35:49 PM »

We could learn a lot about gun control from the war on smoking

Funny that you don’t see bumper stickers proclaiming: “Cigarettes don’t kill people. People who smoke cigarettes kill people.”

Nor do you see firearms plastered with warning labels and lurid pictures of gun-violence victims.

But now that there is new momentum behind tougher gun control in the United States — a legacy of the Sandy Hook school tragedy in Connecticut — perhaps there is something to learn by making a connection between guns and smoking.

Or, if you like, put it in the form of a dare: could governments chip away at the cherished American gun rights in the same, systematic way they have taken on smoking and the tobacco business?

It’s not really a huge stretch to compare gun owners and smokers.

Sure there are big differences, but both are consumers of potentially lethal products, with the capacity to harm innocent people around them.

Since the 1960s in the United States, firearms and tobacco, as well as alcohol and explosives, have been lumped together in one crime-fighting and taxation bureau.

And hard as it may be to believe nowadays, it wasn’t that long ago when smokers actually believed they had rights to indulge their addiction, free of public reproach.

The fact that we scoff today at “smokers’ rights” is proof that governments and politicians are capable of radically shifting the culture around dangerous goods in our society.

The war on tobacco really began in earnest in North America in the late 1980s and through the 1990s, when smoking started to be banned on airlines, select buildings and restaurant sections.

There was some pushback from smokers, even in polite, law-abiding Canada. We may have forgotten it by now, but an abrupt, all-out ban on smoking in Toronto bars and restaurants was met with massive defiance in 1997 and lasted only five weeks before it was repealed.

“It's like the wild west out there, “ Ontario Restaurant Association president Paul Oliver told the Star at the time. “People are smoking anywhere.”

Keep in mind, this was only 15 years ago — a time when the air was filled not just with blue smoke but with talk of smokers’ rights as well.

These days, Toronto is marching toward a ban on patio smoking too, just as cities across North America have done. Smokers have now realized that resistance is futile.

(I should note, not proudly, that I continue to dabble in that lamentable smoking habit too — and I have been on the grumpy, receiving end of the limits to my freedom. I mention this only to underline my appreciation for just how hard it has been to take away rights from citizens. This hasn’t been a walk in the park — where, incidentally, smoking is also now banned too in my hometown of Ottawa.)

The bans, moreover, are just one front in this long-running war. Tobacco advertising has also been prohibited since the 1990s and cigarette manufacturers have been forced to package their products with dark warnings and ugly photographs. This is an outright assault on the rights to free expression and commerce, but governments have weighed that as the price for a greater, smoke-free good.

Smokers also are subject to a form public shame that we wouldn’t tolerate with other minorities. It’s called “denormalizing” — officially defined as “the use of stigma as an explicit policy tool.”

Imagine if all these tools were applied to the quest for tougher gun control.

The war on smoking has taught us that governments can use their powers to curtail habits or forces that they want to discourage — and that citizens, though disgruntled, can endure some limits on their rights.

Now, it should be noted that the constitutional right to bear arms (which doesn’t exist in Canada, by the way) has a deeper, more emotional resonance than the right to pursue a risky lifestyle habit. Gun ownership, especially in the States, is tied up with the ideas of individual strength, independence and defense of home and family.

It’s also true that cigarettes kill more people than guns do in the United States — an estimated 443,000 deaths each year from smoking, compared to about 11,000 deaths annually by firearms in that country, from 2007 through 2009.

But if American politicians are serious about tackling that plague of gun violence, they might want to consider how they have dealt with the buyers and sellers of tobacco. Through a combination of bans, stigma and yes, chipping away at rights, tobacco is still a legal product but it’s been “denormalized” — removed from the mainstream of daily life, with smokers made to feel intensely responsible for the ills they inflict on society.

That wouldn't be a bad outcome of a sustained campaign against guns either, especially that responsibility part.

Who knows? With the right mix of political will and anti-gun measures, Americans might dream of a day when neither cigarettes nor firearms are brandished in public.

Source: Toronto Star
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2012, 05:04:32 AM »

I remember the battles well, ...especially those businesses along Dufferin St in Toronto. If your restaurant was on the east side of the street, it was no smoking, ...if it was on the west side of the street, smoking was permitted.

Restaurants were desperate to have smoking. I think i was something like 90% of the space had to be nonsmoking, ...and you would walk into a restaurant and everyone was crammed into the 10% of space reserved for smokers. All the nonsmoking only restaurants were dead, while the smoking permitted establishments had lines around the block. If memory serves me correctly, it was more the restaurants & bars that were fighting harder than the smokers themselves. The ban on smoking put alot of them out of business.


These days I notice people have a self-righteous attitude when it comes to smokers. They don't have a problem talking about them to their face, whether it is to point at them and then tell their kid "That's disgusting" or even lecturing the smoker themselves "That's bad for your health"... somehow I just don't think people would be so ballsy face-to-face with someone they knew was packing. They'd probably keep their mouth shut.
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2012, 05:40:10 AM »

That won't change a thing and completely ridiculous. Seriously why is a country that really doesn't matter trying to suggest that my FUCKING CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO BARE ARMS needs to be taken away. Sorry jackass but much like the right to free speech and religion...i get to have a gun...i get to have 2 or 100. How popular are the gun camera vids on the net.....or violent movies and video games? Dumb idea.
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2012, 06:25:26 AM »

That won't change a thing and completely ridiculous. Seriously why is a country that really doesn't matter trying to suggest that my FUCKING CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO BARE ARMS needs to be taken away. Sorry jackass but much like the right to free speech and religion...i get to have a gun...i get to have 2 or 100. How popular are the gun camera vids on the net.....or violent movies and video games? Dumb idea.

Who are you referring to as "jackass"?
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Our forefathers would be shooting by now


« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2012, 06:49:53 AM »

Woo....
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2012, 06:52:01 AM »

Sure there are big differences, but both are consumers of potentially lethal products, with the capacity to harm innocent people around them.



    May as well include cars in your argument too
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2012, 07:55:25 AM »

Woo....

Why? He's only quoting a columnist from The Toronto Star.

Don't you realize your comment not only blatantly violates the board rules, but also makes YOU look like the real jackass?
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Hugo Chavez
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« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2012, 11:22:28 PM »

Why? He's only quoting a columnist from The Toronto Star.

Don't you realize your comment not only blatantly violates the board rules, but also makes YOU look like the real jackass?
Canada can fuck off on this debate.  We don't need nitwit opinions from Toronto.... or Australia or anywhere else.  If it's a matter that involves you in some way, then comment on it, but if it doesn't, stfu.  I've spent a lot of years advocating that America stay the hell out of the politics local to other countries, well it goes two ways doesn't it!
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Our forefathers would be shooting by now


« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2013, 02:16:52 AM »

Why? He's only quoting a columnist from The Toronto Star.

Don't you realize your comment not only blatantly violates the board rules, but also makes YOU look like the real jackass?

No...no it doesn't. We don't need advice from Canada.
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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2013, 03:38:09 AM »

No...no it doesn't. We don't need advice from Canada.

Of course you do. As your largest trading partner were here to help.
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Hugo Chavez
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« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2013, 04:12:21 AM »

Of course you do. As your largest trading partner were here to help.
trading with America doesn't entitle you to an opinion on our internal affairs. Roll Eyes  This is our Constitution and rights we're dealing with, not yours.  Go brag about Canada buying second hand Chinese crap somewhere else.
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« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2013, 04:40:01 AM »

trading with America doesn't entitle you to an opinion on our internal affairs. Roll Eyes  This is our Constitution and rights we're dealing with, not yours.  Go brag about Canada buying second hand Chinese crap somewhere else.

http://www.revparl.ca/english/issue.asp?art=854&param=133
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Hugo Chavez
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« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2013, 05:37:59 AM »

and what does that have to do with what I just said?  Can you talk or do you just post links?  You have no right to engage in our internal politics.  I just told you and everyone else from other countries to stfu on this unless you have a personal matter in it and all you do is post a link talking about influence of the media between neighboring nations?  Sorry, that doesn't cut it.  If you have a valid stake, go ahead and say something.  But if you're just a citizen of our next door neighbor, quite frankly, sftu on this issue.  It is none of your business!  Period, end of story.
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« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2013, 05:42:53 AM »

and what does that have to do with what I just said?  Can you talk or do you just post links?  You have no right to engage in our internal politics.  I just told you and everyone else from other countries to stfu on this unless you have a personal matter in it and all you do is post a link talking about influence of the media between neighboring nations?  Sorry, that doesn't cut it.  If you have a valid stake, go ahead and say something.  But if you're just a citizen of our next door neighbor, quite frankly, sftu on this issue.  It is none of your business!  Period, end of story.

welcome to getbig
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headhuntersix
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« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2013, 05:47:42 AM »

and what does that have to do with what I just said?  Can you talk or do you just post links?  You have no right to engage in our internal politics.  I just told you and everyone else from other countries to stfu on this unless you have a personal matter in it and all you do is post a link talking about influence of the media between neighboring nations?  Sorry, that doesn't cut it.  If you have a valid stake, go ahead and say something.  But if you're just a citizen of our next door neighbor, quite frankly, sftu on this issue.  It is none of your business!  Period, end of story.


 I find it odd that I don't feel the need to comment on Canadian politics.
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Hugo Chavez
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« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2013, 05:47:49 AM »

welcome to getbig
That's my line Wink

Since you don't have an actual response to why YOU should be able to engage in debate in OUR process, I suggest you stfu.
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Hugo Chavez
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« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2013, 05:48:49 AM »


 I find it odd that I don't feel the need to comment on Canadian politics.
I find it normal that I don't feel the need to comment on Canadian politics, but I know what you mean Grin
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WOOO
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« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2013, 05:57:28 AM »

That's my line Wink

Since you don't have an actual response to why YOU should be able to engage in debate in OUR process, I suggest you stfu.


nah, i like it hear... but i'm too hung over to get into a pissing contest right now
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Hugo Chavez
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« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2013, 06:06:06 AM »


nah, i like it hear... but i'm too hung over to get into a pissing contest right now
lightweight, we're still going Grin JK

Anyway, there is a valid agrument to why citizens from other countries should not engage in debate especially over constitutional matters in other countries.  This really is something Americans should be talking about and not others.
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« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2013, 07:41:06 AM »

Show me where smoking is specifically listed in the BOR
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Hugo Chavez
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« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2013, 07:56:06 AM »

Show me where smoking is specifically listed in the BOR
BOR stand for Bureau of Reclamation?
That can't be what you meant?

100,449
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« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2013, 07:58:31 AM »

BOR stand for Bureau of Reclamation?
That can't be what you meant?

100,449

Bill of rights
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Hugo Chavez
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« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2013, 08:07:26 AM »

Bill of rights
I was being a dick.  It gets annoying reading some of your abbreviated posts. especially when you have 3 or 4 abbv. in one post... and sometimes you make up your own abbreviations. I've seen some of your posts that look more like some secret code lol..
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« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2013, 08:09:38 AM »

Wtf r u tlkg bout
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Hugo Chavez
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« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2013, 08:20:30 AM »

Wtf r u tlkg bout
It’s when two girls grind each other, so their clits are touching and rubbing against each others. There’s lots of different positions for maximum, um, contact, but that’s basically what it is!
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