Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Friday, June 27, 2008

Toothpaste more dangerous than a loaded gun?

I wish someone would ask the Supreme Court how constitutional it is to require people to take off their shoes and turn in their shampoo and toothpaste to fly.


  1. Given the current make-up of the Court, do you really want to ask them this question?

  2. Well, that's true. But this is sobering:

    In the U.S. for 2001, there were 29,573 deaths from firearms, distributed as follows by mode of death: Suicide 16,869; Homicide 11,348; Accident 802; Legal Intervention 323; Undetermined 231.(CDC, 2004) This makes firearms injuries one of the top ten causes of death in the U.S. The number of firearms-related injuries in the U.S., both fatal and non-fatal, increased through 1993, but has since declined steadily.(CDC, 2001) However, firearms injuries remain a leading cause of death in the U.S., particularly among youth (CDC, 2004).

    The number of non-fatal injuries is considerable--over 200,000 per year in the U.S. Many of these injuries require hospitalization and trauma care. A 1994 study revealed the cost per injury requiring admission to a trauma center was over $14,000. The cumulative lifetime cost in 1985 for gunshot wounds was estimated to be $911 million, with $13.4 billion in lost productivity. (Mock et al, 1994) The cost of the improper use of firearms in Canada was estimated at $6.6 billion per year. (Chapdelaine and Maurice, 1996)

    That means that in 2001, there were more than seven times as many people in the US killed by guns than killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. And yet we're far more focused on toothpaste and shoes than guns?

  3. Sadly, it's based on an interpretation of our history that a foreign power may invade and our national defenses will be unable to protect us (an interpretation based on colonial America and a severing of ties from the British government), and an interpretation of the role of firearms in the building of the nation (think wild, wild, west). These circumstances have changed.

    Being an optimist, DC v. Heller will still allow some regulations of firearms. Thus, laws such as NY's requirement for pistol permits should withstand scrutiny. Local regulations that are similar to DC's laws are the laws at risk. Of course, the places that have those regulations are the places that need them the most.

    My apologies for this diatribe Laura. Please feel free to delete it.