Gun control and vaccines – the deniers use the same twisted logic

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Because of the lack of willpower to implement serious gun control, thirty-one children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, mothers, and fathers died this past weekend. But another week will pass, and there will probably be another week of horrible killings by hate-filled mostly white, mostly men.  

  • Dayton, 10
  • El Paso, 20
  • Gilroy, CA, 4
  • Virginia Beach, 12
  • Aurora, IL, 5
  • Thousand Oaks, CA 12
  • Pittsburgh, 11
  • Annapolis, 5
  • Santa Fe, TX, 10
  • Parkland, FL, 17
  • Sutherland Springs, TX, 26
  • Las Vegas, 58
  • Orlando, 5
  • Ft. Lauderdale, 5
  • Burlington, Wash., 5
  • Sandy Hook, 26

The dates and locations change, but the will to make substantive changes to our gun control laws evaporates after each mass murder. The Republican Party, which effectively controls our government, knows that it really doesn’t have to do anything. After a few weeks pass, we’ll forget about it, and they don’t have to do anything. It’s cynical, but that’s what happens when a political party is beholden to racism and the gun lobby.

So you’re probably asking, “what the hell does this have to do with vaccines?” 

Two days ago, I would have shrugged. Then, while getting coffee from my local venti Americano shop, I overheard two older (and lily-white) men discussing the shooting. Setting aside their overt racism, they thought that killing a few “illegals” is “heroic,” they said that “just because a handful of people died out of 300 million Americans, that’s not a reason to take our guns.”

In other words, they’re saying that the risk of dying from a gun is so small, it’s not a consideration for gun control. I’ve heard this logic before, and it’s from the anti-vaccine religion. They argue that because only a few children will die of measles (or any vaccine-preventable disease), vaccines should not be mandated. 

Yes, the chances of dying from measles are rare (thanks to vaccines). Yes, the chances of one person dying in a mass murder are small. The problem with the logic of the anti-vaccine and anti-gun control nutjobs are the same – we have the power to prevent both. And we should prevent both. 

The old racist white guys talking too loud in my local coffee establishment probably thought they were immune (sorry, had to go there) from being killed in a mass killing because only brown people were targeted (which wasn’t true about either El Paso or Dayton this past weekend). The murders were indiscriminate. And all of those murdered did not deserve to have their lives cut short.

Comparing vaccines and gun control 

  1. Gun control and vaccinations are a public health issue. Federal law prevents the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), the nation’s public health agency, from advocating for gun control as they can do for vaccines. That being said, the CDC has produced a lot of peer-reviewed research that shows that states with stronger gun control laws, like California, have some of the lowest mortality rates from guns. 
  2. Anti-vaccine and anti-gun control advocates both think they have some “right” to put their children at risk of harm, including death. This has never made sense to me. I wish someone would explain it. Oh yeah, we arm teachers to protect children, and homeopathy will cure vaccine-preventable diseases
  3. Few states have had the political will to both mandate vaccines and control guns. Once again, California.
  4. Anti-vaxxers frequently threaten those of us who support vaccines with gun violence. Like they did against a member of Congress
Larry Cook, who has a violent anti-vaccine Facebook page, threatens people.
And more anti-vaccine threats and 2nd Amendment claims. They are the same.

I’m seriously tired of all of this. I’m tired that our country lacks the fortitude to put in rational gun control. It should be difficult to buy weapons and ammunition. I’m tired of the racism and hatred that surrounds the gun control and vaccine discussions.

Well, we are doing so much better with vaccinating our children, despite the fear, uncertainty, and doubt from the anti-vaccine radicals. The country mostly had the will to make immunization a public health issue and it was successful. But every day, we see that the lies from the anti-vaxxers are making inroads into this discourse about the country’s public health.

On the other hand, the public health issue of gun control has mostly been nothing. So, every day, more people are killed by assault weapons brandished by angry white men. At what point do we change?

I guess we’ll continue with worthless “thoughts and prayer,” until such time no American is alive because of guns, climate change, and vaccine-preventable diseases.

One last thing – obviously, this was about the United States of America, which is apparently the only developed country that has daily mass murders from guns. I wish we could be like Sweden – few guns, few anti-vaccine nutjobs, and healthcare for all. And the home of ABBA.


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The Original Skeptical Raptor
Chief Executive Officer at SkepticalRaptor
Lifetime lover of science, especially biomedical research. Spent years in academics, business development, research, and traveling the world shilling for Big Pharma. I love sports, mostly college basketball and football, hockey, and baseball. I enjoy great food and intelligent conversation. And a delicious morning coffee!