Thursday, April 19, 2007

all you need is a dollar and a dream

Former Secretary of Labor and University of California professor Robert Reich pretty much nails it:

In the United States, if you are seriously depressed, you can purchase anti-depressive drugs like Prozac, but only if you have a prescription from a doctor. Anti-depressants are enormously beneficial to millions of people but they are also potentially dangerous if used improperly. So, you have to see a doctor and get an assessment before you can go to a drug store and purchase one.

But in the United States, in places like Virginia, a seriously depressed or deranged person can walk into a store and buy a semi-automatic handgun and a box of ammunition. All you need is two forms of identification. You don’t need permission from a doctor or counselor or anyone in the business of screening people to make sure [you’re] fit to have a gun.

We can debate the relative benefits and dangers of anti-depressants and semi-automatic handguns, but if 30,000 Americans were killed each year by anti-depressants, as they are by handguns, anti-depressants would be even more strictly regulated. So why aren't handguns? Consider the politics.

Reich nails it, but I have plenty more nails to hammer away on over at capitoilette. . . .

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