From a public health viewpoint, few things seem to be as agreed upon as the idea that smoking cigarettes is bad for you. Before fixing your diet or jumping into an exercise program, if you haven’t stopped smoking it’s like taking a step forward but still taking two steps backward.
What about filtered vs unfiltered cigarettes? They can both can kill you. Just like guns or bombs, once you’re dead does it matter which one killed you?
That’s what seemed to happen in Boston last week when the bombers struck. The city and those responsible went into high alert and rightly so.
Americans seem to be more upset about killing people with bombs than killing them with guns. Whether you’re killed with a bomb or a gun you’re still dead. Luckily, the terrorists detonated bombs instead of using semiautomatic guns, because they’d have probably been able to kill a lot more people.
Guns are responsible for killing thousands(!) more people than bombs do in America, but Americans won’t look at guns as public health and safety issues. Gun violence somehow gets a pass. It’d be like giving filtered cigarettes a pass even though filtered and unfiltered cigarettes are both public health problems.
There seemed to finally be some momentum toward gun control laws after the school children were slaughtered in Connecticut, but with the country’s attention pulled away by the Boston bombings, the lawmakers chickened out.