Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Priorities in Humanitarian Focus

I was listening to NPR yesterday and one of the topics was guns and their relation to suicide.  It's quite true- guns are used in suicides more than any other object to bring about a person's demise.  They are exceedingly popular by men between 40 and 60, who interestingly enough are one of the top demographics for suicides.  In fact, men commit suicide at twice the rate of women, although women try 3x as much.  I found that interesting.

Now, as a person who is very pro-freedom, I support an adult's choice to end their life should that be a rational decision.  Making that illegal is just silly.  I think there are a number of reasons a rational person would choose to check out and I don't feel I'm in a place where I can judge that person's motives.  There are a number of people who choose suicide in an irrational state, and that's unfortunate.  I think it's reasonable a society would offer services to help those people.

It was also mentioned that suicide via drug overdose, specifically prescription drug overdose, is on the rise.  Interestingly enough, this isn't a uniquely American problem.  And not all these prescription drug overdoes are suicides.  In fact, a minority are.  Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem today and it's been getting worse for a decade

Meanwhile violent crime has been going down for decades.  But yet, we see politicians calling again and again for gun control.  We see police departments arming up like military units and working to desensitize against shooting civilians

So if we as a society wanted to concentrate on problems, wouldn't the focus be on social efforts to reduce crime, suicide and prescription drug overdoses?  We have a number of people who promote gun control laws state plainly they will have no effect on crime, but yet it's a push.  Meanwhile, problems that are increasing, like prescription drug overdoses, go ignored.  A reasonable person would be suspect that politicians are really trying to better society and have another agenda.

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