The Norman Transcript

Columns

January 5, 2013

In case of attack, whip out a Camel

NORMAN — Cartoons are supposed to be funny. In many cases they portray an ideology which, if we squint, can also be amusing.

The one from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, re-posted in the Jan. 3 Norman Transcript, is a case in point.

It depicted Big Tobacco’s position on smoking and lung disease in the 1950’s and the creator’s impression of the NRA’s position on the relationship between gun availability and mass shootings today.

I found this humorous for several reasons, but mostly because it typified the distorted logic by those in denial of the world in which we live. Even with more than 60 years’ data proving the evils of smoking, worldwide someone still dies of a smoking-related illness every six seconds.

In the U.S. alone, we lose nearly a half-million lives each year to this addiction … that part is no joke. There are no redeeming qualities to smoking cigarettes, yet millions of Americans still do.

Of course if there were no guns, there would be no shootings, but firearms, like them or not, cannot be un-invented. Killing is against the law. Outlaws will never surrender their weapons and if the law mattered to them, they would not be outlaws.

Making guns illegal would either make law breakers or soft targets of responsible citizens. Unlike cigarettes, however, firearms do have a redeeming quality. Most people have heard that a criminal’s worst fear is coming face to face with an armed and capable citizen. A 9 mm Glock in the trained hands of my 78-year-old mother can give her a fighting chance when a crook enters her home.

Guns also are a huge part of our heritage, be that the good, bad or ugly part. For every well-intended wish to eliminate them from society, there is a story of a citizen alive today because they had the ability to defend themselves from an assailant who was bigger, meaner and illegally armed.

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