There has been a fruitless debate about "guns" after the school shooting tragedy in Newtown, CT in 2012, according to a smart commentary by Richard Feldman, head of the Independent Firearm Owners Association (IFOA), published in USAToday (Dec. 12, 2013).
Among Feldman's conclusions to save kids: "It's time we remove incentives encouraging criminals to use, rather than avoid, guns."
Feldman is right. According to the front page "Newtown, CT anniversary" story in The Washington Post, (Dec. 14, 2013):
"It's time we remove incentives encouraging criminals to use, rather than avoid, guns" ... The incentives I refer to are, of course, that guns are the main option when dealing in black market goods. [There is] no call to 911 if [drugs are] stolen, no use of the courts [to solve problems of] product distribution or supply dislocation. [There is] only the ability to use force, and that force is mainly from the barrel of a gun.
Let me be blunt: The organized firearm community has a vested interest in this [drug legalization] movement even if many of the established organizations don't! IFOA supports [drug] legalization because it makes sense and lowers harm.
Twenty-four percent of all the children under 10 deliberately shot and killed with a firearm in 2012 were killed due to "random violence, drive-by shootings, and neighborhood gun battles." (22 kids out of the 91 killed kids the Post studied and reported on.)
Those are the killings -- of children and adults -- that we could eliminate, Feldman wrote, with a smart, comprehensive anti-violence program that includes drug legalization.
To reduce the deaths from drugs themselves (and the poisons that traffickers add to drugs to dilute them or to simply rip-off drug buyers) is another reason for drug legalization I wrote in The Huffington Post on Oct. 15, 2013.
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