Michelle Obama’s pet cause is about ten times more germane than her husband’s
Pulling Our Hearts out of Our Brains
by Gavin McInnes
April 19, 2013
An estimated three hundred thousand Americans die each year from obesity-related causes—ten times as many as gun-related deaths. I hate the nanny state and believe every American should be able to eat whatever he wants whenever he wants. But I’ve interviewed doctors about this, and the epidemic is worse than you might think. Libertarians say à chacun son goût, but we’re already paying for the immense costs that result from bad eating habits. Being gigantic tubs of lard isn’t only making our pants too tight; it’s emptying our pockets.
Obama is in a huff this week because his gun bill got shot down like a clay pigeon. Like most of us, he was deeply affected by the massacre at Sandy Hook. Like much of the country, he seems to think emotions should drive public policy. Celebrities such as Jim Carrey agree.
Emotions drive modern political discourse because we are living in a nation of mathematical illiterates. Gun violence is mostly blacks killing other blacks, and even then yearly gun-related deaths only kill about a hundredth of one percent of the American population.
You know what else is responsible for killing at least 0.01% of Americans? Cars, prescription drugs, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. All of these threats to our survival cause a minimum of 30,000 deaths a year. (Some estimates put yearly prescription-drug and auto-related deaths at over 100,000.) The media cherry-picks which topics it decides are fashionable and so does the president, numbers be damned. This is what happens when you throw math out the window and let photos of dead children dictate legislation.
I don’t mind that car accidents aren’t on the news every night.
However, the danger of prescription drugs should be in the news way more than it is today. While everyone blames the recent shooting sprees on access to weapons, few writers noticed how many shooters were on psych meds. The American pharmaceutical industry makes over $300 billion a year—compared to only $12 billion for America’s allegedly “powerful” and “well financed” gun industry—so there’s a real economic disadvantage to questioning the efficacy of prescription drugs. I think celebrities avoid this topic because they are so high on their own pills, the hypocrisy would give them a bad trip.
So when Americans get fat and depressed because they are fat and stupid and think they need a gun, the upside is compared to killing themselves with drugs which would require them to be smart enough to select the right dosage, one bullet to the head is far easier and more productive.
The same goes for any discussion of late-term abortions. If you don’t see the Gosnell carnage as an irrelevant local news story, you’re against women’s rights. The general consensus seems to be that partial-birth abortions are incredibly rare and used only for emergencies. I had a Hispanic med student tell me to “Take this one in a million abortion clinic example and shove it up your ginger ass.” By my calculations, this clinic is closer to 27,000 in a million.
Bill McGowan’s book Coloring the News confronted the media’s hatefactphobia long ago. His chapter on abortion discusses a small-town reporter named Ruth Padawar who decided to ignore the dogma and do some good “old-fashioned legwork and basic mathematics.” By cold-calling clinics all over New Jersey, she calculated that 1,500 partial-birth abortions had occurred that year. Considering there are approximately 54,000 abortions a year in New Jersey, that means 2.7% of them are partial-birth. If one were to extrapolate New Jersey’s statistics nationwide, 2.7% of 1.6 million equals 43,200. That’s 10,000 more than gun-related deaths. So why isn’t Obama in a huff about Gosnell? Where’s the hilarious video mocking abortionists?
I think it makes sense to give everything that kills 0.01% of us an equivalent amount of attention. Things that kill a fraction of a tenth of a percent can certainly be mentioned on page 37, but we don’t need to worry about them.