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TTAG tipster CC sent us a link to an article comparing “gun deaths” with deaths from prescription pain killers. Here’s the money shot: “So before you give me the same recycled argument from the progressive websites about how unsafe it is to have a gun at home, check your own medicine cabinet for whatever Perocets, Vicodins and Oxycontins might be in your house first. Even if you need the medications to listen to your argument about guns in the home, statistically speaking, you’d be much safer if you flush the medications down the toilet than you ever would be by removing your gun, regardless of your opinion on the causes of gun deaths.” Writer Tyler Durden has the stats to back it up . . .

.. there are no conclusive numbers on the number of people prescribed to opioid-based painkillers in the US, and not in treatment for abuse. A roughshod calculation, citing 7 out of 10 of the 320 million Americans taking prescription drugs (yes, you read that right), and 13% of those being opioid-based painkillers, puts you at slightly over 29 million Americans prescribed opioid-based pain medications annually . . .

Using that figure, you get a household opioid-based prescription death rate of 65 per 100,000. And that assumes the high number of 29 million people with access. Also, suicides need to be broken out of both opioids and gun deaths – you can kill yourself any way you choose, and neither guns nor opioid-based painkillers are a prerequisite to do so . . .


Given that about 33,000 people die on average annually due to firearms related injuries, your death rate for households with one or more guns is 30 people per 100,000. If you break out the approximately 21,000 suicide gun deaths annually from these statistics, the household gun death rate is 11 people per 100,000. If you use a low estimate of 25% of gun victims not having a gun in the house, now you have a death rate of 7.5 per 100,000 for households with one or more guns. This is all using gun the highly questionable ownership and fatality rates from the progressive media, of course.

All of which means that gun control advocates are making an [arguably] great landing at the wrong airport. If you’re into numbers and methodology, click through to the article for the facts underpinning Mr. Durden’s conclusions. And please bookmark that or this page for future reference, ’cause this is the truth about guns.

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  1. Two things coming down the pike, and you can say you heard this first at TTAG:

    1. The number of people with Alzheimer’s disease (or other forms of dementia) is going to skyrocket in the next 10 years. #1 predictor of getting Alzheimer’s? Age. The older a person makes it in life, the higher the likelihood that they’re going to get it.

    2. There’s finally some investigation being done into the company behind Oxycontin and their devious, scheming ways. Let’s just put it this way: The number of people addicted to Oxy and having to obtain Oxy off-prescription is no accident. It is a “negligent design,” on par with the level of cynical legal calculation by Remington about the 700-series rifle trigger.

  2. “Arriving at any number on total opioid-based prescription drug usage is extremely difficult, as there is no conclusive data as to the number of people who use them annually.”

    Wait! Where are the Executive Orders then?

  3. There is no shortage of things involved in a greater number of injuries or deaths other than firearms. Reducing injuries or deaths is not and has never been the point. Any anti who honestly believes it is the point is a moron plain and simple being used by the more sophisticated anti’s who know what the real point of their whining and hysterics is. Get rid of the guns, kill the spirit of individualism, submit wholly to the authority.

    • My God that is the most paranoid thing I have ever seen. You don’t really believe that do you? That the anti gun people are only stopped from taking over the country and crushing free thought and speech by private gun ownership do you? That doesn’t come close to making any kind of logical sense.

        • I didn’t neglect to support the argument. I made a measured decision that any information I put up to support my statement would be futile. When one enters a discussion assuming the other person is paranoid and illogical, offering proof, regardless of how sound, will have no affect on swaying the person.

          For example, aliens secretly control all government and have implemented the Internet for the purposes of imposing a sickened world view. At the same time the aliens have been replacing humans with genetically identical copies in order to perpetuate a plan which ends with the destruction of all human civilization and total control over humanity.

          Are there logical arguments against my alien theory? Of course. Would any argument be sufficient to sway the alien theory? Doubtful as it is not founded on anything other than paranoid delusions.

          Thank you for a terrific and insightful comment. I look forward to your additional comments on how to form a cogent argument in the future.

        • Someone broke into my house when I was away and replaced all my furniture with exact duplicates.

        • @AwesomeJill:

          What you’re neglecting to take into account is that nothing that gun control proponents have suggested will actually do diddly about gun violence and you’re ignoring their unwillingness to address things that actually will.

          Let’s look at an example: The anti-gunners laugh when you bring up mental health, as if it’s supposed to stop mass shootings. But wait, I didn’t say that (thought it might in some cases). Anti-gunners love to say that 30K+ people per year are killed by gun violence but then they’re lumping in what the CDC says is about 21K suicides by gun. (21,175 in 2013 as per the CDC).

          Now what is suicide if NOT a mental health issue? Proper mental health care might save 21K lives per year but the anti’s don’t want to hear that or address it. I guess when it’s not just “one life” and it’s 21K they stop caring. Now it’s just a statistic. That’s also at least 63% of all gun deaths. So we can cut gun deaths down by 63%+… wow, that’s totally something we should do right? I mean that’s F&^KING HUGE. Nope, anti-gunners don’t want to even talk about it never mind actually do something about it.

          The point I’m making here is when you engage in an adult conversation with someone who steadfastly refuses to admit facts and constantly throws out un-workable solutions like “universal background checks” when we already know most guns used in murder are stolen and being sold on the black market where a UBC will never in a billion years be preformed by the criminal selling a stolen gun you start to wonder if these people don’t have ulterior motives. Combine that with the other actual policies they suggest (Australian style gun bans) or implement (too many to discuss here) and you start to think these people don’t give a s&^t about safety but care about something else entirely. Being that most of the most vocal anti-gunners are elites or politicians what they want being “power” comes to mind.

          So yeah, when Barbra Boxer, a long time senator is caught on tape saying “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in” in the context of a law she’d like to pass (note she wasn’t worried about the constitutionality of passing such a law, she was worried about the politics) and most anti-gunners are ignorant and quite frankly down-right nasty to gun owners we’re a bit suspicious.

          @Tom in Oregon:

          That was me. I’ll own up to it. Damn, finding an exact copy of your dinner table was hard work!

        • @Wilson

          Well a debate about the effectiveness of anything the anti gun proponents propose aside, the fact that politicians are stupid and ineffective does not lead me to believe they have a nefarious power grab in mind. This is the same thinking that drives 9/11 truthers and other conspiracy theorists. It doesn’t hold water because private gun ownership is much less a deterrent in political decision making than money. Also, when you look at places where guns were banned like Australia, you don’t see a tyrannical environment just a bunch of people unprepared defend themselves in person on person violent crimes.

      • Please. Follow the money. Advocacy groups exist to push the views of their financiers. I know what gun rights advocacy groups want because because I am an informed donor (one of millions) to those groups.
        Who financially supports the civil disarmament groups? Their donor base is tiny, primarily a few billionaire authoritarians. Everytown is about civil disarmament because Bloomberg owns them and thats what he wants. That’s not paranoia it is simple fact.

        • So, your argument is that out lawing guns would make billionaires richer? In fact, the threat of outlawing guns actually makes gun manufacturers richer due to sudden spikes in sales. Therefore by following the money, I am led to believe that gun manufacturers are pushing forward an anti gun agenda. Solution to stopping anti gun movement is to ban all gun. That will show ’em.

          Bloomberg can speak for himself. He believes people, especially young blacks, are too stupid to have guns. He wants civil disarmament. If you agree with him, support his cause, it’s your right to do so. But if you are going to try to pretend it’s for the children you might want to tell the guy funding your cause to shut up because he is blowing the narrative.

        • CLarson, so he takes guns away from minorities and that makes him richer? I’m not following your logic here.

          KrestelBike I didn’t click any of your links though I’m sure they were solid evidence of how 1) private gun owners were responsible for preventing the government from stopping the people’s rights or 2) how anti gun people make money from taking away gun rights.

          Also you should both note I’m not anti gun! what I find shocking is that so many people here seem to believe there is a vast conspiracy to take away guns, a nefarious plot that somehow enriches billionaires at the expense of private citizens. Has no one considered that they are actually altruistic? That perhaps the anti gun people are doing the wrong thing for the right reasons? No one wants people to get shot. Gun owners think the best way to protect themselves is to own guns. Anti gun people think the best way is to ban guns. My major gripe with this argument is that it advances the anti gun agenda by allowing them to pain pro gun people as a hunch of paranoid nutbars.

          And before you link a bunch of articles about climate change and what some politicians whispered to political donors why don’t you address the argument that the original position is paranoid.

        • Nothing CLarson said could be construed to suggest they believe billionaires are supporting gun-control to get richer. Their statement was merely that certain billionaires have an authoritarian streak.

        • Wilson: Follow the money could certainly be careful natured that way. Or should I stop following the money once I reach someone I disagree with. This is essentially the same argument repackaged with a different megalomaniacal villain. It’s asking me to believe that Bloomberg is plotting to take away gun so that he can…I don’t know rise to power and crush is under his Jack booted feet? That argument sucks and makes little sense when carried to its logical conclusion

        • I don’t know if Bloomberg thinks if he can profit from banning guns. I never said or implied that, you did. Any reasonable person can judge Bloomberg’s intentions from his statements and actions. It is clear from his record that he has a paternalistic, authoritarian view of the world that has little room for many civil liberties including the second amendment. He and his few paid employees have the right to share his vision of world as do the millions more who prefer freedom and oppose him.

        • So he has nothing to gain from taking away guns, he’s doing it out of misguided but altruistic motivations. Or in other words exactly what I said in the f$&@ing first place! Glad I could help you work through your paranoid delusions.

      • It turns out she doesn’t need to support her argument because you’re paranoid and illogical

      • Four quick examples (replace the “dot” with a period after copy/pasting the url into a browser bar):
        http://www.theguardian dot com/environment/2013/dec/19/newspapers-ban-climate-deniers-reddit-science
        http://thinkprogress dot org/climate/2016/05/23/3780854/portland-textbooks-climate-change/
        obama “you didn’t build that” : dot com/watch?v=YKjPI6no5ng dot com/news/articles/2015-12-01/the-salt-wars-here-comes-new-york-city-s-next-food-fight

        It’s a fight to change peoples’ thinking of what is acceptable and what is not, and to deny the freedom of choice (liberty). In the push for [an inevitably false] “equality”, liberty is lost. Whether it’s big sodas or salt on your fries, or even the ability to debate “settled science”, there is no doubt that basic American values of liberty have been under constant assault by progressives for the past 50+ years.

        Btw: Fanciful language is no substitute for a proper argument.

      • The oligarchs are playing the long game. Dumb down the population by effectively destroying public education by emphasizing testing over critical thinking. Militarize the police to get around Posse Comitas. Disarm the population in just in case they get any ideas about objecting forcefully. Left, right, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the people at the top see you as an expendable asset to be used for their benefit.

  4. I like prescription painkillers almost as much as I like guns, but unlike with guns, moderation is good idea.

    • This article is all about the illusion of safety.

      Something else worth asking not mentioned is how many of these people were put on the fast track to heroin addiction by such medications.

    • Tyler Durden is not a real person, it is a name used by several writers on an economic/finance website. That being so, do you have a problem with the information, or just attacking the source?

  5. There are a lot of things more dangerous than guns: medical malpractice, alcohol, motorcycles, and obesity to name a few. I know quite a few gun owners who would be a lot better off stepping on a treadmill than debating hollow point design.

    The real dilemma of guns in civilian hands is that some peons may question the leadership of their elected “leaders,” and that’s a danger the statists simply cannot abide.

  6. I’m ready for some good hardcore exposure of SSRI drugs and violent crimes. I can name at least three well known mass shooters in the last few years who were on SSRI drugs.

  7. So, 19,000 painkiller-based deaths annually in 2014 versus 33,000 gun related (suicide plus murder) deaths per year? How is this a pro-gun argument?

    • Because the rate of death is higher among the population using the product.

      65 per 100k for opioid users
      7.5 per 100k for gun owners

      • Ah. It seems like landing that point took quite a while, with a lot of assumptions beforehand.

        • Well, unlike anti agitprop, a reasoned discourse does take time. As for the assumptions, they were taken straight from the anti’s own figures in order to illustrate a rhetorical point. “If your statistics are correct, here’s what that really means.”

  8. “statistically speaking, you’d be much safer if you flush the medications down the toilet than you ever would be by removing your gun”

    Not necessarily. There is such a thing as means substitution. That is, once the decision to commit suicide has been made, reducing access to a particular method won’t prevent the suicide. It will just necessitate substitution of one method for another. Flushing meds, therefore, would have no effect, just as removing firearms would have no impact.

    If anything, part of the decrease in the rate of suicide by firearm may be simple means substitution and switching to pain pills to overdose on. It leaves less mess to clean up, if nothing else.

    Either way, if you’re not addressing people with mental health crises, then you’re ignoring a root cause. If you’re not accounting for legitimate, sound mind, end of life decisions confounding the statistics, then all conclusions are immediately suspect, too.

  9. Nope, not about to “flush the medications down the toilet”…if you’ve ever had pain from kidney stones, you know how important pain meds are. Since I get chronic kidney stones (3-4 times/year), I keep some prescription meds around at all times.

  10. notice how cancer has almost caught up with Heart Disease ( which could be considered natural causes in most cases) yet they continue to tell us GMO’s are ok, eat up.

  11. The best place to keep prescription drugs of interest to burglars is your gun safe.

    Of course, a better solution would be to recognize that the “war on drugs” is as much a failure as was Prohibition, legalize everything and sell it through pharmacies with the FDA regulating strength and guaranteeing purity. Then, there would be no need to steal from your home.

    This country (it’s not alone) has a nasty habit of going off on self destructive moralistic binges. A few examples are Prohibition, the war on drugs, the 55 mph national speed limit and, now, private ownership of firearms. They are led by arrogant, self righteous, tyrants unshakably convinced they know how everyone else should live.

  12. Why are medical errors, the third leading cause of death, not in the infographic?

  13. It’s been known for a long time private pools cause more children to die than guns.

    I really ought to write the democrat candidate for the general election after the primary and ask if they’ll ban private pools. Oughta be fun.

    • Once they figure out how much money they could make banning some pools, requiring licensing, training and periodic property inspections for pool owners, etc. they will. /;-)

  14. It makes me wonder how people are managing to overdose on these drugs unless the vast majority of them are trying to get high.

    I hate to say it, but if they’re ODing then these drugs are basically chlorine for the gene pool. If you want to get high, go right ahead, I even think it should be 100% legal. However, if you manage to kill yourself chasing that high, well you rolled the dice and lost.

    • People don’t OD chasing the high. They OD because the purity of the product they receive is inconsistent.

      • They OD because tolerance. The effective dose approaches the lethal dose, until one day…

        • “LD” is a moving target, which tracks tolerance. Ultra-high opiod therapy for the chronically ill would LD100 people who aren’t accustomed.

  15. In other, somewhat related news, Hillary Clinton has been dropping the brand name (Norcan?) for the antidote for opioid overdose in her speeches as of late, which just recently had an exponential price increase. Just in time to save all those poor folks who got hooked on the fentanyl laced heroin from Afghanistan and Mexico after they lost their prescriptions following crackdowns on prescriptions after it came to light that oxycontin was essentially just synthetic heroin. So they poison you, charge you for it, then save you and charge you for it, then throw you in jail and charge everyone for it. VOTE HILLARY 2016 !!!!!!

  16. No, intelligent people do not flush drugs down the toilet.
    They don’t want drugs in the groundwater if they have well and septic system, and they don’t want drugs in next week’s drinking water if they have municipal water and sewer systems.

    • People really think that you somehow ‘use up’ drugs, and not just piss out he modified remnants thereof.


    • I live at the top of the water table, as it were. Anything I flush goes to Nebraska.

      • And what endocrine disruptors they flush in CA, WA. OR, etc, comes down in the rain. On you. There is no “top” of the water table unless you’re getting water from melting glacial ice, or ancient snowpack.

        Just sayin’….

  17. Pain killers? What about “Anti depressants/psychotics” psychotropics? The FDA does not even know what the neuropsychological effects of these things are. All they know is people will have suicidal/homicidal actions ingrained into their deep psyches after use of these drugs…

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