Legalize Drugs, But Criminalize Guns? Stats Show Firearms Kill Fewer Americans

Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr.
By Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr. | December 20, 2012 | 2:35 PM EST

Polls show that a majority of Americans favor legalizing and/or decriminalizing drugs, while at the same time support stricter guns laws.  But, what do the statistics say about the violence associated with firearms and drug abuse?

According to data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), drugs were responsible for more deaths than firearms in 2009.  A total of 39,147 persons died of "drug-induced" causes in the United States compared to 31,347 persons killed from firearm injuries.

The CDC notes that drug-induced mortalities include "deaths from poisoning and medical conditions caused by dependent and nondependent use of legal or illegal drugs, and also includes poisoning from medically prescribed and other drugs.  It excludes unintentional injuries, homicides, and other causes indirectly related to drug use, as well as newborn deaths due to the mother's drug use."

The two major components of deaths caused by firearms were suicide (59.8%) and homicide (36.7%).

Gun control advocates have seized on the opportunity in the wake of the Newtown, CT shooting to bring the conversation on gun-control to the forefront.

President Obama held a press briefing on December 19 to announce a new task force to be headed by Vice President Joe Biden that will seek to curb gun violence

Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a long time advocate of gun-control, has announced that she will introduce legislation next year to ban assault weapons.

While the effort to ban guns appears to be the number one priority of the Left at the moment, the "war on drugs" seems to be waning as more Americans favor legalization.

On November 6 of this year, citizens of both Colorado and Washington State voted to legalize the use of marijuana.  While it is still illegal at the federal level, President Obama has said that he will not prosecute those who use the drug in those states.

Whatever your feelings are on the issues, the numbers don't lie - and that's the truth of it.

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