Moore’s ‘Bowling’ fails to consider role of drug traffic in gun death rate

To the Daily:

Michael Moore seems to argue that our country’s absurdly high gun death rate is a result of our attitudes in Bowling For Columbine, but he leaves out some crucial information. He fails to note where our nation’s gun deaths occur – most predominantly in the nation’s largest cities – as well as an easily recognizable reason behind the high gun death rate.

According to Lee T. Dresang, MD, in the Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, half of all gun deaths occur in the 63 largest cities. On top of this, the majority of these gun deaths were “‘clustered in certain neighborhoods (Wintemute GJ. The future of firearm violence prevention: building on success. JAMA 1999;282:475-8.).’ For example, in Milwaukee, two inner-city zip codes, 53204 and 53215, have homicide rates of 89.1 per 100,000 and 38.8 per 100,000, respectively, compared with a homicide rate of 10.5 per 100,000 for the state in general (The Wisconsin assessment information manager. Milwaukee: Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, Division of Public Health, 1999.).”

According to Massachusetts Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Carla Howell, our nation’s homicide rate was about five per 100,000 before the prohibition of alcohol, then rose to about 10 per 100,000 during prohibition, only to fall back to pre-prohibition numbers after it was repealed. Similarly, before the prohibition of drugs, the homicide rate was five per 100,000, only to rise up to our current rate right now. Howell and many others argue that it is the high-risk, high-profit atmosphere created by drug prohibition that is the predominant factor in our nation’s high homicide rate, whether it is through guns, knives, baseball bats or whatever. The end result is still ruthless, extremely motivated criminals willing to kill by any means necessary to protect their lucrative industry of drug trafficking.

Moore’s complete lack of discussion on this topic is not only surprising, being that he is a self-described leftist activist, but scary in that many people will emerge from watching his latest film ignorant of the most likely factor for our nation’s high gun death rate.

Jon Boguth

LSA freshman

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.