How We Can Reduce Prescription Drug Prices and Gun Violence: Two Thoughts

On Prescription Drug Prices

Because of the constantly-rising prices of life-saving drugs, many Americans must choose between eating or medicating to survive. For example, the new higher costs of insulin will be a death sentence for many Americans if nothing is done soon. We need to submit legislation that declares the deadly and inflated prices on insulin a national emergency, justifying the decision to license the FDA to create a branch that will manufacture and sell insulin– among other necessary medications – at cost.

Doing this will result in a dramatic and immediate reduction in the cost of insulin. Why insulin? So many people need it now and will need later it as our population ages, and insulin has seen some of the most egregious price hikes in the world of medicine. 

Then, we move on to the next life-saving drug, using “humanitarian crisis” as the justification for seizing formulas, based on the need to save lives. Over time, all drug prices will start coming down by themselves, as these companies begin to realize that they must adapt to the new reality or go out of business.

The point of research is to save future lives, but is it worth it at the expense of lives today because so many patients are priced out of the market? Ask Congress to justify all these deaths today, for the sake of uncertain results tomorrow. This is not to advocate stopping research; just to slow the roll to a sensible proportion.

The problem in all of this, is that companies are trained to act as though their survival depends on making more each year than the year before. However, if they see that their very existence is threatened by this type of thinking, they will have the proper incentive to change the way they look at the business they are in—andto the benefit of all.

On Reducing Gun Violence

No one can argue against the idea that we have an epidemic of gun violence in America today. Countries like Singapore, Great Britain, Canada, China, Japan, and now New Zealand have taken sensible precautions to limit access to guns, often in the wake of mass shootings. But the U.S., with the most gun violence in the world, cannot follow suit because of pressure from the NRA and their absolutism in the upholding of Second Amendment rights.

Fortunately, there is a way to dramatically reduce gun violence casualties without infringing on our Second Amendment rights. All this solution requires is to recognize that bullets – not guns – do the actual killing. The Second Amendment does not say a single word about ammunition, nor could the drafters of that legislation have foreseen the advent of hollow-point and “cop-killer” bullets, with their ability to eviscerate human flesh so horribly. When the Second Amendment was adopted in 1791, all they had were musket balls, which were predominantly made of steel. Steel doesn’t poison flesh as it passes through, nor expand upon impact to create a veritable crater that takes out vital organs.

The main point of the Second Amendment is for Americans to have the ability to protect and defend themselves as well as being able to stop a deadly threat. Hard rubber bullets, as are used in Great Britain and sometimes in the United States, have sufficient stopping power to put down a threat. One doesn’t need to destroy a life to protect oneself. 

And if the threat was not real because it was misunderstood, leaving that person alive would be a good thing. 

Let these gun lovers have their guns; just make changes to the law for what type of ordnance is permissible. Steel or hard rubber bullets have sufficient stopping power, and in game hunting, don’t contaminate the game. Moreover, people with an insatiable need to kill others in mass numbers may be stopped before they start, based on realizing that the mass casualties they hope to inflict are not so possible as they once were.

What about those who choose to violate this new law? Make the penalties for non-compliance steep and mandatory.

It will take time for the old ordnance to be phased out, but we need to start somewhere. We can look toward the day, perhaps five or ten years from now, when the new style of ordnance is all that is out there. Sure, some closet enthusiasts might make their own, but who wants to risk the prospect of spending ten years in prison just for possessing the wrong type of bullets?

There will be those who may argue that their precious guns have been emasculated. But if that’s what it takes to save countless lives, and if the Second Amendment is not affected by the new law, won’t they feel a bit petty trying to argue that point? Lives are worth more than pride.