I have seen this political cartoon on Facebook enough times in the past few days now, and it frustrates me enough that I felt like I needed to say something. The comparison made in this cartoon is ridiculous. It’s like comparing apples to batteries. Sure, both provide energy, but to do a side by side comparison of the two doesn’t make too much sense when explaining what energy is.
For the argument being made in this political cartoon, the first two panels are a valid comparison; the car and the medication were recalled when a manufacturing error caused the product to be dangerous inevitably causing the deaths of some of its consumers. The third panel is referring to deaths caused by the misuse of a product, something completely different. A more accurate comparison to the third panel might be:
Vehicles cause nearly 1.3 million deaths each year but we still drive cars. That is an average of 3,287 deaths a day.
I found a lot of numbers thrown around on the internet on various websites citing the CDC and the AAPCC for overdosing and poisoning by acetaminophen (that would be the Tylenol from the middle panel). It is the deadliest over-the-counter medication and hundreds of people misuse and die from acetaminophen annually and it’s still available on shelves everywhere.
DISCLAIMER: I am not against better gun regulation. In fact, I am for it. My issue with this political cartoon is not the message it is trying to get across, it is the way in which it is accomplishing it. It is the combination of the panels for which I have issue and for which, I believe, makes for a nonsensical agenda.