Here’s a great editorial from the Christian Science Monitor: “Answers to Gun Violence May Lie in Nonsmoking Campaigns.”
The piece notes that several decades ago, smoking was considered glamorous.
Then, as more information about the hazards of smoking became available and the dangers posed to nonsmokers by secondhand smoke, public opinion shifted.
After a string of massacres, particularly the recent Sandy Hook tragedy in Connecticut, public opinion appears to be shifting. Have we reached a tipping point? Let’s hope. Here’s what the Monitor writes:
An official curb on risky products or practice isn’t nearly as powerful as a shift in public attitudes about what is acceptable. … This social stigma against smoking was to protect the innocent, and that idea should now apply to guns as well. And just as the nonsmoking movement started first with local and state bans on public smoking, so, too, have many cities and states moved to curb guns or tighten background checks.
So look less to Congress for ideas to prevent another Sandy Hook and more to a shift in opinion polls, a decline in gun sales, or even more turn-in-your-gun events at police stations. Better yet, ask former smokers from the 1960s or ’70s why they don’t smoke anymore.