Twenty elementary school students and six adults were recently shot to death in Newtown, Conn. In addition in 2010, over 31,000 people were killed by firearms. Consequently, many politicians and members of the public are making proposals to reduce gun violence. However, surprisingly, there hasn't been a similar outcry against something which is responsible for killing 14.5 times more people in our country year after year. What is this scourge? It is tobacco. Smoking increases the risk of developing heart disease, lung problems and cancer. It contributes to nearly 450,000 deaths per year. Wait, it gets worse. Our elected representatives in Washington, D.C. have enacted legislation directing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to subsidize the growing of tobacco. During the three-year period starting in 2009, the tobacco growing subsidy was $588 million. I hope you are as outraged as I am about this unconscionable blunder. Stop the subsidy. Save lives.
David M. Courtis