Cold Medicine More Regulated Than Ammo (MEME)

This meme, originally found on Occupy Posters, brings up an interesting point. But is it really true?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine, such as the popular brand Sudafed, has a well established enforcement precedent in place. The law, part of the USA PATRIOT act, and titled the “Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005” was introduced to hurt the production of methamphetamine, and puts the following requirements onto the purchase of cold medication containing pseudoephedrine:

  • A person is limited in how much they can purchase, broken into day and monthly allotments
  • Requires people to present photo identification to purchase anything containing pseudoephedrine
  • Requires retailers to keep personal information about these customers for at least two years after the purchase of these medicines
  • Customers may not have direct access to the product before the sale is made
  • Buyers must present a photo identification card issued by the State or the Federal Government
  • The information for the purchase logbook must be verified against the photo ID, and recorded along with the amount of medication purchased

To compare against the regulations for ammunition sale would come next, except there are not any such regulations on the books. A person can walk into any retailer, purchase as much ammunition as they desire, without any trace or record of the transaction. And this goes across the board, from little bb pellets to armor-piercing rounds can be purchased, without any records.

This was not always so. Until 1987, ammunition sales were regulated in the same manner with which cold medications are, no direct access, photo ID, and a record kept of the transaction. While the NRA claims that the Senate found these regulations did little to stem violence, history tells a different story entirely. As for the increase in gun violence during the late 1960’s and through the 1980’s, a different source has since been identified. Knowing what we do now between the links of pollution and crime, without the gun control which was repealed in 1987, we can only imagine how much more violent it would have been otherwise.

If this meme seems to point to hypocrisy, it does a good job of it. The regulation of pseudoephedrine has resulted in a continuing reduction in the production of methamphetamine. It would seem logical, therefore, that a similar restriction on ammunition sales, would prevent the kinds of violent acts we have witnessed these past few years.

It is clear, the US Government has been taken hostage by the gun manufacturers lobby. They will address over the counter cold medication, but not the repeated and frequent massacres. A shameful day in this countries history.

Nathaniel Downes is the son of a former state representative of New Hampshire, now living in Seattle Washington.
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