Debate Magazine

Guns and Guts - NO, Not the Slang Term for Courage!

Posted on the 10 June 2012 by Mikeb302000
Miss me? I'm back, at least for a while.
This is cross posted from Penigma; it belongs here because I believe there is a correlation in the thinking about this topic and firearms, hence the retitling here, guns and guts.
I would argue that we should be regulating (and taxing more than we do) both sugary drinks, and possibly other highly sugary products (and doubly so with a surcharge on high fructose corn syrup), AND simultaneously,  we should stop subsidizing sugar, which is one of the most egregious pigs at the public trough. As a public health measure which acknowledges that sugar has an addictive quality that was not previously well understood, we should be regulating sizes as a form of portion control, but not outright banning anything with sugar in it.  .
from Penigma
Mayor Bloomberg Isn't the ONLY Mayor Advocating Limits on Sugary Drinks!
Mayor Bloomberg has been getting a lot of bad press for his public health proposal regarding sugary drinks. Personally, I think a certain amount of that attention is because a narrow segment of the population disagrees with him about gun control.

Guns and Guts - NO, not the slang term for courage!

NRA Reality - old, white,
crabby, and compensating
for not being fit

Guns and Guts - NO, not the slang term for courage!

Rambo NRA ' Gun Nut' hero Fantasy

When you consider the conservative inhabitants of the Red states, and the progunners fit the profile of old and white, flabby and crabby -- and by flabby, I mean obese not just deficient in muscle tone -- it makes sense that they would be as upset at limiting their fattening soft drinks the same way they get upset at limiting their gun fetish objects that enhance their fantasies of themselves as heroic 'Rambo' figures. A casual perusal of will show you what I mean. After checking out, consider that it is Wally World that is the number 1 seller of guns in the U.S. That NRA classic profile I use probably owes the outcome to beer as much as sugary drinks, but you only get in trouble driving with beer, not sugary soda.

Guns and Guts - NO, not the slang term for courage!

"soda jerks, people of, page 20
just a little harmless'sugary drink excess - or addiction?

I mean, it's not like anyone is drinking sugary soda pop to it?
Yes it IS. And as was noted in a segment of 60 Minutes earlier this year, sugar is an addictive substance, not just a food choice. That puts it in a somewhat different category from other kinds of food, an aspect of the discussion which has been overlooked in the push back against Mayor Bloomberg.
It is NOT just Bloomberg who is promoting the idea of a little healthy portion control on sugary drinks as a public health measure! Other mayors share the idea in different iterations.
Public health issues are a public problem; failing to address self-destructive patterns of consumption that are the root cause of public health issues require a comprehensive and broad (pardon the pun) based solution, portion control in the form of product size limitations or taxation is just one part of that solution. To call it the nanny state is to deny or ignore the nature of the problem, and to fail to produce a solution, just as gun nuts rejecting reasonable gun control relates directly to our high rates of death and injury. And as with both sugary drinks and guns, the worst victims tend to be children. Portion control solutions work. No one is taking away your freedom to indulge, but it is making that choice a more thoughtful one that makes it easier to make the correct choice.
Firearms should be similarly regulated (and taxed a lot) in proportion to the damage to our society that is done with firearms. Clearly, both guns and sugar have in certain uses are beneficial but are also spectacularly bad in other instances, distinctly so compared to our favorite analogies - screw drivers and hammers in contrast to guns, or apples and oranges compared to candy bars and sugary drinks.FOR EXAMPLE, from the Philadelphia Weekly re hizzoner, Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia:

Mayor Nutter Says Bloomberg Soda Plan ‘Worth Evaluating and Considering’

As we mentioned earlier today, Mayor Michael Nutter is in Washington, DC today and delivered the keynote address at the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Inaugural National Soda Summit. His statements were recently sent out to press and note something we’ve all been thinking: He is still adamant about his soda tax idea and even believes New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on super-size drinks is a positive step.
“Mayors across the country and I have proposed taxes or new regulations on sugar sweetened beverages,” he said. “We need a multi-pronged approach to decrease sugary drinks consumption. Education, taxation, and increased access to healthier options have to all be a part of the discussion.”
Last summer, the Nutter Administration proposed a 2-cent per-ounce tax on soda, after a previous plan failed and property taxes were hiked instead. The city has invested its own and federal stimulus cash into an anti-soda campaign, in which posters are put up outside delis and other establishments asking consumers to think twice before purchasing their beverage of choice.
Mayor Nutter’s press secretary Mark McDonald told us earlier this year there were “no specific plans at this time [to introduce a soda tax].”
Nutter continued in his summit talk today, noting Mayor Bloomberg’s accomplishment.
“Just last week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 oz. His ban would limit large sugary drinks being sold at food service establishments, like fast food restaurants, sports arenas or deli’s. The ban wouldn’t apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based products or beverages with no more than 25 calories per 8 oz. serving,” he said, adding: “It’s a bold strategy and is worth evaluating and considering. Studies have shown that people eat what is served to them. Perhaps, if offered smaller portions people would consume less. The problem, which Mayor Bloomberg has clearly noted, is that ridiculously large portions have become the norm – 20 or 24 oz. sugary drinks are common.”
Mayor Bloomberg’s idea was both touted and slammed throughout the media, often dependent upon ideology. A Gawker headline urged readers to “Quit complaining about Mayor Bloomberg’s soda ban, fatsos.”
As we wrote earlier this year, the American Beverage Industry has been lobbying hard against any increase in tax on sweetened beverages across the country. Here in Philadelphia, they spent $238,921 on lobbying the city against a soda tax—six times more than the next group. Funded by the American Beverage Association, a group called Smart Taxpayers Exposing Waste was put together to put a hip face on efforts to stop anti-soda legislation. They’ve noted stimulus money earmarked for anti-obesity campaigns would have been better spent on a larger blue collar workforce. A STEW Facebook graphic noted the money Philly spent on its anti-obesity campaign could have bought 52 police officers, 54 firefighters, 57 paramedics, 58 teachers or 88 EMTs, for one year.
The Nutter Administration has essentially ignored these campaigns, publicly. “In 2011, with Philadelphia’s School District facing a significant budget shortfall, I reintroduced the sugar-sweetened beverage tax. At two-cents-per-ounce, this time on distributors, we believed it would close the budget gap,” Nutter said at the summit. “Each time we introduced the sugar-sweetened beverage tax, we faced determined opposition from the beverage industry.” (Philebrity has the entire speech up here.)
Nutter went on to tout his “Get Healthy Philly” initiative as well as a $7.5 million Center for Disease Control grant for obesity reduction strategies.
“Taxes can play a role in adjusting consumer choices, he said. “Mayor Bloomberg’s idea of a serving-size ban could help reduce consumption.”

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