The Trump administration is finalizing a ban on flavored e-cigarettes, but many are wondering why the president doesn’t have the same passion about removing military-style weapons off the streets.
There has been an outbreak of a vaping-related illness that’s sickened 450 people and resulted in at least six deaths.
“We can’t allow people to get sick and we can’t have our youth be so affected,” Trump said during an Oval Office meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless. “People are dying from vaping, so we’re looking at it very closely.”
But Sen. Bernie Sanders is wondering why the urgency on tobacco and not guns.
Now do AR-15s. https://t.co/HNJmxIuCrr
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) September 11, 2019
Sanders has long called for a ban on assault weapons in the wake of mass shootings, saying that “these weapons are not for hunting … they’re for killing human beings.”
Earlier this year, 22 people were killed in a shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas and nine victims shot dead in Dayton, Ohio.
Over the previous months, other mass shootings have rocked the nation––from Sebring, Fla., to Gilroy, Calif.
In 2019 alone, at least 69 people have been killed in mass shootings.
The El Paso massacre was the deadliest since the November 2017 Sutherland Springs, Texas church shooting.
It was deadlier than the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February 2018, which left 17 students and staff members dead.
The 2017 Las Vegas shootings, which killed 58 people, remains the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Democrats in the House are planning to hold a hearing Sept. 25 on a bill to ban assault weapons, legislation that currently has 211 cosponsors – seven short of the 218 needed to pass in the House.
Meanwhile, public health officials haven’t established a firm cause for the vaping-related respiratory illnesses.
Counterfeit or black-market vapes may be playing a role, but legal vapes haven’t been ruled out.
Many of the cases have been linked to vaped forms of marijuana and its component, CBD.
Vaping industry groups were quick to condemn the administration’s move.
The Vapor Technology Association said there was no indication that its members products were to blame for recent cases of lung illness, adding that flavored vaping products have been shown to be one of the most effective smoking cessation tools
“Barring flavors would be a public health travesty,” the group said in a statement.