Jim Thompson
Jim Thompson
By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist


We all die. It is a fact of life. But how you die and where you die, in many cases has become a political narrative.

We anxiously count COVID-19 deaths daily. Just the other morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) reported 157,631 U.S. deaths. This is in the news every day.

I don’t have to tell you COVID-19 has been a complete disrupter of society, not just in the U.S., but worldwide, since at least March.

As I looked up the lung cancer deaths, I had to dig quite deep in the CDC website. In fact, you have to go through a long application procedure to access what the CDC refers to as current data. The closest thing you can get to current is 2017, when the death count was 145,849.

It seems as though I remember when lung cancer deaths were around a half million a year, so education on smoking is obviously working. Funny, we don’t talk about these deaths anymore.

Tuberculosis and death by automobile are other statistics that occasionally come into the national narrative, but not now. At the moment, it is not COVID-19, it is COVID-24/7.

On Thursday, Aug. 7, New York State’s attorney general sued the National Rifle Association (NRA) in an attempt to dissolve it. The NRA is also facing a regulatory hearing and examination in New York for selling so-called “murder insurance.”

This is insurance that covers your legal bills if you protect yourself with a legally procured and carried firearm against an assailant. By the way, it is legal in Georgia and I carry it. I have the card right next to my conceal carry permit in my wallet.

Apparently, if you try to protect yourself from an assailant in New York, you are on your own.

Of course, the biggest killer each year in the United States is not even recognized as a killer by about half the population. They have even given the name for it a positive spin. That killer is abortion. Thankfully, abortions are going down, but they are still at an unacceptably high level.

According to several sources, 862,320 abortions took place in the United States in 2017 (latest year available). This was down from 1,360,000 20 years ago, so at least the trend is in the right direction.

When we look at who to blame for all these deaths, the situation is quite different. The opposition party wants to blame President Trump for the COVID-19 deaths. When he brings up the genesis of where they started, he is labeled a racist. Gun violence is obviously caused by all those nasty gun owners, and the solution is obviously gun control (sarcasm – just look at Chicago).

When someone, like your author, brings up abortions, that same opposition party that starts yelling at Trump about COVID-19, I’ll bet almost to a person, defends abortion. A beating heart is a beating heart. Why don’t we do our best, together, to save them all?

Of course, in many cases this involves changing attitudes starting with home conditions and how we are raised. This involves church attendance, manners, being taught to respect life and many other things that used to be standards in our homes (and our schools).

In my lifetime we have been stripped of these things, by fiat or by changing social norms. We cannot legislate, we cannot mandate fixes to these basics. We been proven a failure as a country at doing this. It is time we go back to our roots, unwind some of the social experiments we have tried that have failed.

Only then will death not be political.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at jthompson@taii.com.