In my suggested topics entry I took a very hard-line stance on vaccines:
5. Vaccines! LOL
People who do not vaccinate their children should be imprisoned and their kids taken from them.
Anti vaccine jerkoffs are endangering me, you, their children, our children, and everybody else because they have poor scientific literacy combined with a narcissistic belief that only their child matters.
To which I got a reasonable response:
To which I gave a less reasonable response:
To be clear, I do think that anti-vaccers are way off base. I do think that the position is indefensible. But I should probably try to be more diplomatic. Also, I should probably be less flip when I talk about policy ideas.
Fortunately I am just a blogger with a reach of a couple dozen readers, so I feel like I can get away with periodically being a jerk.
Obviously persecution and transportation to ghettos and concentration camps is not good governance. If I actually advocated what I described in my post and response a Hitler analogy would actually be appropriate.
So I would like to say that I do not advocate imprisoning anti-vaccers, taking away their children, ghettoizing them, or transporting them to concentration camps.
But refusing vaccinations does really piss me off. I am going to use an analogy to explain why:
Imagine you lived in a city, and in that city everyone owned a gun. Some people kept their guns in safes, and some people carried them around on their hips, and some jackasses randomly fired them into the air (for religious reasons or because they had a condition that made them unable to avoid occasional discharges). In this imaginary scenario guns also get used on people. Criminals shoot people and steal people's guns. Even people who keep their guns in a safe sometimes get shot. But at least most people agree that shooting your gun into the air is wrong.
Now imagine there is a growing group of people who have become convinced that there is a bogey man, and the only way to scare him off is by randomly firing guns into the air. It doesn't matter to these people that the bogey man is not real, they believe in the bogey man and no amount of proof will convince them otherwise. These people claim that they should have the right to defend themselves against the bogey man by firing their guns in the air.
During the normal state of affairs people are pretty safe from randomly falling bullets. Most people are responsible with their guns. And even though bullets are dangerous they are also very small. Most of the time the bullets will just fall to the ground or hit a roof. Occasionally someone will get hit, but usually it isn't fatal, and this is just accepted as a fact of life. And this stays true just as long as the number of people firing their guns in the air stays small. Once greater numbers of people are firing into the air the relative safety is destroyed.
In this analogy the gun that everybody has is your immune system. The bullets are diseases. The gun safes are vaccines and good hygiene. The open carriers are people who just get vaccinations. The criminals are non-vaccine preventable diseases. And the people who shoot their guns in the air are people who do not vaccinate.
As far as I'm concerned refusing to vaccinate is the same as periodically firing a gun into the air. I support your right to carry a gun, but not to fire it in the air in a populated area.