We get lots of mail. Lots of links. Lots of love. And occasionally, we get mail from someone who accidentally stumbled upon Skepchick and, discovering we have a comment form, are incapable of stopping themselves from using it before reading anything else on the site. The other day we received such a letter from Lisa. I decided to respond publicly in hopes that it would encourage her to check out the rest of the site for clarification on all sorts of things she doesn’t understand.
I didn’t want to sign in to leave a comment. I hope you support free speech. Mercola and NVIC have the right to pay for any advertising they like. My son is unvaccinated and very healthy. You are advocating people receive medicine against their will, or just keep them in the dark so they can’t make an informed choice
Lisa is upset that I launched a campaign to get anti-vaccine advertisements off of the CBS Outdoor JumboTron in New York City’s Times Square where it’s being seen by hundreds of thousands (if not over a million) people. The ad is scheduled to run through April 26, 2011. If you’d like to do something about this, you can contact CBS Outdoor via Twitter and using hashtag #VaxCBS, signing this petition at Change.org and/or emailing a letter stating your thoughts to CBS Outdoor.
What impressed me about Lisa’s letter was how wrong someone could be in just 5 sentences.
I didn’t want to sign in to leave a comment. I hope you support free speech.
I do support free speech. I even support your right to sign in and voice that opinion on a blog. This blog even. And that’s not even a right! It’s something nice that we do… so you have the option to speak freely. And if you don’t want to speak freely and publicly, we offer you the option to speak privately, and freely. But most of all, I hope you support my freedom to speak against what is being said. Because you see, Lisa, “free speech” is not limited to the one who speaks first. Others are allowed to disagree with that first person. They get free speech, too. I hope you support that.
Otherwise, you sending this email infringes on my right to free speech that I earned by writing the blog post before you emailed me about it. You don’t hate free speech, do you, Lisa?
Mercola and NVIC have the right to pay for any advertising they like.
They do. And they did. And CBS is running it. And this makes me angry. And it’s my right to speak out against it. Because their message is dangerous.
I also have the right to buy an advertisement that says, “Driving sober, know the risks!” Then point people to a site that shows all the statistics for sobriety-related accidents. Like that 73% of fatal car accidents are the result of people not driving while drunk. Because driving sober is a choice and you should be aware of the dangers. See? It’s totally my right to pay for that ad. But the reality is that if CBS Outdoor ran that ad, people would be outraged. As they should be. Because driving drunk kills people, and to claim otherwise is irresponsible and deadly. Similarly, not vaccinating children kills people, and to claim otherwise is irresponsible and deadly.
My son is unvaccinated and very healthy.
Good for your son.
I’m happy he’s healthy.
But lots of unvaccinated people are not healthy. Like the 200,000 people who die every year from measles. And the 10 children who have been hospitalized in MN this year with measles. And the 10 babies who died from whooping cough last year in California. And the school in Roanoke that was shut down because over half of the students contracted whooping cough. And the 77,000 other people who have gotten sick and/or died from vaccine preventable diseases over the last 4 years in the US alone.
The reality is that while your son is healthy, that can change in an instant and if he gets sick, he can spread the disease to others who are unprotected because of health or because they’ve opted out of vaccinating. That’s simply not responsible. It’s dangerous. It’s deadly.
Pointing out that your son is healthy is like pointing out all the drunks who don’t kill people on the road and don’t get into accidents and don’t get arrested. There’s easily 10 times more.
And even when a drunk driver does get into an accident and hurts someone, think of all the people they didn’t hurt. They probably drove past 100 other people on the road… and yet, they only killed one or maybe a family of four. But that’s just a one in a thousand plus chance, right? It’s pretty negligible.
What’s a few people dead compared to my right to choose how to drive around? Really, it’s my car and it’s my body and it’s my choice what I want to do with those things.
You are advocating people receive medicine against their will, or just keep them in the dark so they can’t make an informed choice
It’s interesting that I say, “Remove a dangerous message” and you hear, “Strap people to chairs and force them to be medicated! BECAUSE I SAID SO MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! You want information? YOU GET NOTHING!”
Because what I’m advocating is that people make an informed choice. And I’m advocating that they don’t get bogged down with bullshit “drunk driving is safe” type arguments that scare parents into thinking that their children are going to be destroyed by vaccines.
Are there dangers? Yes. There are.
Are they what NVIC and Mercola claim? No. Not even close. Not even as close as “73% of accidents are caused by people not driving drunk.” They’re not even distorting the facts. They’re making them the fuck up.
And the dangers of vaccines are nowhere near the dangers of not vaccinating.
Remember when PSAs like these were in all the comic books?
No? Do you know why you don’t remember? Because of vaccines.