The association of guns and drugs in advertising is not new, nor accidental. The underlying concept is one of drug crazed maniacs wielding guns coming to a neighborhood near you--and no one is safe.
That is the fulcrum (safety) by which the lever of such propaganda is applied to even the most conservative psyche: drug related gang war, drug related killing, drug related crime...no one is safe.
While many would concede that the drug war is an abject failure, (something I will not), the inevitable answer to fighting that war more effectively has been a continuing erosion of the rights of all against unreasonable search and siezure, not just in the venue of controlled substances, but in the realm of firearms as well.
The concept has crept into the groupthink that some drugs are all right for personal self-medication, but others are too dangerous to allow the general public to use unsupervised, if at all. That same concept is being used to promote the ban of certain types of firearm, just substitute "guns" for "drugs" in the previous statement.
There are salient differences between the two.
First, people have used firearms on a daily basis and suffered no ill effects, even after many years.
Second, although a definite firearm enthusiast, I cannot honestly say I know anyone "addicted" to firearms. The physical dependency is not there.
No one is knocking over liquor stores to get their next box of .22s.
Babies born to households under the "influence of firearms" but where illicit drug use is absent seldom suffer birth defects at any rate greater than that of the general population, and are no more likely than the general population to be abused, neglected, or slain in acts of senseless violence, perhaps less so.
It would be disingenous to attempt to say the same of households where the parent(s) are drug addicts, even in the absence of firearms.
As for cheaper drugs, there is no guarantee that this would happen. When alcohol use was relieved of prohibition, alcoholic beverages were taxed. It would be highly uncharacteristic of Governmnet to ignore such a source of revenue, and while the result might be cheaper drugs, it is unlikely that prices would ever approach "cost".
If you advocate "state supplied" drugs, you are advocating my tax dollar supporting other people's bad habits, something I am as likely to condone as the average non-smoker would condone the Government picking up the tab for my La Gloria Cubanas.
It already galls me to be paying for "treatment" programs which have recidivism rates as high as 90+%.
While there is no easy solution, I cannot agree with the use of hyperbole to promote the "anything goes" approach to fighting the uncontrolled distribution and use of dangerous drugs. "No knock" dynamic entry, warrantless searches, the use of paid informants, and the erosion of due process all belie an increasing laziness on the part of law enforcement which used to rely on good police work. We have become so inured to such tactics that we have cast aside Constitutional protections on the false altar of "effectiveness", much as we have given up the ability to carry so much a a fingernail clipper on an airplane: all offerings to the false god of "Safety".
You mention compelling social interest, and aside from the public safety, there would be none if the Government had not already made its collectivist inroads into the family, making what would have been personal tragedies the collective responsibility (in financial terms) of the general public through welfare programs and taxation.
SO what's a mutha to do? For those who want to consume certain drugs of choice, licensure?
"Sign here, kid, you know you can get the buzz you want, but you will never drive the bus, the plane, the train, or hold public office. You forfeit your right to own a firearm, to hunt, or operate a motor vehicle. You may not work as a fireman, a policeman, a soldier, or in the medical profession. Forget being a cowboy, High on the Range was just a movie. If you ever wish to have children, you must test 'clean' on every random test for a period of 5 years, and are subject to genetic screening prior to reproductive approval. Just sign here, on line 3, 27, and 42, produce ID, and press hard, you are making several coppies...."
One last point, and I'll get off the page. Just because something was legal is not necessarily a good argument for making it legal again. Slavery was legal for nearly a hundred years after the Declaration of Independance was signed, and few would advocate its return.
I can find no evidence that drug prohibition, begun in the early 1900's, has helped.
The addiction rate to opiates dropped by over 60% from 1880 to 1900 while still legal. Since 1900, the number of people addicted to either opiates or cocaine has tripled.