New York. Associated Press. June 26

In the wake of last week’s deadly shooting at a Long Island pharmacy, Sen. Charles Schumer says the federal government must work harder to fight prescription drug abuse.

Schumer said Sunday that the abuse of prescription narcotics is reaching levels not seen since the crack epidemic of the 1980s and early 1990s.

What’s Chuck Schumer responding to? Here’s what:

New York. Associated Press. June 25

Armed robberies at pharmacies rose 81 percent between 2006 and 2010, from 380 to 686, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says. The number of pills stolen went from 706,000 to 1.3 million. Thieves are overwhelmingly taking oxycodone painkillers like OxyContin or Roxicodone, or hydrocodone-based painkillers like Vicodin and Norco. Both narcotics are highly addictive.

Econ 101 Question: If the government makes it even harder for people to get Oxycontin and other drugs, will the number of pharmacy robberies decrease, increase, or stay the same.
Bonus Poli Sci 101 Question: Will the New York Times write an editorial in the next two weeks calling Schumer out on his idea?

HT to Charley Hooper.