This is a discussion on BAD----Doctors target gun violence as a social disease within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Hijacking The Second Amendment Physicians, Don't borrow trouble Physicians, Don't borrow trouble, Part II Hijacking The Second Amendment By Joe Horn Doctors would do well ...
If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.
Washington didn't use his freedom of speech to defeat the British, He shot them!
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy." -- Ernest Benn
Counter from a Dr. to the docs for their stance:
Guns like Microbes
From: Dr. Norman M. Balog, D.O., Director of Medical Affairs, MCDL
To: Dr. Arthur Kaplan, Ph.D., Director, University of Pennsylvania's Center for Bioethics.
Dear Dr. Kaplan,
I was considering a sideline in biomedical ethics at one time, long ago, and have dabbled in it over the years. No one has ever shouted out "Is there a biomedical ethicist in the house?" so I guess, for me, being a family practitioner is enough. Ethics, like other branches of pure natural science, like philosophy and rhetoric, have no money or glory in it to speak of, really, unless you're pandering to the socialists as you have obviously chosen to do. Fact is, I used to look up to you, until today.
The key fallacy in your argument is when you say:
"If guns were microbes, we would launch a national war to eradicate them."
Which is precisely what guns are not, infectious agents. The mere presence of them does NOT influence, nor guarantee, that they will be the agents of murder, death, mayhem, suicide and accidents that you and the group at Handgun Control Inc and the Violence Policy Center would have us believe. Fact is, some fine research has been done by John Lott, David Kopel, Gary Kleck, et. al. pointing out quite the opposite, that when citizens carry firearms, the incidence (the RATE) of personal assaults and robberies goes down demonstrably, due to no other factor than the presence of the guns themselves.
Guns do not meet the criteria of the German microbiologist, Robert Koch, known as "Koch's Postulates."
1. The specific organism should be shown to be present in all cases of animals suffering from a specific disease but should not be found in healthy animals.
2. The specific microorganism should be isolated from the diseased animal and grown in pure culture on artificial laboratory media.
3. This freshly isolated microorganism, when inoculated into a healthy laboratory animal, should cause the same disease seen in the original animal.
4. The microorganism should be reisolated in pure culture from the experimental infection.
-Qod erat demonstratum.
Guns are responsible for a massacre? We are a society that cannot handle guns? You're saying this here? So what has happened in the past five hundred years of their existence to change that all of a sudden? Only in the past six years of the current administration have guns been used as widely and with such deadly political force as only bombs have been used in the past. And bombs HAVE been used, at Littleton and in the past by Bolsheviks, by the Intifada, Clinton in the Sudan and the Balkans, by the IRA, and a ragtag band of freedom fighters some of us call this country's founding fathers. But, like I said, there IS a difference between politics and ethics, one you might consider reviewing sometime.
There are a lot of questions left begging in your column for which I can't imagine there are any reasoned, sound answers.
"If guns were viruses," you said. I like that analogy, only because if guns WERE like viruses, then matches might be like napalm. Better still, if guns cause crime, then matches cause fires, cars cause motor vehicle accidents and deaths, penises cause rape, and so on. If the killers at columbine used just firebombs, would you call for the elimination of gasoline? I think not. You're barking up the wrong barrel, Art.
Maybe it is the culture that needs to be fixed and not its tools. But that would take work, and it's not something that government has any constitutional authority to do.
In summary, it cannot be proven that the mere presence of guns, CAUSES violent acts. If this were true, there would be a multitude of assaults on citizens by police officers, security guards, and the branches of the military. Some other element, some critical control has slipped off the average teenager who uses weapons as a means of expression when all means of expression are becoming politicized and controlled by the government. But that's just an idea, much like yours.
I know you were playing to a dumbed down audience on the internet and through MSNBC, or you would have followed your own argument to its most logical conclusion (one that Sir William of Occam would have been proud of), and that is, guns are the single most effective deterrent to violent crime and personal injury ever invented. On the contrary to your position, firearms, even by the Dept of Justice's own admission, are responsible for at least 1.5 MILLION defensive uses per year. Some researchers put this number in escess of 2.5 million. But, as the man said, a million here, a million there, pretty soon we're talking serious lives being saved.
Yes, people are killed with handguns (not BY guns, but WITH... to say BY is to ascribe intent, and volition to the weapon itself, even you wouldn't make that mistake unless you were prostituting yourself to the anti self-defense crowd), but of the 30 thousand or so killed, only a scant thousand or two are "children" the majority are probably killed in defensive uses, both by citizens and police; some are suicides, and few are accidents. A fair trade.
I will lead you to an interesting set of statistics to ponder over, the 10 leading causes of death from the CDC CDC - Injury - WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System)
Then, while you're at it, take a look at Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership and read about what happens under regimes which disarm its subjects. Guns don't cause violence, but they do prevent it, as a matter of fact, it's been said that "Guns Save Lives." Example: the mere presence of a handful of firearms in untrained hands held off a division of crack infantry troops in the Warsaw Ghetto in April - May of 1943. The presence of firearms here in America merely prevent rapes, robbery, murder, and other acts of savagery. Some of us hope they will forestall any future holocausts.
I'm really sorry to have read what you wrote for MSNBC, Dr. Kaplan, I have always been a great fan of your positions on issue of ethics in science and medicine, but what you wrote was political, not ethical, and I can no longer trust your positions on such matters of import.
- Dr. Norman Balog
Dr. Stephen Hargarten states the following in the article:
"Unlike almost all other consumer products, there is no national product safety oversight of firearms," he wrote in the Wisconsin Medical Journal."
He seems to fail to realize the issue is not the weapon its the one using the weapon. He makes reference to motor vehicles and speaks to the safety of them. Yes, vehicles have been made safer for the users/passengers if used properly. Most(if not all) weapons have been always safe when used properly. The doctor never mentions the fact that nothing has been done to prevent someone that is either drunk or on drugs from using the vehicle to kill/badly injury others. The problem is not the vehicle or weapon it is the human being abusing the intended use of such. It is a problem that will never be solved with "reaction" laws. No law will ever stop/prevent what inside someones mind. Will the issue of impaired drivers, mass killers, serial killers, etc., ever be solved. Sadly I do not see a viable answer and it appears those in the "know" do not either since all they ever come with are "reaction" laws that ultimately and usually effect the law abiding citizens(majority of Americans) more than actually solving anything.
"One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation."
--Thomas B. Reed, American Attorney
Second Amendment -- Established December 15, 1791 and slowly eroded ever since What happened to "..... shall not be infringed."
Maybe they are trying to think up a way to force insurance companies to cover work, err I mean, robbery related injuries.
A woman must not depend on protection by men. A woman must learn to protect herself.
Susan B. Anthony
A armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one has to back it up with his life.
I never got syphillis from any of my guns,
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
Guns + healthcare + Obama = hmmmmm. Will the taxpayers under Obamacare fund further study?
"The thing about quotes on the internet is that you can not confirm their validity."
"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky. dangerous animals."
This is just another angle to promote gun control. If its a 'disease' then it can be 'cured'
gun as a germ is a bad analogy. i have to agree that gun violence is a social disease. the germ is the sociopath shooter.
Gun violence should ONLY = illegal use of firearms.
Lawful SD by civilan or police is not gun violence; to report it otherwise should be a crime, falsely reporting an incident.
No internal lock or magazine disconnect on my pistols!
You have more microbial cells in and on your body than you have human cells. In fact, your intestine and skin is entirely coated in 'good' germs, and it's only them that prevents the bad germs from infecting you.
If you were to lose your protective good germs, you'd be at serious risk from being sickened by bad germs.
Is it still a bad analogy?
The March of Dimes worked; it's why we're not debating Universal Iron Lung coverage.
Knowing about the Bystander Effect actually prevents it.
Don't borrow trouble.
Sage advice, that is.
There is a solution but we are not Jedi... not yet.