Guns and Public Health

Public Health Experts Reportedly Targeting Gun Violence as ‘Social Disease’

On The Blaze

Before I dive into this I want to be really clear on something.

I welcome all honest inquiry.

You know what? The truth is. It is immutable. However, it becomes readily apparent in the article that the doctors in question are not after honest inquiry. These individuals are after a result. They have a conclusion in search of confirmatory evidence.

“This [mass killings] is what we’re going to have to live with if we have more personal access to firearms.”

There is the conclusion.

The statement immediately previous illustrates what I would call some fuzzy thinking:

“What I’m struggling with is, is this the new social norm?”

What an interesting question. I have a question of my own.

How can something that happened a total of three times in 2011 be any kind of norm?”

Source

In those killings a total of 18 people died and 21 were injured. Each person is to be mourned but are we to say that these deaths are more bitter and more tragic than say the 32,885 who died in automobile accidents in 2010 (2011 was not listed in my source at the time of writing)? I could argue that Cars are the distressing “social norm” but that would be silly too. Aside from the fact that millions of people arrive safely in vehicles every day that number does not mention that lives are saved by cars. Ambulances, fire tucks, and police cars spring immediately to mind but how about folks who drove themselves or were driven to the hospital? What about the cars that the nurses and doctors used cars and buses to get to the hospital?

I could not find stats for lives saved by vehicles. People don’t usually collect information on things not going wrong. There is a similar problem with positive, life-saving gun uses; however there have been a few studies on it. The best study I’ve found says there are 1.5 million defensive gun uses each year. Some people may think that number is too high. I say fine, cut it in half. Still too big? Then cut it in half again. There is simply no way that the actions of three people in 2011 can compare to the good done, the lives saved and health preserved, by good people with the tools they needed to protect themselves.

These doctors are not looking at that.

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