When It Comes To Guns, The ‘Truth’ Will Really Set You Free.

Now that the 45th President has started dismantling the Affordable Care Act, I feel it incumbent upon myself to remind all my gun-nut friends that they might now be facing a serious, indeed highly-threatening assault on their 2nd Amendment ‘rights.’  What?  The 45th President taking away all the guns?  Wasn’t that what the 44th President tried to do?  Isn’t the 45th President the best friend that gun nuts ever had?  Oh…my…God.

wayne              The reason that Gun-nut Nation better figure out how to deal with this problem is because the ACA actually contains a provision which, believe it or not, protects gun owners who refuse to tell a physician whether or not there’s a gun lying around the house. But this section of the ACA is always conveniently overlooked when the Gun-nut noise machine pushed out its usual quotient of fake news about doctors and guns.  Here’s a comment from the NRA Blog: “The reality is, I should be able to receive medical care without being subject to a politically motivated inquisition regarding a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution.” The comment is found in a post entitled, “Should a doctor be allowed to ask if you own a gun?”

But what happens if the ACA is scrapped and isn’t immediately replaced with some other health-insurance law?  It means that the poor, defenseless gun owner won’t have the 45th President around to protect him, and this means that the doctor can not only ask whether the poor guy owns guns, but can immediately report gun ownership to the cops.  Think I’m being a little bit over the top?  Think again.

Recall that after Sandy Hook, the 44th President issued a series of Executive Orders covering guns.  Basically Obama’s action had one result, namely gun sales shot up and remained at historically-high levels until a few weeks before the 45th President was sworn in. But if you had listened to the noisemakers who pander to the Obama-burnished craziness of the NRA, you would have thought that Obama was planning to call out those ‘jack-booted government thugs’ (as Wayne LaPierre once characterized the ATF) to invade every gun-loving American home, grab all the hardware and cart it away. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth, but since the 45th President is now blatantly lying to the Congressional leadership about how many votes he did or didn’t receive, who cares about the truth?

Actually, there is a professional group out there which does try to base its behavior on information that is evidence-based, and that group happens to be physicians, who know a lethal product when they see one.  And the reason they know that guns are lethal is because physicians have to repair 85,000-thousand or so bullet wounds each year, and also have to pronounce some 30,000+ whose bullet wounds can’t be repaired.

There is simply no other consumer product lying around an American home which is as lethal as a gun. Which is why physicians have been advocating that guns shouldn’t be in the home.  By the way, they also advocate that other lethal things, like cigarettes and pills that aren’t in bottles with child-proof caps, also shouldn’t be in the home. But somehow guns are different because many Americans have come to believe that it’s a gun’s lethality which makes it such a valuable item to own.  After all, what if Mister Bad Guy comes crashing through the back door?  What better way to protect yourself and your loved ones than with a gun?

There’s only one little problem. All the talk about how armed citizens constitute a necessary line of defense against violence and crime is just talk.  Even the NRA can’t seem to produce more than 8 or 9 instances each month in which an armed citizen made the difference protecting anyone from crime.  But let’s not forget that we’re no longer in a time when the truth counts for anything at all.  And that’s the reason that the NRA worked so hard to help elect Donald Trump.

6 thoughts on “When It Comes To Guns, The ‘Truth’ Will Really Set You Free.

  1. Given that there are as many guns (roughly) as motor vehicles in private hands and that we kill and injure as many of each other with cars as with guns (but obviously I miss the point–individual transportation unfettered by strict safety management is a birthright and worth the carnage), I would argue that there is one other product as lethal as a gun that is present at most homes, with the same results. In spite of licensing, registration, and all sorts of car control laws. Trouble is that urban sprawl and road engineering designed to move cars rather than protect people makes superimposing safety a tough job. We call it “Motor Vehicle Level of Service” vs. “Vision Zero”.

    People will be people and some are too stupid or careless or thoughtless or lawless to responsibly use a gun or a car. Some use guns in a criminal manner and some drive drunk or recklessly. I would say that a good start would be to look at a Vision Zero approach to both. Many European nations have VZ approaches to car operation and transportation design; they have much lower car death and injury rates. Of course the Second Amendment folks would scream bloody murder at the thought of a VZ approach to gun ownership but if we could do it in a way that allowed for responsible gun ownership rather than the Sen. Feinstein “turn them in” approach, maybe there is hope. People on the right get mad at me because I support New Mexico’s CHL laws rather than Constitutional Carry. There is a reason for having baseline requirements before letting someone carry in public for self protection. Hell, even the militia had standards. Folks on the right need to recall that “well regulated” part of the 2A.

  2. If patients think that their answers will be used against them they simply lie. Nearly every time. All that is accomplished with getting punitive is that health care remains in the dark. Doctors are not against guns in the home, at least more or less than anyone else. The AMA does represent MDs in America now at all, if it ever did.I could bore you with the details, but no one would read it. Only a tiny percent of MDs pay dues to the AMA and that is only to belong to some other real organization that requires AMA membership. That infamous Peterman study about defensive use in the home was a true low point in scholarship. It used as a metric for “success” only the times a gun was fired into the body of the bad guys. Excuse me, but that is just crazy. It is as if deterrence is irrelevant. It is like saying that NATO was a failure because it killed so few Russian soldiers over a 40 year period. I know people who put “beware of dog” on their fence even if they do not have a dog. I have never known anyone to put a sign on their fence saying, “Studies have shown that dogs are more likely to bite an owner than a bad guy that climbed over a fence – so there are no dogs in this yard.” No one does that. No one advertises their gun-free state either. Except schools and some Churches.

  3. Mike, I too have searched far and wide to find studies, other than Kleck’s thoroughly discredited survey, that show that guns are used defensively in more than a small fraction of cases relative to the number of times that they care involved in crime, suicides, or unintentional shootings.

  4. Thomas: So NATO should never have been created because it never killed enough USSR soldiery? How many Police Departments manage to kill more bad guys than themselves (via suicide) and random others (from bad luck) ? Why not dis-arm law all enforcement on the basis of that metric? I will leave it to you to confront them with this argument, face to face.

  5. Rum, If we stick to civilians rather than armies, it was Kleck and company who began the argument that guns are more often used in defense than in crime. Now that this argument has been totally discredited, you are still arguing that civilian gun ownership provides a net benefit. So guns end up being beneficial both ways, regardless of the number of misuses versus protective uses? You can’t argue it both ways from a public health perspective. Can we find some common ground on this topic rather than re-litigating 25-year-old battles?

  6. Thomas. A good step towards getting on the same (small)common ground leads thru here. I bet you live in the very settled regions of the East Coast. (FWIW, I love that part of our country,{ btw I went to skool in Boston)). I am pretty sure that your notions of the relationship between the authorities and the gun owning public resembles that between a hulking 200 lbs. teacher so i can and a room full of intimidated 7 year old kids. OK… On to Texas:…You are now one of only one Texas Ranger entering a town, alone, (if you can call it a town) filled with extremely skittish, extremely mistrustful, extremely well armed Puritans with consciences that have been pre-cleared in the lethal advance of any moral guilt regarding your approaching death if you show even a twitch in the direction of wanting to make them helpless before their enemies..This framing, all by itself should be a teaching moment. The Rangers deal with these kind off folks every day. Oh by the way. Joining the modern Texas Rangers is much harder than getting into a normal civilian law skool.

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