American Medical Association’s Prescription For Gun Violence


American Medical Association’s Prescription For Gun Violence
American Medical Association’s Prescription For Gun Violence

Fayetteville, AR –-( The American Medical Association House of Delegates has released a policy statement that lays out their proposed solutions to gun deaths in this country. Unsurprisingly, there is nothing new here.

Why am I not surprised? Call it experience, since I’ve rarely seen gun control advocates come up with anything new, and the AMA’s list is just a subset of the collected demands of the contemporary anti-rights crowd.

Including red flag laws to allow the seizure of firearms from people declared to be a danger to domestic partners, maintaining the status of schools as gun-free zones (for the law-abiding), bans on anything that the State of California doesn’t want us to own, and limiting who can get gun licenses and where those apply, while requiring licenses for all legal owners—along with an effort to gin up more business among the potentially suicidal.

The last of those at least touches on a presumed subject of a medical doctor’s expertise.

I’m also going to suppose that physicians are expected to learn a bit about using evidence to reach conclusions. Take suicide as a test case, since that does from time to time involve some kind of illness. Does a firearm make killing oneself easier? Yes. And if we stop there, the claim that restricting access to guns would reduce the number of suicides might make sense.

But the reality is that though we do have the most guns, per capita and in total, our suicide rate is by no means the highest. Japan and South Korea are cited repeatedly as examples of successful gun control, and yet citizens of those nations kill themselves more often than we do, twice our rate in the latter example. Even North Koreans manage that act more frequently than Americans do.

All of this reminds me of the constant calls for research into gun violence, something that predictably the AMA includes in their list. I can never get an answer as to what, specifically, advocates want to be studied. One good researcher in this field is Andrew V. Papachristos, and I learned about his work from a fellow supporter of gun rights. But then, he is a sociologist who specializes in the subject of crime. And that’s a key point. If medical doctors want to speak about the effects of terminal ballistics, I’ll listen, provided that they back up their conclusions with data. But when they say that I shouldn’t be allowed to have an AR-15 with standard capacity magazines or that my carry license shouldn’t apply throughout the nation, even though reciprocity of medical licenses is a topic of concern in the medical community, I have to ask on the basis of what expertise they are speaking.

The AMA has been wrong in the past, particularly in regard to President Truman’s proposed national health insurance program, and that was at least a subject about which doctors had direct knowledge. When it comes to guns, their profession provides them nothing beyond what anyone else can say. They’re welcome to their opinion, as every other American, and the rest of us are welcome to point out how ill-informed their opinion is.

Greg CampAbout Greg Camp

Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.