On Wednesday, the American Medical Association passed a series of gun-related resolutions, including calling for a ban on “assault weapons” and came out against arming teachers to fight what it claims is a public health crisis.
The Associated Press reports Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency-medicine specialist at Brown University, said at the meeting, “We as physicians are the witnesses to the human toll of this disease.”
What exactly is the “disease” that stirred Dr. Ranney’s emotional outburst? Apparently, it is gun ownership.
AMA delegates voted to adopt several of nearly a dozen gun-related proposals presented by doctor groups that are part of the AMA’s membership. AP reports they agreed to --
Support any bans on the purchase or possession of guns and ammunition by people under 21.
Back laws that would require licensing and safety courses for gun owners and registration of all firearms.
Press for legislation that would allow relatives of suicidal people or those who have threatened imminent violence to seek court-ordered removal of guns from the home.
Encourage better training for physicians in how to recognize patients at risk for suicide.
Push to eliminate loopholes in laws preventing the purchase or possession of guns by people found guilty of domestic violence, including expanding such measures to cover convicted stalkers.
The problem is that physicians, who generally pride themselves on being men and women of science are acting on pure emotion and Leftwing politics when it comes to guns.
As our friend Benny Johnson, writing for the Daily Caller documented in his Feb. 19 article, knives kill far more people in the United States than rifles do every year.
In 2016, the most recent year for which statistics are available, knives actually killed nearly five times as many people as rifles that year.
According to the FBI, 1,604 people were killed by “knives and cutting instruments” and 374 were killed by “rifles” in 2016.
Johnson reports the statistics match the trends seen in previous years, which show knife murders far outnumbering rifle statistics. In 2013, knives were used to kill 1,490 and rifles were used to kill 285. Handguns far outnumber both knives and rifles in American murders. There were 7,105 murders by handgun in America in 2016.
Back in 2016, when Massachusetts liberals wanted to expand the Bay State’s 30-year old ban on “assault rifles,” FOX News reported that the “FBI Uniform Crime Statistics show zero murders were committed in Massachusetts in 2014 using rifles of any sort. While most mass shootings in the U.S. involved a rifle, the vast majority of gun deaths nationwide did not.”
But being for an “assault rifle” ban really makes it look like you are for treating the “disease” of gun ownership.
As the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action once noted, for the last quarter-century, the “assault weapon” panic has been fomented by gun prohibitionists who know that because some “assault weapons” have a military appearance, people can be tricked into believing they are machine guns.
Since then, the gun-prohibition lobbies have attempted to ban as many guns as possible by using the deliberately vague and emotional label “assault weapon.”
In 1993, they convinced the Connecticut legislature to enact such as ban. Notably, none of the guns used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School murders were considered “assault weapons” under Connecticut law.
Yet former President Obama, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and California’s Sen. Dianne Feinstein immediately insisted that the Sandy Hook murders proved the need for a national “assault weapons” ban.
What’s more, the national statistics on murder do not bear out the AMA’s overwrought claim that there is a “public health crisis” of murder by firearm.
In a February 12, 2018 article published just two days before the Parkland High School killings, Bloomberg opinion columnist Justin Fox pointed out that the murder rate in 2014 was lower than at any time since the FBI started keeping track in 1960.
Fox later quoted from "Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, The Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence," by New York University sociologist Patrick Sharkey which takes things a few steps further:
Because of shoddy data prior to 1960, it is impossible to know with certainty the exact rate of crime and violence in the first five decades of the 20th century or at any earlier point in the history of the country. But the most persuasive research from historical mortality records concludes that the homicide rate was likely substantially higher in the first half of the 20th century than it was in the second half.
In fact, the prevalence of murder has been falling, albeit with spikes and troughs, throughout the country's history. If the historical trends in murder derived from mortality records are roughly accurate, and all indications suggest that they are, then we are led to a startling conclusion: 2014 was not only the safest year of the past five decades, it was one of the safest years in U.S. history.
To repeat, said Justin Fox: Violent crime was possibly near or at an all-time low in the U.S. in 2014, and while it's up a bit since then, it is still quite low by historical standards.
The American Medical Association’s call for an “assault weapons” ban and other gun control measures is a cure in search of a disease, and like so many other cures for society’s ills that are based on emotion and leftwing politics, rather than science and hard-fact analysis, it should be rejected.
The toll-free Capitol Switchboard is 1-866-220-0044. We urge readers and friends to call their U.S. representatives and senators today to demand that they reject the American Medical Association’s calls for further encroachments on the Second Amendment.
George Rasley is the editor of ConservativeHQ.com, the online news source for conservatives and tea partiers committed to bringing limited-government, constitutional conservatives to power.
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