I was appalled at the naïveté and ignorance expressed by several commentators on the topic of firearms and the Second Amendment in the October 1996 AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) News.
The 1991 American Medical Association (AMA) campaign against domestic violence (and towards gun control) launched for public relations and media consumption went hand in hand with a previously articulated (1979) U.S. Public Health Service objective of complete eradication of handguns in America, beginning with a 25% reduction in the national inventory by the year 2000!(1)
Et domus sua cuique est tutissimum refugium.
Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634)
The Legacy of Revolutions
March 2, 1999
Philip R. Fine, PhD, MSPH
Injury Control Research Center
University of Alabama at Birmingham
CH 19 403, UAB Station
Birmingham, AL 35294-2041
Dear Dr. Fine:
Thank you for your invitation to comment on the videotaped presentation given recently by Dr. David Reynolds. As a full-time practicing surgeon I have operated on my share of patients with gunshot injuries. I share Dr. Reynolds's desire to mitigate the violence done to people and to our society as a result of firearm misuse.
Imagine this scenario: you visit your doctor for back pain. Your doctor asks if you have firearms in your home. Then he announces that your family would be better off (especially your children) if you had no guns at all in your house. You leave the doctor's office feeling uneasy, wondering what guns have to do with your backache. Does your doctor care about your family's safety? Or instead, did he use your trust and his authority to advance a political agenda?
My father kept his in the bedroom closet. My grandfather said he didn't need one, but when I had to crack his safe because he forgot the combination, I found two old ones in there. My uncle kept his on top of the chest of drawers in the bedroom. As a child, all of my friends had essentially the same experiences.
In my 14th summer, Elvis made the charts with "Heartbreak Hotel." I had a little jingle in my pocket from my paper route, mowing grass and caddying for the rich folks down at the fancy golf course. Because, you see, I wanted one, too. So I worked and saved for it.
For years, organized medicine has been misusing its authority to turn the public against firearms owners. Prestigious medical journals have abandoned their usually strict peer review standards to publish junk science articles written by anti-gun activists with medical degrees. Their purpose? As one pediatrician put it, to convince Americans that 64 guns are a virus to be eradicated."
Many advocates of gun control point to Great Britain as an example of a gun free paradise where violence and crime are rare. Well, there may be trouble in paradise.
Our friends across the Atlantic did tighten their already strict gun laws with the Firearms Act of 1997, making self-defense with a firearm completely impossible for ordinary people. Obedient British subjects generally maintained a stiff upper lip as they surrendered their guns and their rights.
On the Frontiers of Science
"A few weeks ago, Governor George Bush delayed the execution of a Texas inmate so that DNA evidence could be reviewed. That review backfired, providing additional evidence that the inmate was, indeed, guilty. University of Utah Professor Paul G. Cassell had this observation about all the death-penalty yada-yada:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published their annual death statistics. And, a funny thing happened on the way to the coroner's office: Gunshot business is down yet again.
"Overall, 30,708 people died of firearms in 1998, a 5 percent drop from 1997 and a 22 percent drop from the high of 39,595 in 1993. The age-adjusted death rate from firearms was 11.3 deaths per 100,000 population in 1998, a 7.4 percent drop from 12.2 in 1997 and down sharply from the high of 15.6 in 1993."
Suppose a Hollywood star or a political figure publicly announced that he or she favored making all women and families helpless and defenseless against vicious thugs. Would women cheer and vow their undying support for that person?
Introduction --- "A Gun in the Home"
Dear Dr. Faria,
Let me take this opportunity to thank you for your courageous efforts to present "the other side" of the rather strained assertion which I will summarize as, "Bullets are a pathogen, and guns are thus a medical epidemic, which we are justified in treating with the same kind of public health measures we would direct toward the elimination of, say, an outbreak of Salmonella typhi."
Gun Violence and Street Crime
Just a note to say what a super job you've done on the latest [Spring 2001] Medical Sentinel. I am really glad I joined and am supporting this fine publication.
Keep up the great work!
Richard W. Stevens, Esq.
Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership
Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 2001;6(2);37-39. Copyright©2001 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
Dear Dr. Faria and all the doctors at AAPS,
There are those of us out here who are disgusted with the "pseudo-science" that is used in medical journals regarding the issue of handguns. The integrity of the medical profession is in jeopardy with our medical organizations taking politically correct positions that are unrelated to medicine. That is why I cannot join them.
In "Homicide and Suicide in America, 1900-1998," I pointed out that the low homicide rate in the early 1900s is thought by some to be an artifact due to incomplete data.(1) Reasons were listed to indicate that the homicide rate really was much lower 100 years ago. Another reason is as follows: In 1902 Americans spent $13 per capita (in 1999 dollars) for police protection, both public and private, while in 1996 we spent $207 per capita.(2) If violent crime really is no more frequent today, why are we spending 16 times more for protection against it?
Dr. Faria's revealing articles, "Public Health and Gun Control --- A Review (Parts I-II)," which have also been posted at NewsMax.com, are excellent and much of it news to non-medical professionals like me.
1) Is the AMA headed in the direction of becoming a self-funded organization, answerable to no-one, not even its membership --- rather like AARP?
Gun control was a subject at everyone of the fifty-three AMA sessions at which I represented California. It was always loudly supported, but I and a few others were able to defeat each resolution and/ or amendments. I remember one time having to move for "informal session" and then bringing on the defeat after resuming regular session. I'm not sure why that doesn't work now.
I have several articles on "gun control" --- in fact, a three ring binder [having bearing on these proceedings].
In view of the devastating aerial terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by Islamic fanatic followers of Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001, we have put together a special issue of the Medical Sentinel on the threat of bioterrorism in our own backyard. I am referring to communist Cuba under tyrant Fidel Castro only ninety miles from our shores.
Doctors Expose AMA's Secret Pact with the Federal Government
"Kathryn Serkes, public relations counsel for the AAPS, issued the following statement in response to a letter sent by Sen. Trent Lott to HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson calling for an end to the American Medical Association's monopoly on CPT codes that doctors are required to use to bill Medicare and Medicaid:
Dear Dr. Faria,
"There is a worrying trend in academic medicine which equates
statistics with science, and sophistication in quantitative procedure
with research excellence.
The corollary of this trend is a tendency to look for answers
to medical problems from people with expertise in mathematical manipulation
and information technology, rather than from people
with an understanding of disease and its causes.
The role of gun violence and street crime in the United States and the world is currently a subject of great debate among national and international organizations, including the United Nations. Because the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the individual right of American citizens to own private firearms, availability of firearms is greater in the U.S. than the rest of the world, except perhaps in Israel and Switzerland.
Evidence mounts that Jared Loughner, the 22-year-old disturbed individual accused of the attempted assassination of blue dog, conservative Democrat, U.S Representative Gabrielle Giffords; the cold-blooded killing of five other citizens, including an innocent 9-year-old student and a conservative judge; and the wounding of fourteen people --- should have been under psychiatric treatment.
In a previous commentary, we discussed the ramifications of ObamaCare in terms of lowering the standard of American medicine, and the efforts of those in the media in preparing us for the drastic measures of rationing that will necessarily have to be put in place to sustain ObamaCare.
It is becoming abundantly clear that the mainstream liberal media and the entrenched political medical establishment support draconian gun control measures that would ultimately lead to the confiscation and banning of firearms.
A prominent member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has refuted key details of a study published recently by the Violence Policy Center, in which researchers concluded that women were not safer if they used a handgun for self-defense.
Ultimately, liberalism destroys everything it touches. The disease's carriers, however, go on and on, infecting innocent bystanders and even entire institutions with a dread disease without so much as a single pang of conscience.
Writer's note: Difficult as it is to be critical of a friend and ally on the war on terror, Great Britain has instituted a cruel and unjust gun-control policy, a worsening evil, upon her law-abiding citizens that needs correcting. The title of this essay comes from the seemingly paradoxical unrelenting tide of thievery and burglaries that has swept Great Britain, and was so dubbed by the London Sunday Times in 1998.