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Public Health and Gun Control: A Review (Part II: Gun Violence and Constitutional Issues)

Another favorite view of the gun control, public health establishment is the myth propounded by Dr. Mark Rosenberg, former head of the NCIPC of the CDC, who has written: “Most of the perpetrators of violence are not criminals by trade or profession. Indeed, in the area of domestic violence, most of the perpetrators are never accused of any crime. The victims and perpetrators are ourselves — ordinary citizens, students, professionals, and even public health workers.”(6) That statement is contradicted by available data, government data.

Gun Violence and Street Crime

The fact is that the typical murderer has had a prior criminal history of at least six years with four felony arrests in his record before he finally commits murder.(17) The FBI statistics reveal that 75 percent of all violent crimes for any locality are committed by six percent of hardened criminals and repeat offenders.(18) Less than 2 percent of crimes committed with firearms are carried out by licensed (e.g., concealed carry permit holders) law-abiding citizens.(11)

Violent crimes continue to be a problem in the inner cities with gangs involved in the drug trade. Crimes in rural areas for both blacks and whites, despite the preponderance of guns in this setting, remain low.(11,19) Gun availability does not cause crime. Prohibitionist government policies and gun control (rather than crime control) exacerbates the problem by making it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves, their families, and their property. In fact, there was a modest increase in both homicide and suicide after prohibition and passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968.(20)

As to how one can protect oneself from assailants when the police, as more often than not, are not around, National Victims Data suggests that “while victims resisting with knives, clubs, or bare hands are about twice as likely to be injured as those who submit, victims who resist with a gun are only half as likely to be injured as those who put up no defense.”(11) Of particular interest to women and self-defense, “among those victims using handguns in self-defense, 66 percent of them were successful in warding off the attack and keeping their property. Among those victims using non-gun weapons, only 40 percent were successful.(11) The gun is the great equalizer for women when they are accosted in the street or when they, particularly single mothers, are defending themselves and their children at home.

Malevolent Scholarship

But let us return to public health and gun research. Why this faulty research and concealment of this valuable, potentially life-saving information by the medical establishment? In a comprehensive and widely discussed Tennessee Law Review article, constitutional scholar and criminologist Don B. Kates and associates declare: “Based on studies, and propelled by leadership from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the objective [of public health] has broadened so that it now includes banning and confiscation of all handguns, restrictive licensing of owners of other firearms and eventual elimination of all firearms from American life, excepting (perhaps) only a small elite of extremely wealthy collectors, hunters or target shooters. This is the case in many European countries.”(3)

In the chapter “Bad Medicine — Doctors and Guns,” Kates and associates describe a particularly egregious example of editorial bias and censorship by The New England Journal of Medicine.(6) In 1989, two studies were independently submitted for publication to NEJM. Both authors were affiliated with the University of Washington School of Public Health. One study by Dr. John H. Sloan was a selective two-city comparison of homicide rates in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington.(21) The other paper was a comprehensive comparison study between the U.S. and Canada by Dr. Brandon Centerwall. Predictably, the editors of the NEJM chose to publish Sloan et al.s article with inferior but orthodox data claiming erroneously that severe gun control policies had reduced Canadian homicides and rejected Centerwall’s superior study showing that such policies had not affected the rate of homicides in Canada.

In fact, the homicide rates were lower in Vancouver before the restrictive gun control laws had been passed in Canada and in fact, rose after the laws were passed. The Vancouver homicide rate increased 25 percent after the institution of the 1977 Canadian law. Sloan and associates glossed over the disparet ethnic compositions of Seattle and Vancouver. When the rates of homicides for whites are compared in both of the cities it turns out that the rate of homicide in Seattle is actually lower than in Vancouver while blacks and Hispanics have higher rates of homicides in Seattle was not mentioned by these investigators.

Dr. Centerwall’s paper on the comparative rates of homicides in the U.S. and Canada was finally published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, but his valuable research was not really made widely available to the public.(22) In contradistinction to his valuable gun research data, Centerwall’s other research pointing to the effects of TV violence affecting homicide rates have been made widely available, but his data exculpating gun availability and homicide rates has not.(23-25)

Another example of faulty research was displayed by the AMA’s Council of Scientific Affairs when it endorsed, on the basis of “scientific research,” the ban on assault weapons. Obviously, the Council had a public relations axe to grind rather than expert knowledge of the sciences of criminology and ballistics. Instead of doing its own scholarly work or at least relying on the expert work of Dr. Martin Fackler, the foremost wound ballistic expert in the United States, it unfortunately relied, for political purposes, on unscientific data and even sensationalized newspaper articles, one of which claimed that watermelons fired upon and blasted with “assault weapons” are appropriate human tissue simulants to demonstrate wound ballistics!

It has been pointed out, correctly, I may add, that if that were the case, an 18″ drop of a watermelon would also be appropriate for the study of head injuries.(26)

As a physician and medical historian, I have always been a staunch supporter of public health in its traditional role of fighting pestilential diseases and promoting health by educating the public as to hygiene, sanitation, and preventable diseases, as alluded to in my books, Vandals at the Gates of Medicine and Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine(27); but I deeply resent the workings of those in public health with the proclivity toward the promulgation of preordained research such as the gun and violence research conducted by many investigators with a gun control agenda and disseminated in the medical journals over the past two decades. Much of this information, unfortunately, is tainted, result- oriented and based on what can only be characterized as poor science.(1-3,5-7,12,26,28)

Mass Shootings — Differential Media Coverage

In his celebrated book, The Samurai, the Mountie, and the Cowboy, David Kopel makes the point that such disparate countries as Japan and Switzerland have low crime rates regardless of gun control laws, because of close ties engendered in the traditional family in which parents spend time with their children, children who are then imbued with a sense of civility as well as civic duty.(29) And yes, in my opinion, law-abiding citizens should be allowed to own guns and be candidates for “shall issue” concealed carry permits.

Felons (and mentally unstable people) forfeit this right by virtue of the fact they are a threat (or a potential threat) to their fellow citizens. And anyway, not everyone would want to carry a firearm, for regardless of what you have been led to believe, criminologists have pointed out that criminals do make quick risk versus benefit assessments. Empirical evidence and criminologic studies consistently reveal that just the knowledge that one in 5 or 6 citizens in a public place could very well be armed can deter crimes and could very well avert massacres, as has been the case in Israel (repeatedly), Switzerland, and the U.S. In Switzerland, for example, where guns are notoriously liberalized, there was not a single report of armed robbery in Geneva in 1993!(30)

Another problem with public health and gun control is the way the subject of guns and violence is reported by the media — with bias and sensationalism. Let us, for example, take a look at how the media reports mass shootings in America. Three illustrative cases will help us draw inferences as to the nature of these incidents and their reporting by the media.

In Pearl, Miss., in 1997, 16-year-old Luke Woodham used a hunting rifle to kill his ex-girlfriend and her close friend and wound seven other students. It was Assistant Principal Joel Myrick who retrieved his handgun from his automobile and halted Woodham’s shooting spree. Myrick held the young delinquent at bay until the police arrived. Later it was discovered that Woodham had also used a knife to stab his mother to death earlier that morning. While the shooting was widely reported, the fact that Mr. Myrick, an armed citizen, prevented a larger massacre with his gun was ignored by the media.

In Edinboro, Pa., in 1998, a deadly scenario took place when 14-year-old Andrew Wurst killed one teacher and wounded another as well as two other classmates. The shooting rampage here was halted by merchant James Strand who used his shotgun to force the young criminal to halt his firing, drop his gun, and surrender to police.

But yet, in another unreported incident in Santa Clara, California, Richard Gable Stevens, rented a rifle for target practice at the National Shooting Club on July 5, 1999 and then began a shooting rampage, herding three store employees into a nearby alley, and stating he intended to kill them. When Stevens became momentarily distracted, a shooting club employee, who had a .45-caliber handgun concealed under his shirt, drew his weapon and fired. Stevens was hit in the chest and critically wounded. He was then held at bay until the police arrived. A massacre in the making was prevented. The unknown employee was an unsung hero ignored by the major media. Why are these and other similar incidents, where the tables are turned and citizens use guns to protect themselves and others, not reported by the mainstream media?

By and large, to read about acts of citizens using guns for self or family protection, one has to read Robert A. Waters’ excellent book, The Best Defense,(31) for rarely do these acts get publicized in the mass media, nor do these cases get compiled, studied and published in the medical journals, as public health investigators do with their “gun and violence” research.

Moreover, rarely, if ever, are constitutional or historical issues covering the Second Amendment aired in the most widely utilized medium — television. Mass murders and street violence on the other hand, get the lions share of coverage — particularly, when committed with firearms. And as anyone who takes even a cursory look and flips the pages of medical journals knows, these criminal shootings are studied and reported extensively in the medical journals, such as the NEJM, JAMA, Western Journal of Medicine, and even the state medical journals.*

Let me tell you about one more atrocious incident where innocent victims were killed or injured, and yet, this episode was not given the attention others are given simply because it was not committed with firearms. In May 1999, a deranged individual wreaked deadly havoc at a Costa Mesa, California daycare center playground, killing two toddlers and injuring 5 people. Steven Abrams, the 39-year-old assailant told police, “I was going to execute these children because they were innocent.” After this barbaric act, Abrams calmly and unhurt sat and waited for police.

Needless to say, there was a big difference in how this incident was reported as compared to the saturation coverage of the Pearl, Miss.; Edinboro, Pa.; or the Littleton, Colo., shooting, which had occurred only a few days earlier. The difference: In this 1999 incident, the assailant used an automobile, a Cadillac to be exact, not a firearm.(32)

Firearms and Constitutional Issues

The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution to limit the power of leviathan government, and individual rights were enumerated in this document, so that they would provide extra protection from the monopolistic tendency of government to wrest power away from and usurp the liberties of the individual citizen. John Locke (1632-1704), admired by our Founding Fathers, once wrote, “I have no reason to suppose, that he, who would take away my Liberty would not when he had me in his Power take away everything else.”

And for his part, Thomas Jefferson added, “the national progress of things is for liberty to yield and for government to gain ground.” The solution to this dilemma — namely, government as a necessary evil, according to Joseph Story (1779-1845), foremost American jurist and intellectual alter ego of Chief Justice John Marshall — was found in the Second Amendment. Supreme Court Justice Story thus wrote (1833): “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”(33)

These are strong words but better said by our forefathers in explaining the reason for the Second Amendment than to be left unsaid to a posterity that may have forgotten why the right was written into the Constitution.

In more recent times, Dr. Edgar Suter, Chairman of Doctors for Integrity in Policy Research and 37 other Second Amendment supporters including legal scholars, correctly pointed out in the June 1995 issue of the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia that Supreme Court decisions have been thoroughly reviewed in the legal literature.(34) Since 1980, of 39 law review articles, 35 note the Supreme Courts acknowledgment of the individual right to keep and bear arms(35) and only four claim the right is only a collective right of the states (three of these four were authored or co-authored by employees of the gun control lobby).(36)

And so in the last decade, constitutional scholars “from across the political spectrum” have concluded that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, a view that is referred to as the “Standard Model” by University of Tennessee Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds. The nations leading legal and constitutional scholars — including Laurence Tribe of Harvard, Akil Reed Amar of Yale, William Van Alstyne of Duke University, Sanford Levinson of University of Texas Law School, Don B. Kates of the Pacific Institute for Public Policy Research, attorney David Kopel of the Independence Institute, and noted Fairfax, Virginia, attorneys Jeffrey Snyder and Stephen P. Halbrook — all subscribe to this “Standard Model” or individual right view.(35,37)

Though the gun control debate has focused on the Second Amendment, legal scholarship also finds support for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Ninth Amendment “unenumerated” rights, Fourteenth Amendment “due process” and “equal protection” rights, and natural rights theory. Also, in the absence of explicit delegated powers, the Tenth Amendment guarantees that the powers are reserved to the States and the people.(34)

This latter fact was spelled out in two major Supreme Court cases. In U.S. v. Lopez (1995), in striking down the Gun Free Schools Zones Act, U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote that the law was unconstitutional because it would otherwise convert the Commerce Clause of the Constitution to a general police power it does not possess. And in Printz et al v. U.S. (1997), the Court went a step further and, to the chagrin of the gun control lobby, struck down a major section of the federal Brady Law. Associate Justice Antonin Scalia quoted a passage from James Madison (The Federalist No. 51): “Just as the separation and independence of the coordinate branches of the federal Government serve to prevent the accumulation of excessive power in any one branch, a healthy balance of power between the States and the Federal Government will reduce the risk of tyranny and abuse from either front.” Attorney Elizabeth Swasey, Director of NRA/ILA Crime Strike, noted this was the same passage Chief Justice Rehnquist cited in the Lopez case.(38)

It was also in 1999 that we had the momentous court ruling of the Northern District of Texas, U.S. v. Emerson, in which U.S. District Court Judge Sam Cummings overturned a federal gun law on Second Amendment grounds stating, “The right of the Second Amendment should be as zealously guarded as the other individual liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights.”(39)

Children and Guns

Recall professor John Lott’s finding that children 14 to 15 years of age are 14.5 times more likely to die from automobile injuries, 5 times more likely to die from drowning or fire and burns, and 3 times more likely to die from bicycle accidents than they are to die from gun accidents.(13) A child’s death from any cause is a tragedy. In 1991, for example, a typical year, 145 children between the ages of 1 and 14 years died of accidental gunshot wounds, 310 children died from suffocation (choking), 1,075 children died from burns, 1,104 died of drowning, and 3,271 died in motor vehicle accidents.40,41 These are all tragedies, but do we want to ban food, matches, swimming pools, and automobiles?

The fact is that the firearm accident rates in the United States (including those for children) have been declining steadily since the turn of the century, particularly after 1975,(42) because of the emphasis that has been placed on gun safety education courses, including the NRA’s Eddie Eagle program which has now touched providentially in excess of 9 million youngsters in the U.S.(43)

As far as teen-age violence is concerned, more than 20,000 laws are already on the books, including a sizable number pertaining to the proscription of handgun possession by minors and banning guns on school grounds.(41) These laws need to be enforced. Despite all the media hype regarding guns and violence, the naked truth is that this years latest available FBI statistics show that, like the not-so-well known drop in gun accident rates, there has also been a steady decline in homicide rates for every segment of American society. In fact, murder and violent crimes have reached 30 and 25-year low rates, respectively.(44)

And, mass shootings, despite what you have been led to believe and contrary, sensationalized reporting, notwithstanding, are not more frequent today, only more publicized. For example, Northeastern University criminal justice professor James Fox reports that the highest casualty rate for mass murders in the past three decades occurred in 1977! In that year, 38 criminals killed 141 victims. Compare this to 1994, which had the lowest number of mass murders — 31 criminals murdered 74 people.(45)

Again, despite perception, violence in school is down. Of the more than 2000 unfortunate children who die in acts of violence each year, only 34 died in school-related violence during the 1997-1998 school year, according to the Department of Educations Annual Report on School Safety. The difference between perception and reality is more reporting, saturation coverage, more gun control hype and sensationalism, which may, in fact, result in more copy cat killings by deranged predators craving media attention. Sensationalized violence and the debate regarding the Gun Free Schools Act of 1994, may have been, in fact, behind the school shootings of 1997-1999 which culminated with the Littleton, Colo., Columbine High School shooting of April 20, 1999.

Israeli anti-terrorist expert and now editor of the European magazine Visier, David Th. Schiller, commenting on the U.S. school shootings, wrote: “Schools/kindergartens make for very attractive targets for the deranged gunman as well as for the profit-oriented hostage gangsters or terrorist groups. [I]f you crave media attention, as for instance the PLO did [in Israel] in the ’70s, nothing will catch the headlines better than an attack on a school full of kids.”

Mr. Schiller concludes: “We in the terrorism research field have argued for decades that it was exactly the media coverage that spurred more and each time more violent and extreme terrorist incidents. Could we stop the media from advertising the terrorist message? Certainly not.”(46) Given what we know now about the psychology of these shootings(23,24) and Hollywood’s excesses with movie violence, perhaps, the question should be rephrased: Is it time to regulate Hollywood and the media? Obviously, the answer now requires more excogitation.

Moral Declivity

And yes, the death of any child by any cause is a tragedy. Yet, we must be honest and lay the blame where it belongs: A culture that for three decades has been mired in permissiveness: increasingly devoid of intellectual guidance for our youth and lacking a moral compass for our children. Consider some of its characteristics:

Moral relativism. Schools no longer teach traditional morality, the discernment between right and wrong and moral absolutes, leading to situational ethics and a value free society. Building the self-esteem of children is placed ahead of personal morality and doing what is right.

Lack of discipline. Consider the fact parents and teachers in today’s environment are afraid of reprimanding the young for fear of being charged with child abuse and prosecuted. Often, parents are not at home (both working, one of them to pay taxes to Uncle Sam) so children, lacking parental guidance and discipline, do as they please.

Lack of accountability. There is a persistent crisis of conscience in our society. There is a trend to absolve the individual of personal responsibility and a penchant for blaming inanimate objects such as guns for the level of violence in our society. This lack of personal responsibility and accountability trickles down to young impressionable minds, which then fail to take responsibility for their actions as they grow up.

More gun control (i.e., law-abiding citizen disarmament, whereas criminals, who by definition do not obey the laws, keep their guns) rather than crime control. Data from the FBI Uniform Crime Report shows that states with permissive gun laws have lower homicide rates than states with restrictive gun control laws.(19) Draconian gun control surely is not the answer. As stated previously, there are already 20,000 gun laws on the books including illegal possession of firearms by minors. These laws should be applied and enforced. And when inner city teenagers or juvenile delinquents from suburbia act as criminals, they should be tried as adults.

In a study that was not given the attention it deserved, the U.S. Department of Justices Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention tracked 4,000 juveniles aged 6-15 in Denver, Pittsburgh and Rochester, N.Y., from 1993-1995, and contrary to what was expected by conventional wisdom, the investigators reached these unexpected conclusions:

Children who get firearms from their parents are less likely to commit acts of violence and street crimes (14 percent) than children who have no guns in their homes (24 percent), whereas children who obtain guns illegally do so at the whopping rate of 74 percent.

The study also found that “boys who own legal firearms have much lower rates of delinquency and drug use (than boys who own illegal guns) and are even slightly less delinquent than non-owners of guns.”(47)

This study also provides more evidence that in close nuclear families, where children learn from their parents, youngsters can be taught to use guns responsibly. These youngsters, in fact, become more responsible in their conduct and more civil in their behavior.

Children should be taught moral absolutes and universal truths so that, as they journey through life, they will exercise their free will to distinguish right from wrong and choose the former, as to fulfill their destinies in a spirit of goodness.

We can be compassionate and still be honest, but we must have the moral courage to pursue the truth and find viable solutions through the use of sound, scholarly research. We have an obligation to reach our conclusions based on objective data and scientific information rather than on ideology, emotionalism, political expediency, or budgetary consideration.

Public health should not be subverted and medical science should not be perverted. The lessons of history sagaciously reveal that whenever and wherever science and medicine have been subordinated to the state and individual will has been crushed by tyranny, the results have been as perverse as they have been disastrous, as the examples of Nazi Germany and the former Soviet Union so aptly testify in the 20th Century. We must preserve the free flow and exchange of information that is essential for academic freedom and the preservation of a free society. The individual should never, ever, be subordinated to the collective.

See Part I of the two-part series.


* Regarding the possible ethical violations of physicians preaching gun control to vulnerable patients within the patient-doctor relationship, see “Boundary Violation: Gun Politics in the Doctors Office” in the Medical Sentinel 1999;4(2):60-61.


1. Faria MA Jr. The perversion of science and medicine (Part I): On the Nature of Science and (Part II): Soviet science and gun control. Medical Sentinel 1997;2(2):46-48 and 49-53.

2. Faria MA Jr. The perversion of science and medicine (Part III): Public Health and Gun Control Research and (Part IV): The Battle Continues. Medical Sentinel 1997;2(3):81-82 and 83-86.

3. Kates DB, Schaffer HE, Lattimer JK, Murray GB, Cassem EH. Guns and public health: epidemic of violence or pandemic of propaganda? Tennessee Law Review 1995;62:513-596.

4. Kellermann AL, Rivara FP, Rushforth NB, et al. Gun ownership as a risk factor for homicide in the home. N Engl J Med 1993;329(15):1084-1091.

5. Suter E. Guns in the medical literature — a failure of peer review. J Med Assoc Ga 1994;83(3):137- 148.

6. Kates DB, Schaffer HE, Lattimer JK, Murray GB, Cassem EH. Bad Medicine: Doctors and Guns in Guns Ð Who Should Have Them? (Ed., Kopel DB), New York, NY, Prometheus Books, 1995, p. 233-308.

7. Waters WC, IV, Faria MA, Jr., Wheeler TW, Kates DB. Testimony before the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, House Committee on Appropriations. March 6, 1996. Hearing Volume, Part 7:935-970.

8. Kellermann AL, Reay DT. Protection or peril? An analysis of firearm-related deaths in the home. N Engl J Med 1986;314:1557-1560.

9. Kleck G. Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control. New York, NY, Aldine De Gruyter, 1997.

10. JAMA 1996 Gun-Owners Survey quoted in the Medical Sentinel 1999;3(2):40.

11. Kleck G. Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America. New York, NY, Aldine De Gruyter, 1991.

12. Suter E, Waters WC, Murray GB, et al. Violence in America — effective solutions. J Med Assoc Ga 1995;84(6):253-264.

13. Lott JR, Jr. More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws. Chicago, IL, University of Chicago Press, 1998.

14. Kellermann AL, Rivara FP, Somes G, et al. Suicide in the home in relationship to gun ownership. N Engl J Med 1992;327:467-72.

15. Sloan JH, et al. Firearm regulations and rates of suicide: A comparison of two metropolitan areas. N Engl J Med 1990:322:369.

16. World Health Organization. World Health Statistics, 1989, Geneva, Switzerland.

17. Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice. Guns and crime. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. April 1994; NCJ-147003.

18. Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Department of Justice. Uniform crime reports: crime in the United States 1992. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1993

19. Uniform Crime Reports. “Crimes in the United States, 1991.” Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992, p. 12.

20. 20th Century U.S. Homicide and Suicide Rates per 100,000 population adopted from Grove RD, Hetzel AM. Vital Statistics Rates in the United States 1900-1960. Washington DC.: National Center for Health Statistics, 1968, and Vital Statistics of the United States. Hyattsville MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Individual volumes for 1961 through 1991.

21. Sloan JH, et al. Handgun regulations, crime, assaults, and homicides: A tale of two cities. N Engl J Med 1988;319:1256-1262.

22. Centerwall BS. Homicide and the prevalence of handguns: Canada and the United States, 1976 to 1980. American Journal of Epidemiology 1991;134:1245-1260.

23. Centerwall BS. “Exposure to television as a risk factor for violence.” Am. J. Epidemiology. 1989; 129: 643-52.

24. Centerwall BS “Young adult suicide and exposure to television.” Soc. Psy. and Psychiatric Epid. 1990; 25:121.

25. Faria MA, Jr. TV violence increases homicides., August 17, 2000.

26. Suter EA. Assault weapons revisited — an analysis of the AMA report. J Med Assoc Ga 1994;83:281- 289.

27. Faria MA, Jr. Vandals at the Gates of Medicine: Historic Perspectives on the Battle Over Health Care Reform. Macon, Georgia, Hacienda Publishing, Inc., 1995, p. 239-240; and Faria, MA, Jr. Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine, 1997, p. 122-131.

28. Bennett JT, DiLorenzo TJ. From Pathology to Politics: Public Health in America. New Brunswick, NJ, Transaction Publishers, 2000.

29. Kopel DB. The Samurai, the Mountie, and the Cowboy: Should America Adopt the Gun Controls of Other Democracies? Buffalo, New York, Prometheus Books, 1992.

30. Halbrook SP. Armed to the teeth and free. Wall Street Journal, Europe edition, June 4, 1999.

31. Waters RA. The Best Defense. Nashville, Tennessee, Cumberland House, 1998.

32. Gun Owners of America newsletter, June 15, 1999.

33. Story, Joseph. Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1830) quoted in The Second Amendment Primer by Les Adams. Birmingham, Alabama, Palladium Press, 1996.

34. Suter, Violence in America, op. cit., pp. 257-258.

35. Articles supportive of the individual rights view are posted under Reference #75 in Suter’s Violence in America at

36. The minority supporting a collective right only view are also posted under Reference #76 in Suter’s Violence in America at

37. Mauro T. Scholars shift in thinking angers liberals. USA Today, August 27, 1999.

38. Swasey, Elizabeth J. Mission creep in the war on crime. American Guardian, September 1998, p. 10.

39. Willing, Richard. USA Today, August 27, 1999.

40. National Safety Council. Accident Facts 1991. Chicago: National Safety Council. 1992.

41. Kopel DB. Children and Guns in Guns Who Should Have Them, op. cit., p. 309-406.

42. National Safety Council. Accident facts 1992. Chicago: National Safety Council. 1993.

43. Eddie Eagle is not Joe Camel. Medical Sentinel 1998;3(3):76 and Guns and Safety, Medical Sentinel 1998;3(1):7.

44. Gearan, Anne. Violent crime hits 25-year low. Associated Press, December 28, 1998. Sniffen, Michael J. Murder rate reaches 30-year low. Associated Press, November 23, 1998. Serious crimes drops in early 1998. Associated Press, December 14, 1998. Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: FBI website, December 14, 1998.

45. Fox J. Multiple murder: Patterns of serial and mass murder. Univ. of Chicago Press, 1998, quoted by Metaska T. in Vicious media feeding frenzy, World Net Daily, August 19, 1999.

46. Schiller DTh. Israels answer to eliminating school terrorism. P.O. Box 1363DÐ56373, Nassau, Germany.

47. Juvenile Delinquency: Children and Guns. Medical Sentinel 1999;4(5):160.

Written by Dr. Miguel Faria

Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D. is editor-in-chief of the Medical Sentinel, the author of Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995) and Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine (1997).

This article may be cited as: Faria MA. Public Health and Gun Control — A Review (Part II: Gun Violence and Constitutional Issues) Medical Sentinel 2001;6(1):14-18. Available from:

Copyright ©2001 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

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