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Doc,


Amen!


I kind of feel in this thread, as in the debate of private individual weapon limitation (as opposed to possession by members of a "well regulated militia" as stated in the U.S. Constitution) in general, those who really feel themselves strong pro-weapon ownership have tended to be defensive about, and have aggressively mis-characterized, comments of others and used this to be dismissive of the (mis-characterized) opinions of others.


I also believe this approach, wittingly or unwittingly, has been instilled by the weapon industry funding of the NRA. This organization has framed the debate in the U.S. as an "all or nothing" issue. Having grown up in a household with a life-long NRA member (my father) I can tell you this was not the attitude of the NRA until the weapon manufacturing lobby took control (See "Gun manufacturing industry" section of wikipedia NRA site).


Just my observation.

 

I truly think there is a common ground on weapons ownership and carrying. And, in my opinion, tweaks in weapon laws, now that there are 350 million people in our country, are a necessary part of providing greater safety to the children and young adults of our country.


Also, to me (and evidently the majority of the adults in the U.S.), common sense tells one the more people there are (and, hence, more total number with mental illness) and the more weapons there are, the more likely shootings and murders with firearms are to occur. Therefore, the need for regulation increases. (If you have a bunch of naturally occurring uranium scattered in rock deep in the earth, no problem. Bring it out of the earth, concentrate the portion - the radioactive isotope - which have the potential for harm, the more the isotope needs to be regulated.)


So, building on Doc's comments, as a group of professionals coming together to share our experiences, knowledge, and ideas, where do we feel the common ground is? And then, how do we support that and disseminate our support to the law makers and general public?


Sincerely and respectfully,

Geoff


Geoffrey L. Ruben, MD, MMM, FACEP, FAAP

Clinical Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine

West Virginia University School of Medicine


> On February 21, 2018 at 8:48 AM Doc Holiday wrote:
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>     From: Jayson Luma
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>         > > With drunks do we ban cars? They kill far more people then guns do each year...
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>     --> This sort of comparison is not at a suitable level of debate for medical professionals. Please accept that there is a very minimal chance that there is someone on this List who has not yet heard it. It was originally intended to tempt people of low insight about statistics/logic into believing something one cannot prove.
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>     It compares motor vehicles to guns, limiting its focus to a single aspect - that they can be used to kill. This is really silly, because there is no object on the planet, with a mass beyond 100-200Kg, which cannot be used to kill someone by impacting them. You could ban brick/metal buildings because they kill people if/when they collapse in an earthquake, while a tent would not. You could ban trains, because sometimes they crash into cars on crossings. You could limit ships to one per ocean, to prevent lethal collisions. Forget about jet planes. You'll have to ban big trees as well - seen reports of people killed when those fall over. And let's restart the ivory trade to reduce the risk of elephants being around in 20 years time when they might crush someone.
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>     And we must accept that no matter how many people are killed by cause X, it is no reason to avoid doing something about cause Y! Remember that cars kill more kids than does meningitis, and we still want to do something about the latter...
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>     Guns, swords, RPGs and the like can be used as weapons. However, they lack the OTHER uses of the objects listed above and, much much more importantly, people of any level of intelligence will generally associate them with the prime function of hurting people!
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>     Those other objects have these other uses, which are not taken into consideration by this "argument". Take motor vehicles - which are objects heavy enough to be used to harm people. Here are some of the functions they do NOT share with guns, but which I think one is bound to consider before drawing a parallel with guns:
>         * Motor vehicles are used by medical professionals to reach their place of work, where they can save lives and help the sick and injured. If I had to walk to my nearest ED to work, I'd only manage around one shift a month. I'd be walking there and back the rest of it...
>         * Ambulances (which occasionally do kill pedestrians) are motor vehicles with a use we can all appreciate
>         * Motor vehicles are used to transport food & medicine to the poor in many charitable efforts around the world
>         * I'll save you the next one hundred entries on this list...
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>     We're all medical professionals here. We can do better. Let's agree that we should not make cyanide pills widely available merely because other pharmaceuticals that can lead to death are still permitted, e.g. penicillin. Let's still not permit high explosives, hand grenades, etc. to be sold at "fares" to anyone and his uncle even though cars also can kill people...
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>     What we need, as many are saying, is a culture change. Don't let us point at what the problems might be with changing. Let us not allow that old familiar strategy of pointing out something else which is wrong or which requires change and have that be used as an excuse not to change the gun problem!
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>     Here is a list of problems. I'll stop at 3 because the principle is the same for any number 2 and up:
>         * Too much gun availability
>         * Insufficient psychiatric care
>         * Inadequate application of laws which already exist
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>     If one tries to remove guns to try to deal with the 1st problem, one is rebuffed with something like "we must not look at that until we solve the 3rd problem". Try to solve the 3rd problem and someone says "don't bother - it won't make the difference until you have fixed the 2nd problem. Do that first, then we'll talk". And so on. For every problem, someone will use another problem as an excuse to stop the search for solutions.
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>     To anyone who says don't remove the guns, but focus on implementing existing laws, the response is "thanks for volunteering to help to fix those laws - we'll do both!" And each at whichever pace we can manage and never let the speed of dealing with the one objective affect the speed of dealing with the other!
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>     Finally, one thing I forgot to mention... Imagine where we would be if the medical profession had been banned from looking at the stats for smoking-related deaths? Or, as we've mentioned cars, medical professionals are permitted to research into deaths from vehicle accidents and developments into protective technology continue - seat belts, helmets, sensors, etc... When we talk about culture change, one of our first steps needs to be the removal of restrictions of such research on gun violence in the USA! The country with the worst problem in the developed world has a ban on research into it - that can't be assumed a coincidence! It's attitude and culture!
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