The American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Emergency Physicians, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians, American College of Surgeons, American Psychiatric Association and the American Public Health Association have joined with the American Bar Association to issue a five-page statement in the Annals of Internal Medicine calling for more gun control. Specifically . . .
universal background checks of gun purchasers, elimination of physician “gag laws,” restricting the manufacture and sale of military-style assault weapons and large-capacity magazines for civilian use, and research to support strategies for reducing firearm-related injuries and deaths. The health professional organizations also advocate for improved access to mental health services and avoidance of stigmatization of persons with mental and substance use disorders through blanket reporting laws.
Just in case you’re thinking that these recommendation infringe upon Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms (as RF would say), “The American Bar Association, acting through its Standing Committee on Gun Violence, confirms that none of these recommendations conflict with the Second Amendment or previous rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Let’s look at those recommendations again:
On requiring background checks for all firearm purchases : “The only way to ensure that all prohibited purchasers are prevented from acquiring firearms is to make background checks a universal requirement…”
On the call for a ban on “assault weapons“: “We believe that private ownership of military-style assault weapons and large-capacity magazines represents a grave danger to the public…”
Regarding physician gag laws: ” . . .physicians must be allowed to speak freely to their patients in a nonjudgmental manner about firearms, provide patients with factual information about firearms relevant to their health and the health of those around them…without fear of liability or penalty.”
In an editorial accompanying the statement – “Reducing Firearm-Related Harms: Time for Us to Study and Speak Out” – the Annals of Internal Medicine’s editors assert that it’s high time for doctors to tackle “gun violence.” After all, that’s the strategy laid-out by the civilian disarmament industry, openly championed by the Obama Administration’s new Surgeon General. And who’s better for the job than docs?
When public health crises arise, our powerful health care complex responds by doing what our scientific training and duty to help others require. We formulate questions that need answers, collect and analyze data to answer them, test hypotheses to discover remedies, study how to implement them, and monitor progress. This is how polio was nearly eliminated, automobile-related injury and death rates were reduced, tobacco-related illness decreased, and an Ebola epidemic is being curtailed. The list goes on. But it seems to stop when it comes to firearm injury. Why?
Anyone care to educate them?