Steven Dettelbach ATF
Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives director Steven Dettelbach (Oliver Contreras/Pool via AP)
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By Matt Manda

Dozens of hospital and healthcare executives converged on New York City for a conference to discuss their role as “leaders” in reducing the criminal misuse of firearms.

Criminal misuse of firearms isn’t a public health issue nor should it be treated as such. It’s a criminal issue caused by individuals breaking the law. These health professionals should have instead listened closer to the keynote kickoff speaker, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Director Steven Dettelbach’s remarks.

Misfire from the Start

“Gun violence is a public health crisis. The responsibility falls on the shoulders of the decision makers of our nation’s health systems and hospitals to change the narrative on gun safety and pursue solutions that will make a meaningful difference,” Northwell Health President and CEO Michael Dowling, the forum’s moderator, told attendees.

Dowling isn’t a doctor, nor is he a prosecutor. His background is that of a career bureaucrat, former professor of social policy and an “influential voice” who is “taking a stand on societal issues such as gun violence.”

Northwell Health CEO Michael J. Dowling (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool)

He gained attention a few years ago with a public “call to action” urging healthcare providers to support gun control. Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership rejected Dowling’s argument, saying, “Firearms are not a public health issue.” The DRGO website instead stated responsible gun ownership has been shown to benefit the public health by preventing violent crime.

With Dowling leading the forum, it was obvious where the conversations would lead.

Wrong Diagnosis, Wrong Prescription

ATF Director Steven Dettelbach provided opening remarks. He thanked the group for their work and agreed with Dowling that “now is the time to fight,” but the director’s remarks had a notable focus that was missed in most all other discussions – the crime factor. Director Dettelbach highlighted a new report by ATF.

“The updated volume analyzes specifically America’s crime gun data,” Director Dettelbach said. “It provides more information on America’s crime guns – those are the guns used in and associated with crime.”

Director Dettelbach touched on one aspect of the report. “Over the five-year period the report covers, from 2017 to 2021, there were more than 1 million guns stolen from private individuals…,” he said. “Law-abiding gun owners don’t want their firearms stolen and they certainly don’t want them stolen and used in violent crime. Nobody breaks into a car and steals a gun to go hunting.”

Stolen guns 2017 to 2021
Courtesy ATF

While spiking crime has been a concerning issue in cities across the country, including New York City, there was no mention of proven firearm industry partnerships with ATF that have resulted in the low numbers of unintended firearm injuries and deaths since data was first recorded in 1903.

Regardless, a physician or medical doctor is not needed to determine that stealing a firearm is a crime.

Grandstanding Governor

No “gun violence prevention forum” in New York would be complete without New York Gov. Kathy Hochul bragging about her own crusade to push through even more restrictive gun control. She praised the forum with little mention of the crime problem in her state’s largest cities and the criminals who continue to wreak havoc on New Yorkers. That includes another shooting on the subway a few weeks ago.

“Hopefully this important discussion will lead to changes back in your states,” the governor said.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul
New York Governor Kathy Hochul (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

She explained her efforts to pass more gun control following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down New York’s century-old restrictive and subjective concealed carry law in its Bruen decision.

During oral arguments of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito highlighted his public safety concerns with the existing law and explicitly asked, “How many illegal guns were seized by the New York Police Department last year? All these people with illegal guns, they’re on the subway, they’re walking around the streets. But the ordinary, hard-working, law-abiding people I mentioned, no, they can’t be armed?”

Post-Bruen, the public health situation in New York is better. Despite hyperbolic warnings over the Bruen decision by Gov. Hochul and gun control allies, early data shows an improving situation.

The findings of a report from the City and State of New York were ignored by Gov. Hochul. “A little more than half a year later, the spate of crime implied by those foreboding prognoses has not yet occurred,” the report stated. “And indeed, not only has New York avoided the wave of gun violence envisioned by some, but to the contrary, shootings are actually down.”

‘Scientists’ Not Following the Science

Late last year, a report from The Reload revealed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) purposefully important data after being lobbied by gun control groups. It confirms suspicions Americans have towards a government-funded health agency instituting policy that’s not rooted in science, that also restricts Constitutional rights.

When “gun violence” is proclaimed to be a public health issue, which Americans have a history of opposing, it’s rightly assumed that the federal government would use taxpayer funding to push an agenda based on gun control propaganda – which is illegal – rather than holding criminals accountable for their crimes.

CEO Dowling’s forum participants came with their minds already made up for more gun control. Criminals should be the focus of policies to reduce the intentional criminal misuse of firearms. Pushing gun control under the guise of “public health” is malpractice.


Matt Manda is Manager, Public Affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation

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  1. Every year in America 500,000 Americans die from preventable medical mistakes — mistakes and medical malpractice by doctors and pharmacists.
    Source: The Lancet medical journal, as well as insurance industry studies.

    And these same doctors who kill 500,000 Americans each year through their medical mistakes, have the nerve to lecture the rest of us about so-called “gun violence” that kills only 10,000 Americans per year (while guns save 2,000,000 lives through DGUs)?!?
    They need to concentrate on stopping “doctor violence” first, stopping medical mistakes and medical malpractice that kill 500,000 Americans a year.
    Doctors, heal thyself.

    • Stuck,

      And that is only the count of people they kill. You can bet the count of those who have been damaged, or spent their savings but with no relief is far higher. I know some of those folk.

      Example: a woman who spent her savings on doctors, hospitals, tests, and medicine. Seven years. No relief from her terrible shaking. Then, when she was broke, the docs dropped her and said it was just anxiety. Finally, through some alternative health contacts and specialized tests, she discovered she was infected with several species of toxic mold. She is recovering, now. But you would have thought that after all that money and all that failure these brilliant specialists would have thought to run the mold tests.

      All they did was take her money and prolong her suffering.

      • So what would doctors have prescribed to the victims of WW2 who were disarmed and defenseless after their military was defeated?

    • Especially when many medical deaths are caused by doctors who have been on-shift for 3-4 days without a break. Illegal in many other industries, notably transportation, but the medical industry does this because of “tradition”.

  2. The medical community needs to get their own house in order. Preventable medical mistakes causes TEN TIMES what the yearly gun death toll is. Gun deaths is around 35k and the estimates for preventable medical deaths is upwards of 500k
    It’s likely higher due to under-reporting.

    • “gun deaths” are NOT totalling 35K per year.

      Remove suicides thats around 20 K . Don’t count those as ‘gun deaths” as those deaths would happen even if guns were not the instrument of choice. Don’t count defensive gun usage where an innocent’s gun is used to stop serious crime. That is a death provoked by another with evil intent. Deliberate use of a firearm to end the life of an innocent is well under 10K per year. I think around 8500 times. Accidental deaths, ,ostly by people being stupid with guns, fill out the other1500 or so “unnecessary”deaths.

      • Gun deaths IS around 30-35+ thousand a year. I’ve very aware that 2/3s of all gun deaths is suicide. I said GUN DEATHS. I know what I said and I know what I meant. Gun deaths means ANY DEATH by a gun which includes cops killing bad guys, accidental, gangs and you name it.

        • the point is the focus should be on criminal use of firearms, not on total deaths by firearms.
          nobody talks about all deaths from motor vehicles, just those from impaired drivers .

  3. That shrew is uglier every time I see her picture. I certainly don’t want the gov of ny deciding gun policy for the country. I had a dr appointment today, while I was waiting I was reading his copy of shooting times.

  4. RE: “Nobody breaks into a car and steals a gun to go hunting.”

    Concealed carry permits force those without to leave firearms in vehicles and criminals have benefitted from that.

    Busy body Doctors should mind their own business, a business the attracts malpractice attorneys like flies.

  5. Modern medicine. it is not health care; it is medical care. It is not about making you healthy, it is about making you dependent. It is not about restoring the body and mind, it is about taking your money and taking control.

    Except to confirm that the pain was gout and not a break, I have not been to see a doctor in decades. Oh, well, there was the time I broke a couple of ribs while playing football.

    I ‘ve used natural means to rid myself of MRSA, sinus infections, and even Covid. No docs. I saw what they did to my mother and my brother. I’ll take it from here.

    • That sounds great.
      Please do not get cancer screening colonoscopy every 10 years to remove any colon polyps you may have.
      All colon cancers start as polyps, and after years turn into colon cancer.
      Leave your colon polyps in place.
      Please also do not have your female family members get breast mammograms to screen for tiny breast cancers that could be cured with a small lumpectomy.
      Better to wait until the cancer is a large mass and they have to undergo breast removal and chemotherapy to attempt to save their life.

      Stay away from doctors and do not get your vision checked and eye cataract removed.
      Just keep driving as your vision gets cloudy and you crash.
      I also think you should not have the pressure inside your eyes checked.
      The slow loss of vision from glaucoma increased pressure will continue until you are completely blind.

      Just like guns, doctors kill lots of people and save lots more.

      • I can take a toke or 2 and reduce the pressure. There’s a lot more money in treating cancer than curing it. I am just a dumb redneck, but I know if it’s made from a poppy, you can get sprung on it. I knew that if the jab was all that you wouldn’t be able to keep people jabbed fast enough. Instead shaming, browbeating, bribery, threats, on & on & on.

  6. How about you put your mask on, grab your scalpel, get to your operating rooms and stfu.
    If you are a dentist, you are not a real doctor. Stop asking people questions while you work on their teeth. Weirdo’s.

  7. Hey, DocDuracoat,,

    There are other ways and other professionals that get the job done. I use them and they are consistently effective. Your premise is that only medical doctors can save us. That is a false premise. I’ve got plenty of resources to provide help when I need it.

    As I indicated, I do not avoid health care, I avoid medical care.

    And yes, I do get my eyes checked every year by an eye doctor I trust.

    Oh yeah….all the docs telling all their patients to go get the clot shots…and they are still doing it…even to pregnant moms…but they care. How many will die or be permanently maimed? Even the docs are dying from the shots.

    So, we each have a different approach.

    I have had too many family members and friends damaged or killed by the medical industry. I prefer health care.

  8. Now we gotta have a prescription to exercise our civil rights? When did fascism become the norm in America?

  9. This is what happens when the corrupt,greedy idiots who want socialism/communism get in to political power. They cannot be voted out because they always cheat to win the election.
    The remedy needed is clearly stated in The Declaration of Independence.
    The time is upon us.

  10. well looks like my post didn’t pass the “authorization process” here on TTAG.
    Beginning to believe there are lefty censors controlling the comment section………….

  11. Linked report on NY’s decline in gun violence points out the oppressive laws passed by Hochul and her minions after the Bruen decision as the likely reason why. It’s pretty weak evidence to prove that her fear-mongering was wrong. Author should leave the tactic of fitting to evidence to the desired narrative to the gun-grabbers.

    • it wasn’t cause her anti-gun tyranny. it was cause the police started doing their jobs more frequently and deterred.

        • well of course their report is going to say that. All these years since NY started claiming “more anti-gun laws means less crime” for the last 30 years pre-Bruen yet crime continued to grow, but still the same laws now in their post-Bruen temper tantrum just worded different and more sly about it – AFTER they beefed up their anti-gang enforcement – and suddenly its “look our anti-gun laws are working to reduce crime”? I don’t think so.

          their gangs are being deterred by more police anti-gang activity, and their crime rates drops. It happens every time they take the leash off their anti-gang policing.

  12. Misleading headline. Not a single actual physician is in this article. A hospital executive? Literal parasite toward a physician

  13. Doctors do prescribe bad medicine. One doctor gave me some antibiotics, after reading the side effects, I decided just dying from the disease sounded a whole lot safer.

  14. Truth:
    If everyone that got shot had medical insurance the doctors wouldn’t care about people getting shot.
    It’s all about that $$$

  15. The only thing that positively always reduces crime is the intact family of one man and one woman raising children. Everything else is just an atheistic experimentation. Trying to validate some fantastical fantasy.

    The atheists would much rather have a non-religious big government welfare Industrial Complex. Instead of a private religious welfare system that requires a moral belief system and required moral limits on private and public conduct.

    So instead budgets for prisons and jails go up. Budgets for drug rehabilitation go up. Instead of telling people it’s immoral to do things like stealing and using drugs. They don’t want to tell them that. They will simply raise what is considered a misdemeanor theft crime up to $950.

    But it’s not just the atheists. Sadly not all but many churches have become an extension of the government. Which is why those that scream there is a separation between church and state, are very silent when it churches who are receiving government funds, welfare.

    And those funds are distributed to church members or used by the church for whatever purpose they choose.
    President Eisenhower warned us about the dangers of federal spending on education as well as the military. While at the same time saying that the enemies of freedom were atheistic in nature.

    Are there atheists who believe in Freedom and the responsibility and consequences that go with it? Yes there are. But their numbers could fill up an American telephone booth.

    • I kinda like the idea of two wemon raising the kids. No kidding, I’ve been there done that and it was way better then just one mom raising the kids.
      The housework and chores were split and that left more time for the kids.

      • I was raised by my mother and grandmother. My PhD graduate liberal father from Princeton University never paid child support.

  16. Alito asks why NY politicians aren’t trying to stop criminals from carrying illegal guns. Why are they only trying to get rid of legal guns, owned by law abiding citizens.

    Very simple: because these Democrat politicians WANT criminals to commit crimes with guns, crimes that they can use leverage to disarm their political opposition.

    That is ALL that the left cares about. They actually love crime. That report of another shooting on the subway is mother’s milk to them.

    Bill Clinton fought tooth and nail against the NRA’s “Operation Exile,” which enforced the mandatory 5 year federal sentences for felons in possession. Obama ran guns from U.S. gun stores to Mexican drug cartels so that he could blame the resulting deaths on U.S. gun stores.

    The more gun crime the better to them. They REJOICE at gun crime, because it advances their totalitarian ambitions.

  17. This past five years is the first time period in American history where repeat offenders committing violent crimes exceeded the violent crime rate of first time offenders.

    In 2017 and before first time offenders committed violent crimes at a rate that exceeded those violent crimes of repeat offenders by 3’ish to 1.

    In 2018 repeat offenders committed violent crimes at a rate that exceeded that of first time offenders by 1.3 to 1.

    In 2019 repeat offenders committed violent crimes at a rate that exceeded that of first time offenders by 1.8 to 1.

    In 2020 repeat offenders committed violent crimes at a rate that exceeded that of first time offenders by 2.4 to 1.

    In 2021 repeat offenders committed violent crimes at a rate that exceeded that of first time offenders by 3.7 to 1.

    In 2022 repeat offenders committed violent crimes at a rate that exceeded that of first time offenders by 4.8 to 1.

    So far in 2023 repeat offenders have committed violent crimes at a rate that exceeded that of first time offenders by 5.6 to 1.

    In each and every case 2018 to present the repeat offender had either been previously incarcerated but was decarcerated, or not prosecuted in a manner that should have incarcerated for a long period of time (mostly pled down or charges dropped or allowed release no-bail instead of being kept in jail), or not prosecuted at all, under a left wing liberal ‘policy’.

    Around 500,000 people annually die as a result of what is termed by the medical community and media as “preventable medical mistakes” or “medical error”, when in reality its intentional acts. For those who do not die as a result, the serious injury rate is about another 200,000 annually. Not only that but the medical community is rampant with other crimes – rape/sexual-assualt/acts of pedophilia happens to about 50,000 patients each year. The medical community is largely very liberal in its ‘self-policing’ and ‘self-regulating’ in practice which means they get to act as ‘judge-jury’ when one of these ‘mistakes or errors’ happen. They employ very large legal ‘teams’ whose main goal is to make the ‘mistake or error’ go away by settling quietly with victims or victims family’s and binding them to nondisclosure agreements which if violated would being down a legal armageddon upon the victim or victims family or to keep it thought of as a ‘mistake’ or ‘error’ as if its simply something that happens sometimes and was not predictable or preventable when in reality its intentional acts or sometimes malice. In proportion, very few of these incidents make it to public knowledge through the media. Everything from intoxicated doctors performing invasive surgery or another medical procedure to knowingly prescribing the wrong (or improper) drug to push a drug manufacturers drug to simply ignoring obvious conditions to performing unnecessary/improper medical procedures for the insurance or patient money to medical community members committing acts of rape/sexual-assualt/acts of pedophilia. 3 in 5 children that are hospitalized report inappropriate touching and talk by members of hospital staff. ~60% of hospital staff and ~70% of medical doctors have a criminal record that would make them prohibited persons for firearms possession, yet we let them have all sorts of deadly/dangerous ‘devices’ and ‘drugs’ and ‘access’ and even ‘nuclear materials’ with an actual license (e.g. doctors or nurses) with most times no criminal background check at all. All this fostered in the medical environment by the very liberal ‘self-policing’ and ‘self-regulating’.

    Liberal is a public health crisis. These hypocrite doctors need to realize that.

  18. Interestingly, when my home was broken into about 8 years ago and the thieves broke open my gun safe and stole about a dozen guns, the police seemed very uninterested in investigating the case.

    I had to ask them to send someone over to dust for prints and even then, they did so halfheartedly, they didn’t bother taking latents from my wife and I and they only dusted a couple of places, they missed several areas where it was obvious the thieves had been rooting around.

    During the theft, the thieves made off with some blank checks for my checking account. A few days later, someone cashed one of the checks with an obviously forged signature. I sent all this information to the detectives, including the name of the person who cashed the check, the exact time of the transaction and the bank branch where they cashed it so they could get the video.

    They didn’t even bother talking to the bank.

    After that interaction, I never heard from the detectives about the case again.

    So, my point is, if they’re so worried about all these guns being stolen from citizens, why don’t they try to catch the people doing the stealing? Apparently it’s not as important to them as they make out.

    BTW: At the time I had a curio and relic FFL and, so, was also required to report the theft to the ATF. They, also, showed no interest in catching the thieves or recovering the guns.


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