David Hemenway guns public health
Courtesy Harvard Radcliffe Institute
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Undark: You’re a scientist, you talk about these datasets and policy based on evidence. So, is it working? You’ve given some very positive examples, but I wonder if the issue is just that when we turn on the TV, the news is terrible.

David Hemenway: No, things have gotten worse in the United States. More people are carrying guns, there’s more military weapons out there, gun ownership rates have increased a little bit. A lot of bad things are happening. Politically, it’s been very hard because one of our two parties is aligned with the gun lobby. So it’s hard. But what I would say, from a public health standpoint, is that there’s a lot of good things happening, but also, that there’s been so many successes in public health over the last 150 years.

From the sanitation revolution in the 1800s, to immunizations, to the United States reducing smoking, you name it — there are so many good things. But all of these things took a long time. Even getting physicians to wash their hands took about 20 years before they would do that.

But people who believe in public health have pushed and pushed and pushed until suddenly things tip. It’s three steps forward, two steps back, but it’s always been, overall, this incredible movement toward having richer, happier lives.

— Dan Falk in Interview: Treating Gun Violence as a Public Health Crisis

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      • The drive to force all the States to be the same. Is destroying this country. And the less religious we become. The bigger the government grows. That’s just a historical fact.

        As john adams said our government was created for religious people. This type of government was not made for atheists. They worship the state.

        And yes, not all of them do. But most do. They expect the state to provide what they need. And what the desire. They everyone to think this way.

        A perfect example of what is going on with these fires in hawaii now. They wait for the government. Just like they waited for the government after Katrina.

        Relying on the government has created the circumstances that lend to this fire in the first place. And how do I know???

        Because the real libertarians have the history.


        • Chris,

          “They worship the state.”


          And they worship their own wallets.

          And will kill and maim in the name of their faith.

      • A return to federalism would be nice 👍

        By the way, “Public Health” lost all credibility over the last four years. “Public Health” is a joke and a scam, used by oppressive tyrants.

        That’s too bad, because “Public Health_ actually use to so quite a bit of good, before it was co-opted.

        • From the linked article:

          “The public health approach is about prevention. It’s not about individuals; it’s about the population.”

          There you are, ladies and gentlemen, from the horse’s mouth. Two methods of changing behavior on a mass scale are at the individual level, or all at once population wide. With individuals, time is required, and public sentiment may shift and work against the change agent. Population wide change can be achieved much more quickly, but requires force and control. As was noted in a prior discussion, governmental response to Covid was an experiment, to test population control. Additional crises and responses, manufactured or otherwise, are in the offing.

  1. They want to talk about ‘public health’…I call BS. The common denominator of all his data points is not the gun. The gun is inanimate. The problem they avoid is the human mentality it takes to use a gun, any tool for that matter, to harm or take the life of another human. I guess that’s too hard and messy. Might hurt someone’s feelings.

  2. After all the COVID stupidity I think I have a pretty good idea what a ‘public health’ approach to gun control would look like. And I don’t think the ensuing civil war would be very good for public health.

    • “And I don’t think the ensuing civil war would be very good for public health.”

      It would be better for some, worse for others.

      Something, something, “blood of tyrants…”

      • It seems most medical professionals spread the contagion of corruption. They promulgate the pandemic of lies. They deliver deadly ‘cures’ while denying demonstratedly effective, affordable medication.

        We have a lot of medical folk in our family. Most of them kneeling at the dark alters of the FDA and WHO. A few have broken into the light but hide their enlightenment under a bushel basket for the sake of their employment.

        They do not like when I talk openly of the fraud and killer shots. They do not like it when I remind them there is no diagnostic test for any virus.

  3. The violence-problem will be solved after someone concocts a potion that will make people cease to criminally misuse firearms, bricks, bats, knives, fists, feet, vehicles, etc. Until that happens busy body quack doctors can stfu and focus on medical malpractice lawsuits attributed to their utter incompetence.

  4. Belief in “public health” as administered by the gummint took a huge hit from the COVID scamdemic.

    • Ya know I got covid January 2021. Mild case. After I got over it my Medicare goons harassed me to get the jab. For 2 years! Obviously I had natural immunity. I also dropped 40 lbs & put on perhaps 10 lbs of muscle. Reversed type II diabetes. All by ignoring bad advice. No we’ve never discussed gats but if we do I’ll change providers. Public health AIN’T gunz!

      • FWW,

        “…dropped 40 lbs & put on perhaps 10 lbs of muscle. Reversed type II diabetes. All by ignoring bad advice.”

        Glad you shunned the clot shots!!! Congrats on your heroic return to health. You set a great example!

      • Breakfast at my house today included eggs from our hens, potatoes, and kale from our garden, and peaches from our tree. Public health might improve if more people ate likewise.

        • Basically what worked for my household even here in NY. Well guess I will have to go another season getting hassled at work for not giving a damn about what crooked doctors are saying.

        • Art.
          I agree. Breakfast this morning was eggs from our chickens, grits, home made biscuits with home made butter and honey from a neighbors bees, and smoke ham from a feral hog I shot last fall.
          Yes I bought the grits. Old fashioned long cooking grits from a local mill. Of course, out here on the homestead, we actually do physical labor as farmers and craftsmen did a century or more ago. No airconditioned office with cushioned chairs. Burn off the calories and fats. 75 years old and the Dr. is always surprised my cholesterol levels are great and my A1C is around 5. Even though I could stand to drop 25 pounds. My only real health issues are from wear and tear of hard work all my life and some damages from heart issues the quacks think are genetic.

  5. Just need a shot for it and a gov’t order to get one. Rich won’t begin to describe Fauci and hos investment buds at tge CDC.

    • … “Everything you think do and say,
      is in the pill you took today
      whooa ooa ooa ooa ohoh….”

      • In the Year 7105,
        if God’s a comin’
        he aughta’ make it by then,
        maybe He’ll look around himself and say,
        “Guess it’s time for The Judgement Day ”

        In theYear 8510
        God is gonna’ shake His Mighty Head
        He’ll either say ” I’m pleased where Man has been “,
        or tear it down and start again

  6. “Ten or 15 years ago, nobody in the in the gun area was talking about suicide. They believed, completely incorrectly, that if you want to commit suicide, you’ll commit it no matter what, that no one’s going to stop you.”

    And he provides no support for this contention. If you look for it, you’ll find articles such as this one in the Atlantic, which contends that “Gun Laws Are the Key to Addressing America’s Suicide Crisis” — https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/09/gun-control-key-addressing-americas-suicide-crisis/615889/

    When you dig just a little deeper, you find contradictions such as this:

    “Guns are used in just 6 percent of all suicide attempts, but are responsible for 54 percent of successful suicide attempts. This makes a grim sort of sense: When you shoot a gun into your temple, it does what it’s intended to. That’s why 85 percent of suicide attempts with a firearm are lethal. Just 3 percent of suicide attempts by drug overdose are fatal.”

    If guns are used in only 6% of all suicide attempts, what is used in the other 94%? That blows a hole in the theory that taking away access to firearms would have much of an effect on the suicide rate.

    It seems that the left is satisfied with marginal measures that wouldn’t prevent, but rather only slightly reduce, the number of suicides. But they’re all in on removing firearms from our society — and this is their true goal.

    (This comment went into moderation at 9:52AM EDT. )

    • Be careful with those numbers. Using those numbers, the gun controller would argue that removing all firearms from the equation would necessarily reduce deaths by suicide by half, since half of successful suicide attempts are by firearm, and no access to a firearm must preclude the action from happening.

      I think a better way to look at this, is to realize that other methods would be employed, and all the numbers would adjust, likely resulting in the same number of deaths by suicide. As noted in the numbers, use of a firearm is the surest way to commit suicide. If I were intending to commit a successful suicide, and had made peace with the decision to do so, I would select the surest method. If that particular method was no longer available, yet my intention/decision/peace remained, I would very likely utilize another method, and I would make an allowance to enhance the success of my attempt. Thus, suicide numbers by CO poisoning, overdose, hanging, Mack truck, cop, etc., would all increase and cumulatively take up the slack.

      You see, we’re back to the issue of change at the individual level vs. population level. Stop me from committing suicide by convincing me, even if you must lock me up for a time (with due process). Loss of relational communication is at the heart of this, just as it is with the mass murderer phenomenon. Don’t take B’s firearms away because A is suicidal. Connect directly with A.

  7. “there’s more military weapons out there,” funny I don’t know ANYONE that owns a 249 or m60 or javelin?

    then add we all know how the feds will f-up a ‘health crisis’ or use it to the LEFTs advantage…read ‘all the lives saved’ from covid in places like cali that closed down for over 18 months to 2 years and yet other places like FL and GA did like 6 months and were FINE.
    I have to wonder HOW many lives ‘saved’ from covid, in the end got lost in the shuffle to suicide or overdose when they lost their jobs/businesses and lives for 18 to 24 months?

  8. This guys an idiot.

    Constitutional rights are not a ‘public health’ issue. ‘sanitation’, smoking, washing hands, are not constitutional rights. There is not a single instance in history where infringing a constitutional right for all law abiding actually improved ‘public health’. Stop trying to liken constitutional rights to something like a disease to be controlled and eradicated you left wing tyrant wannabe.

    • He should be more concerned by the 250,000 Americans killed by malpractice from doctors with licenses than Americans with guns.

  9. “there’s more military weapons out there”

    When he says “military weapons” – that’s left wing medical speak for common normal ‘semi-auto’ civilian firearms. In reality, there are not “more” actual “military weapons” out there, in hands of other than the Bidens government agencies that he has weaponized against the American people.

    In short, “there’s more military weapons out there” is his way of saying law abiding people bought common ordinary semi-auto MSR’s (AKA AR-15’s) – but it sounds really scary to say “there’s more military weapons out there” – like Josh Sugarman did with coining that false ‘assault weapon’ term for civilian semi-auto AR-15’s to intentionally scare and deceive the public into thinking AR-15 owners were running around with military machine guns. Overall, this guys ‘public health’ thing is anti-gun deception and agenda.

    • A tip off that the guy is not too smart is his use of the singular verb in “there’s more military weapons out there.” It should be “there ARE more military weapons….” I see this slovenly use of the language everywhere on TV every time someone starts a phrase with “there” while discussing plural subjects. “There’s a lot” followed by plural subjects is the most common one you hear all day long from people who know better. It’s emblematic of the further dumbing down of America.

      • I too lament the general decline in the proper use of language. However, it is foolish to automatically conclude that incorrect diction is a sign of a lack of intelligence. It may be contrived, or may be simple ignorance. Neither of those necessarily signify lesser intelligence. You must accumulate additional evidence before drawing that conclusion.

        I, myself, also must be honest, and acknowledge that the definition of “proper” may legitimately shift over time. Strunk and Kilpatrick may be rolling over in their graves, but I must, albeit reluctantly, state it.

  10. Maybe if they could find something to counter the effects of testosterone. As it seems the problem is primarily a male hormone problem. It is also very prevalent in a particular population but we are not allowed to point this out for fear of being labeled racist.
    Follow the science…even when it becomes uncomfortable.

    • “Maybe if they could find something to counter the effects of testosterone.”

      They have, they call it hormones and “bottom surgery”… 🙁

      • Estrogen laden tap water, plastics in the food, various phytoestrogen additives, etc etc. Somehow I think it’s not the testosterone.

        • I was thinking estrogen injections and, as the late Rush Limbaugh was known to say, a “LopADickOffOfMe’ surgery, along with the defective nuts… 🙂

  11. We have more people, we have instant media, we have local officials wanting to broadcast all their dirty laundry, it is much harder to get away with crimes(especially missing persons and homicides). Of course it is going to look worse than it was, but pre WWII, things were not even reported. Even through the 70s, things were not reported.
    If you listened to the stories that people born before 1920 told in your youth, you might find that they or their friends committed murder and then came to the big city. If they murdered a homeless person(stranger), the Sheriff or police chief didn’t put much into it. I suspect that the murder rates are about the same as now, we just get much more publicity.

  12. More people having access to their rights= a societal problem.

    Sounds about right.
    Don’t worry, Klaus and Sergey are working on doing away with letting the people have any choices or opinions so this problem will go away in due time.

  13. This is how these sneaky people are. Just give up your guns and all the crime will go away.
    Like just leg@lize all drugs. And all the crime will go away.

  14. This statement by this lunatic would be funny if it weren’t so incredibly stupid.

  15. Taking a Public Health Approach to Medical Control Will Mean Richer, Happier Lives for Americans.

    seriously… annually (collectively) ~450,000 people are victims of medical malpractice and almost ~300,000 of them die either during or after the malpractice later. Heck, a law abiding person owning a gun is far safer than going to the doctor – almost 1,000 times safer.

    Taking a Public Health Approach to Glass Table Top Control Will Mean Richer, Happier Lives for Americans.

    seriously, more people are seriously injurered or killed by glass table tops annually than all the violent crime injuries and murders with firearms annually.

    Taking a Public Health Approach to Crime Control Will Mean Richer, Happier Lives for Americans.

    seriously… intentional crime is the number one cause of intentional violence with a gun and responsible for ~99% of serious non-suicide injury or death by use of a gun.

    Taking a Public Health Approach to Adverse Mental Health Control Will Mean Richer, Happier Lives for Americans.

    seriously… 100% of suicide with a gun is due to ‘suicide ideation’ which is an adverse mental health illness.

    the list goes on and on…for example, despite the claims of reducing smoking being some sort of success, annually more than (collectively) ~400,000 people are seriously injurered or killed due to disease from use of tobacco products. In other words, there was no win for public health by reducing smoking and in fact use of tobacco products has increased.

    • My brother in law had hemorrhoid surgery a few yrs back, and a few days later figured out he was unable to poop… unfortunately for my sister she had to take a look at the problem (shes a nurse) and she found they accidentally left a bunch of gauze up his a$$. I mean like a large roll of it.

  16. Another clueless expert. ” gun ownership rates have increased a little bit.” A little bit, how about well over a million a month… in the last 30 months it’s a 10% increase in ownership , that’s a lot of guns, which is a good thing. People who traditionally didn’t show interest in gun ownership have decided to arm themselves for protection. People have seen the chaos and destruction of ANTIFA, BLM, illegals and criminals and are preparing for it. 27 states have “Constitutional carry” laws, and many of those were passed in the last few years. America has become a very dangerous place, and gun purchases are a response to it, not the cause of it.

    • guns are a symptom…not the cause…and the actions of the left played a large part in this current situation coming about…something they refuse to acknowledge….

        • but look at all the different creative ways he formulates his pet slogan.
          just like my bikey group thread and all the different ways to write “boy, is it nice out.”

    • none of us allowed tyranny or tyrants.
      but like your low IQ , there are things that just can not be fixed.

      • “none of us allowed tyranny or tyrants….
        there are things that just can not be fixed.”

        If “we” cannot/could not sell our message, could not preserve the union as it was founded, declare things are so far from liberty as established, then, yes, as Franklin noted, “we” did not keep the republic.

        Since 1945, our national theme has been “peace, peace, peace and safety”. We moved quickly from declaring war on enemies, to “police action”, “military assistance, to “peacekeeping”.

        How many people died along the way to “peace and safety”. Are we accomplices to the millions dead at the hands of tyrannical governments?

  17. Addressing The Lies…Everytown’s NEW Propaganda Piece! (note: about Everytowns new ‘public health’ anti-gun propaganda video)

  18. Well, there is not a single thing in that list that would be effected in any way by limiting magazines to ten rounds or by outlawing AR15’s. Universal background checks or even getting rid of all semi-auto firearms wont change any of it either. Ideas to the contrary is laughable. It would all still happen.

  19. Taking a Public Health Approach to Biden Control Will Mean Richer, Happier Lives for Americans.

  20. This is kinda what the left wing has in mind.. but worse… thats why they want to make law abiding gun owners a public health thing, so they can declare a public health emergency.

    Katrina? remember that?

    Tyranny On Full Display -Gun Confiscation New Orleans – How Easy & Fast It Can Happen. (just a note here.. the national guard troops for Katrina, some of not all of them were on title 10 orders thus were federal troops)

    • The passage of HB781 signed by the governor that became Act 325 became effective 08/01/2022 should help with future emergencies:


      “New law adds that, as provided in the existing constitution, the right of each citizen to keep
      and bear arms is fundamental and shall not be infringed, and further provides that firearms
      and ammunition manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, suppliers, and retailers and
      shooting ranges are essential businesses and operations for purposes of safety and security
      and shall not be prohibited or restricted from operating or conducting business during a
      declared disaster or emergency.
      New law further provides that existing law (R.S. 29:738) provisions prohibiting the seizure
      of lawfully possessed firearms or ammunition, and the authority of law enforcement to
      disarm individuals under certain circumstances, during a declared emergency or disaster shall
      apply also to declared public health emergencies.
      ACT 325 (HB 781) 2020 Regular Session Miguez”

  21. They know Bruen stands in the way (no “public health” analog for gun control existed in 1791), but continue the push to neuter the Second Amendment.

    One might conclude the intent is to have such laws on the books when the SC balance changes (by whatever means).

  22. Quote from the original article:

    EACH YEAR, nearly 49,000 lives are lost in the United States due to gun violence, of which more than half are suicides. More Americans died as a result of gun violence in 2021 (the most recent year for which complete statistics are available) that in any other year on record — though due to the nation’s growing population, the rate of gun deaths has remained lower than its peak in the 1970s. Youth gun violence, in particular, appears to be on the rise.

    • dacian the FUNDERHEAD So frickin’ What? Did you catch on that more than half are suicide? And it NOT “gun violence”. A gun is still and inanimate object which can do absolutely NOTHING without a human. But you Leftist- S O C I A L I S T control freaks refuse to deal with the real problem.
      if a gun were not available the mentally ill who commit suicide would find another method. You would accomplish NOTHING but exhibiting your control freak nature.
      Youth gun violence? How about holding parents responsible for their off spring’s conduct?

  23. and for ‘public health’ its much more than ‘gun control’ …its taking all rights away….Dr Nass Explains How The WHO Is Undergoing A Soft Coup, Under The Pretext of Pandemic Preparedness. (Biden supports this BTW)

  24. “…one of our two parties is aligned with the gun lobby…”

    Not something I’d agree with.

    I would agree, however, that one of those 2 parties has totally aligned itself with groups and people, foreign and domestic, who are actively lobbying to eradicate the 2nd Amendment.

    • a controlling globalist agenda is pushing in on us in many areas…while we tend to prize our individual freedoms others are working to suppress them…you need look no further than north of our border to see what they have planned for us…..

  25. “one of the two parties is aligned with the gun lobby.” No, one of the two parties is aligned with the 2nd amendment.

  26. Hemenway is among—and the epitome of—junk scientists. His work was debunked in the 1990’s,* even debunked in the “public health” literature.**

    Hemenway’s basic premise is asinine. Guns fail every test for “pathogenicity.” Guns meet none of Koch’s Postulates of Pathogenicity. Today’s highly sensationalized “gun violence” is almost 50% less than the “endemic” (“usual”) levels, yet this ignoranus [sic] wants to “treat” “gun violence” according to the public health “epidemic” model. Understand that treating a criminological problem as a medical problem is as foolish and ineffective as treating a medical problem according to a criminological model. Imagine: jail terms for having a heart attack, getting the gas chamber for diabetes.

    Hemenway is one of those self-impressed and self-righteous morons who has a “hammer” so thinks every problem is a “nail.”

    * Kates DB, Schaffer HE, Lattimer JK, Murray GB, Cassem EH.
    Guns and Public Health: Epidemic of Violence or pandemic of Propaganda?
    61 TENN. L. REV. 513-596 (1994). https://guncite.com/journals/tennmed.html
    ** Suter EA.
    Guns in the medical literature–a failure of peer review.
    J Med Assoc Ga. 1994 Mar; (3):133-48.
    PMID: 8201280 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/14998547_Guns_in_the_medical_literature_A_failure_of_peer_review

    • “Guns meet none of Koch’s Postulates of Pathogenicity. ”

      Thanx for the comments and links.

      • You are welcome. As any reader of TTAG knows, junk politicized “science” reigns in the 2020’s. “Follow the science”? Hardly. The control freaks only follow the agenda!

        Suter EA.
        Guns in the medical literature: A call for scientific integrity
        Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Winter 2021: 26(4) 116-118

    • nice to know I’m not the only one who knows Hemingway’s pathetic clown history and how he also does not allow per review of his work

  27. No comments on the article of course but it’s posted on twitter (x) so go light them up I say. I started us off.

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