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By Jon

At first glance, you wouldn’t expect there to be much similarity between guns and modern medicine. Still, both serve vital purposes in our society, yet have the potential to cause great harm. Unfortunately, many citizens are forgetting or ignoring the benefits of guns. They aren’t able to separate emotion from logic when confronting this issue due to the emotional attachment of seeing senseless acts of violence in the news. As a nurse and gun enthusiast, I believe it’s high time we acknowledge the abandonment of logic in the discussion of gun violence . . .

In healthcare, we have to evaluate whether any medicine or treatment poses more of a benefit than a risk to the patient. This risk/benefit analysis is vital to ensuring that we honor our first principle to do no harm. Sadly, even with all our modern medical technologies, sometimes harm is done. As reported by the CDC, there were 98,987 deaths in 2002 due to hospital-acquired infections. That’s an alarming number, and if one were to focus on this statistic alone, they might urge those around them to avoid hospital admissions at all costs. What the statistic doesn’t show, however, is that tens of millions of people are admitted to hospitals and successfully treated every year without suffering a life ending infection.

That same year, the CDC reported 30,242 deaths at the end of a gun barrel. Again, what the statistic doesn’t show is the countless number of Americans who benefit from guns. Many citizens are able to protect themselves from becoming a crime victim without ever firing a round. Firearms allow a 100 lb. woman to defend herself against a much stronger attacker or an elderly person from a home invader. Guns provide much more of a benefit than a risk when you separate emotion from logic.

There were over three times more deaths in 2002 related to hospital-acquired infections than guns but you don’t see the politicians, mass media, or concerned moms of America pushing to close hospitals. There’s no Mom’s Demand Action for Cleaner Hospitals group out there jumping in front of TV cameras. Why is that?

It’s because we all understand that the benefits of modern medicine vastly outweigh the low statistical risk. Why is it that so many Americans focus on the positive in regards to modern medicine but only see the negative when it comes to guns? Another thing to consider is that the statistics don’t account for other diseases each patient may have when they were admitted which put them at higher risk of dying from their infection. In the same way, gun death statistics don’t account for broken families, criminal behavior, mental illness, etc.

Loss of life due to any reason is tragic, but we need to remain rooted in logic when discussing solutions, even (or especially) when it comes to guns. It’s done every day in healthcare, as evidenced by chart audits, staff education, and visits from regulatory agencies, just to name a few. Some would argue that government regulation of healthcare and guns is one and the same, but they’d be wrong. They believe that the wording “well regulated” in the 2nd Amendment means our government can impose law after law to limit our right to bear arms.

Supreme Court Justice Scalia touched on this in D.C. vs. Heller when he stated, “the adjective ‘well-regulated’ implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training”. Our government should be providing resources for education and proper training in safe firearms use, not enacting laws that limit the ability of individuals to defend themselves. The government doesn’t put up “cancer free zone” signs in hospitals even though millions die of cancer, because they use logic rather than emotion to dictate how they respond. It’s high time we, the people, demand they do the same with guns.

Jon Templeman is a nurse and runs the Dads Demand Action for Gun Rights in America Facebook page. 

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  1. There’s no Mom’s Demand Action for Cleaner Hospitals group out there jumping in front of TV cameras. Why is that?

    Because there’s no money in it. No Bloomberg with deep pockets. No Joyce Foundation grants. No organization fundraisers. No money.

    • This. Oh, and by the way, this.

      And, for the people funding the moms who want action, no power to be gained by leaving weapons in the hands of the people.

      These days, every time I hear the leftist twaddle that the right are fascists, I ask, “So let me get this straight: the guys who want you to keep your guns and more of your own money are the fascists? Are you sure you’ve thought that one through?”

    • That is actually a focus of a lot of patient advocacy groups; it’s just that they don’t get the headlines as much.

  2. Putting up “Cancer Free Zone” signs in hospitals. You’d better believe I’m going to be using THAT analogy more than once in the near future…

  3. Very well written. Unfortunately, posting it here is preaching to the choir. I’d like to see it somewhere where the gun grabbers could read it.

    • That is absolutely correct which is why it was also published in my newspaper for those people that wouldn’t peruse a pro2A website. It’s also important however to give people of the gun some talking points or ideas to use when they interact with our opposition.

  4. 1. The needle is always dirty.
    2. Never point a needle at something you don’t intend to stick.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger, err, plunger until your sights, uh, needle is pointed at the, um, target… Yeah, doesn’t work so well for this one.
    4. Always know your target and what’s behind the target as well, because hitting a nerve or an artery sucks.

  5. I’d like to see the stats on people’s exposure to guns. I.e. Time spent within 50ft of a loaded firearm. Safes don’t count but holsters do. Then compare that to the rate of negligent/accidental death.

    • Impossible to statisticify this. I am out in public frequently, always armed, and many people within 50 feet of me. Since my weapon is concealed they never know they were within inches of sudden death the entire time. Tough to prove a negative.

  6. This is an excellent point. But I don’t think I agree that people accept hospital-acquired infections as a risk, I think they really don’t know it. *I* didn’t know it.

    If tomorrow CNN ran a story about one person who died from a hospital acquired infection, I think some people WOULD be shocked, while a lot would probably say ‘so what’.

    If the following day they ran a story about ALL the people that died that day from the same, some people would be aghast.

    If the next day, and the next day, and the day after that similar stories were run about THOSE day’s deaths, I think within a month you WOULD have SOMEBODY DEMANDS SOMETHING groups coming out of the woodwork.

    I think the only difference is that gun death is sexy and topical, so it sells.

    • Good point here.

      If those stories sold on the sensational-tragedy level, they would be on the news all the time and we’d all be hyper-aware of it. There are groups that crusade on the hospital issue, but they don’t get any press.

      And in addition, there’s more money/power/control tied up with guns.

      It’s interesting in a personal way because I actually was aware (and afraid) of the risk of hospital-acquired infections, but went under the knife anyway for a necessary major surgery. It was a risk I had to run to ensure my future health. And it bit me — the surgery went fine, but I spent 4 months recovering from hospital-acquired bacterial meningitis.

      Makes a good parallel with gun ownership, I think. I’m not anti-hospital, even though one almost killed me. The same hospital also literally saved my life, and hospitals everywhere do the same for millions of people every year. There are risks and benefits in everything.

      • I concur, Had surgery last year and acquired a sepsis infection, among another. Had to self inject antibiotics 3 times a day for 2 1/2 months.

    • Certainly. Just look at the public angst a few years ago when Ebola was all the rage. Even made movies about it. Now the big thing is “Flesh-eating bacteria” because that’s the sensational story the press can get to sell dead trees and get leads on news shows. When sensational gun violence occurs they are all over it – for the ratings. When the audience gets tired of it they move on.

      • Good point. I bet most of us are aware that 3 or 4 kids died last summer of brain-eating amoeba from tainted lake water they ingested up their nose. Why do we know? Because the news ate that stuff up. Sick kids, striving to survive, check. Juxtaposition of typical family summer fun on the lake with deadly consequences, check. High cringe factor from brain eating bugs, check. Sure got me to watch my evening news.

        It’s not that no one cares about someone expiring largely quietly within a not-quite-sterile-enough medical environment. They do. It’s just that it’s got no wow factor. People die from disease all the time. It is how almost all of us will die, eventually. It’s a fact of life. We accept it because we are familiar with it.

        Our society is spoiled rotten, because in most of the world, violence at the hands of others, be they a state run amok, warlords, drug lords, or just rotten people who want to whittle their enemies down to size by chopping off their feet and hands, is much more prevalent. throughout most of human history, violence was probably a significantly greater cause of death. But not here in America. We are spoiled-ass-rotten. But guess what, citizens. It happens here, too. And unlike in most parts of the world, we have a constitutionally protected right to do something about it.

        What’s that old joke: What do you call a Liberal the day after they get mugged? A Conservative.

        • “What’s that old joke: What do you call a Liberal the day after they get mugged? A Conservative.”

          That’s not a joke, that’s my origin story. 🙂

    • I think another reason is that guns make a loud noise and the results are immediate, visible and obvious, where as an infection is silent, and invisible to the naked eye and can take many hours or days to slowly do it’s thing. The loud noise thing that cam from a specific visible firearm is easier to point at. A picture of a germ behind a newscaters head doesn’t convey death as clearly as a black outine of a pistol commonly used for EVERY crime story.

      • Hey Joe (where you goin’ with that gun in your hand?),

        OK, sorry about the Hendrix reference.

        You are going where I wanted to go. No spree killer herds people into a hospital and makes them stay there for 2 weeks in the hopes that they will acquire an infection and die. It happens during the course of stay for some patients. Ordinary people who want to protect themselves from infection can take some simple steps that do not require government permission or training.

        Carrying a firearm legally can entail a lot of hoop-jumping. Spree killers can reek havoc in a fairly short time frame with their illegal gun(s).

        So most anti-rights people that I encounter say that you can’t compare them. Same with automobiles (plus most people I know would be horribly inconvenienced without their cars).

        I also feel that the whole “Why would you want to carry a gun?” shtick involves projection. Because these people both don’t trust themselves with a firearm and they’re sure that the cops will protect them, they can’t even imagine why an[other] intelligent person would want a gun.

        I’m an OR nurse and a gunnie, so when I hear people I work with rail against guns, I offer to take them to the range. (I offer non-railers as well.) So far, out of about 15 people offered, only 1 has gone (and, of course, she had a ‘blast’).

        I keep on keepin’ on, trying to enlighten 1 person at a time. (I’m going after Jews next. I have an ad in my synagogue’s newsletter.)

  7. “There’s no Mom’s Demand Action for Cleaner Hospitals group out there jumping in front of TV cameras. Why is that?”

    Answer: because there is no money in it. If there were no entities such as the Joyce Foundation pouring money into citizen disarmament, most of the effort would disappear.

  8. “I believe it’s high time we acknowledge the abandonment of logic in the discussion of gun violence….”

    In other words, you’re implying that they, at some point in time, did use logic? That must have been before my time; before 1959 at least, that this “logic” was abandoned. Like, maybe around 1934 and the National Firearms Act? They didn’t abandon logic, per se, just empirical logic. Their logic is not to use empirical data and proven research, or reductionist logic, but to stoke emotional fires that may grow and might finally, and completely overwhelm the firefighters who are trying to save the republic. We have serial arsonist oath violators in Congress, and an even bigger one at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. who are Hell-bent on torching the Constitution. Their illogic and ill-will be done.

    Are Logic and Guns Mutually Exclusive? Everything is, mutually or otherwise, exclusive to them, because they are nothing without it. It’s Nanny state-Big Brother logic, that’s what this is. It’s all so wonderfully, politically expedient, isn’t it?

    • There’s actually a great book written by liberals in 1979 about how gun control doesn’t work. “Restricting Hanguns: The Liberal Skeptics Speak Out” by Don B. Kates, Jr. I have just recently started reading it but it shows that there are (or were) at least a few liberals that were able to look at gun control logically rather than emotionally.

  9. Never accuse the medical profession of allowing logic to infect their discussions of guns. Both the AMA and the American Pediatrics Association have come out strongly against guns, and in particular guns in the home. Perhaps this is an outgrowth of the first principle, “first do no harm”, and the belief that guns do nothing but harm, i.e., serve no legitimate purpose that can be balanced into the risk-benefit analysis.

    We also have to recognize that peoples’ reaction to guns is largely if not entirely driven by unreasoning emotion. My wife, for example, hates guns. Logic will not dissuade her from this hatred–even though she clearly recognizes that her reaction is indeed emotional and illogical. And that is the end of the conversation. The same is true for Bloomy and his minions–they have emotionally concluded that guns are evil, unnecessary to the civilians, and provide no societal benefit. Hence any means is acceptable to ensure their removal from society.

  10. Excellent point Jon. But I’m afraid it will be lost on the gun grabbing crowd. Can you improve it so that it has an emotional and media attention grabbing, component?

    Like gun-grabbers and politicians are victimizing the population and constituents by the laws and attitudes they promote and have. So who are the real killers here? Let’s draw the correct conclusion here. MDA, MAIG, Brady, Gifford and other groups and the politicians who vote for their own gun grabbing/limiting laws are the killers, maybe one step removed, but never the less guilty!


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