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This Week in Gun Rights is TTAG’s weekly roundup of legal, legislative and other news affecting guns, the gun business and gun owners’ rights.

Medical schools teaching students that guns are a “public health problem”

doctor gun control

Public health problems are numerous — plagues, pollution, malnutrition — all of them have demonstrable impacts on the growth and development of children and the overall wellbeing of individuals and our communities. But guns are tools, not pathogens. So why are medical schools teaching their students that guns are a public health problem?

Researchers from the medical school at Washington University in Saint Louis “developed a multidisciplinary curriculum to train surgical residents so that they can best treat victims of firearm violence and feel confident in contributing to the national conversation on firearm violence as a public health problem.” The curriculum is titled Anatomy of Gun Violence and is, from the authors’ perspective, “the first effort to teach surgical residents about firearm violence as a disease process within its social context.”

While one of the curriculum’s goals  – reducing the likelihood of surgeons depersonalizing gunshot victims – is certainly noble, the curriculum’s premise conflates cause and effect by supposing that firearms-induced harm is self-generated and not the result of other criminal ends such as drug dealing or other inherently violent crimes. Blaming the tool used for the harm caused won’t resolve the issue of violence in crime-plagued communities, so it makes little sense to focus on firearms when the focus should be on providing social services or reducing the underlying causes of primary criminal activity.

Montanans vote against local gun control

cowboy action shooting reloading
Courtesy Thundervoice

In a bit of positive election news, the people of Montana have narrowly passed Montana Legislative Referendum 130, which removes the ability of local governments within the state to establish their own gun laws and regulations, effectively hampering their ability to restrict gun rights. While the new rule will prevent cities and towns from regulating concealed carry of firearms, municipalities will still be able to regulate carry in public buildings, parks, and schools.

While the principle of permitting people to determine their own destiny at the lowest level of government should be lauded, it should be rebuked when the government’s power would be used to constrain liberty.

Firearms Policy Coalition suing New York City

nysrpc v city of new york supreme court de blasio
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

This week the Firearms Policy Coalition and the Second Amendment Foundation filed a lawsuit against the City of New York and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea in Greco v. City of New York. For too long, law-abiding residents of New York have been denied the right to effectively defend themselves from the actions of violent criminals; people who have never and will never obey any of the restrictions the city has in place for the “safety and security” of its denizens.

Our complaint is simple enough – New York City’s “proper cause” carry license requirement has been used for ages by the NYPD Licensing Division to actively deny applicants the right to carry a firearm for self-defense.

Put simply, requiring individuals to demonstrate a proper clause in order to exercise any constitutional right, let alone the right to keep and bear arms, is a prior constraint and is inherently unconstitutional. In the colonial and founding eras, individuals were not only permitted to carry firearms, they were often expected to do so.

Tammany Hall Democrats restricted the right to bear arms in 1911 by passing the anti-immigrant Sullivan Act and they have been using it to discriminate against working-class and minority New Yorkers ever since. We plan to change that, so stay tuned for updates.

Gun restrictions continue to harm Europeans

(Photo/Ronald Zak)

Yet another pair of terrorist attacks have occurred in Europe over the last week, the first in Austria, the most recent in France. The attacks were committed by religious zealots and have ignited a debate about the right to speak freely in Europe. What everyone has conveniently overlooked, however, is the massive failure of the European Firearms Directive and nation-specific gun restrictions.

One of the shooters involved in the Vienna attack was on parole for having attempted to join ISIS. Europe’s insistence on liberal democracy and restraint of individual rights has fomented a scenario in which individuals must choose between free speech and certain violence, a choice which the members of a free society should never have to make. 

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    • 400K is one estimate I heard. If caused by anything else it would be front page news and FEMA would be involved.

      • IMO…It’s never mind guns. Far too many doctors are much more of a threat to public health. Don’t think so? Visit your state board that licenses doctors, etc. and look over the mountains of cases against anything and everything ranging from perverts to drug addicts. Medical schools need to look no further than their own backyard to find filth.

  1. The real public health issue is virus called “Liberalism” where your brain turns to mush, you think a racist child molester and traitor is a better choice for president than a successful billionaire who has already proven a effective leader in international trade agreements that benefit Americans, and you piss your pants at the sight of a gun. This virus is spread in primary and secondary schools , colleges and university and graduate schools, and by all forms of media and resides strictly in Democrat’s little brains..

    • “Show me the tax returns”

      While taking every tax break and exception they can get.

      It’s just jealousy.

  2. Doctors bury their mistakes…and other Doctors cover for them. The Doctor Unions (ie. Professional Associations) are worse than any Police Union for hiding / covering malfeasance.

    I’m fully expecting Biden to extend qualified immunity to the medical profession as part of his Coronavirus Response Task Force. In his few speeches on the subject, he has given the impression that he will cure it overnight….kinda reminiscent of Obama’s “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal” narcissistic speech.

    • “so we left the scalpel inside of you and didn’t realize it until after we stitched you up, you have about 5 minutes left to live. But since you signed this disclosure, your family gets nothing and it’s not our fault.”

      • Scalpels, hemostats and metal tools aren’t that common…however, surgical sponges / gauze are left inside quite frequently…ooopsie. If not discovered in time the patient may receive, as a bonus to their surgery, an HAI (Hospital Acquired Infection) which is often life-changing…”I’m sooo sorry Mrs. Smith, he was doing well after the surgery and then crashed…by the time we went back in…it was too late…we’re not sure just what happened (texting to his / her receptionist: please tell my usual foursome that I’ll be a bit late for tee off)”.

        • “surgical sponges / gauze are left inside quite frequently…ooopsie.”

          That’s why they now make them with metal threads in them, to show up on post-op X-rays…

          • @Geoff

            I know that. The fact that the manufacturer had to incorporate metallic threads tells us the extent of the problem. Doesn’t change the fact that the patient still has to be re-opened in many cases. Doctors are human (in spite of the many who think they are gods…), they make mistakes and, like most people, do not, voluntarily, own up to their mistakes.

            A lack of candidness appears to be taught in Medical Ethics 101…the following line is from the Declaration of Geneva (it has replaced the Hippocratic Oath in almost every Med School in the USA)…
            “I WILL GIVE to my teachers, colleagues, and students the respect and gratitude that is their due;”

            I always thought this following quote from the same Declaration was the basis of Doctor activism in subjects they do not (for the most part understand)…”I WILL NOT USE my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;” Har dee harhar…it is to laugh!

            As a civilian Paramedic I experienced a number of Doctors on that long, slippery slope of preaching outside of their knowledge base.

    • If there were no firearms during the 1940s, how many millions more Jews would have died in the ovens? Trick question, since the answer is “All of them, worldwide.”

      • NO guns? The Nazis would have had a harder time rounding them up if there were NO guns. think it through…
        I’m not arguing against guns, just unsound arguments.

    • Not so long ago, I graduated in 2006, not to sound like an old fart, but this generation of doctors suck.

  3. Illegal guns-are-a-public-health-problem & like all crime have been for years.
    The problem will not change until legal gun owner band together to help stop straw men & resale out of the back of cars.
    How???!? If I knew the answer we would have fixed it by now, but we need to find a way to fix it, so illegal gun sale will not be used to stop legal gun sale.

    • That problem was solved in 1791. Since we cannot infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms, we go in the direction of shooting dead the folks selling firearms out of their car trunks, and those buying them. If that doesn’t work fast enough, also kill their wives and children, parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters. If that sounds extreme, how about punishing me for something THEY are doing, and I am not?

  4. Its all part of the Leftist Commie Disinformation Indoctrination Camp 101.

    Guns Save more than 3 Millions Lives a Year!

    Medical Malpractice kills over 400K a Year!

    When u take away all the BS deaths from Firearms ur under 8k which includes illegal acts in big cities with gangs,drugs..etc… ALL Rifles make up less than 2.8%….yeah the ones they want to ban…

  5. Fact: Homeless man gets killed from a Electric Car in the street!

    Libtard: SUV, Gun & Covid Death!

  6. Headline I’d Like to See: “Firearms Schools Teaching Students That Medical Malpractice is a ‘Public Health Problem’”

  7. Take a good look at your AR15, take pictures too, Biden is not going to be all talk like the bad, orange man; they will come for your guns, count on it.

    • K.

      Come and take em. Is he coming personally?

      Not big on pictures… I’ll just show em in person. Free tickets to the gun show? Lol.

      *Starts writing “boog” with red substance on fingers

  8. Not an MD but have an MPH. There were several courses that exaggerated the gun violence epidemic. It was always pretty easy to debunk what was being taught, and show the data to turn the conversation around. Not really much of a victory, though, because class discussions aren’t enough to change curriculum. The bigger problem, in my opinion, is that most students studying public health will default to recommending broad legislation to solve any health problem that arises, completely ignoring communication, education, second order effects, and individual autonomy. It’s restriction of liberties out of laziness and a feeling of superiority.

  9. Let me observe that medicine has drank the Kool-Aid it is they that have become the public health threat. One needs only look to the Kung -Flu response to see agenda precedes public heakth.

  10. Not all doctors are total morons. I know two MD’s, one is a life long hunter and the other came to me and wanted to learn about firearms. This guy never held a firearm. I took him to the range, explained safety and had him practice starting with a .22 and working up to a 45-70. He had such a good time he requested that I call him next time I go to the range, he brought his two boys and he introduced them to shooting. . A few months later we went hunting together, He had purchased a .30/30. Didn’t get a deer but at least he enjoyed himself and is a new gun owner. Now if only I could just get him to sell his Tesla and get a truck!

  11. Hello! Thank you for sharing such important news and truly authoritative opinion with us. It seems to me that our medicine lives its own separate life and generally on another planet. How can they compare disparate things with each other? But as you rightly said, a weapon is a tool, not a disease-causing bacteria. After all, when a person strikes himself on the finger with a hammer, we do not blame the hammer for what happened. This is elementary logic, I do not understand why it is not clear to some people. Write your assumptions I will be glad to read

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