Some have called Mike “The Gun Guy” Weisser the gun world’s kapo. As the son of a Holocaust survivor who believes that no Jew should ever allow him or herself to be disarmed, indeed, that all Jews should go out of their way to make sure they are armed, I couldn’t possibly comment. Except to say this: Weisser is pro-civilian disarmament. Oh he’s danced around the issue plenty. But his most recent Huffington Post dietribe [sic] leaves no doubt that “The Gun Guy” wants Americans to surrender their firearms (to someone) for their own good. As a medical matter. Check this out . . .
One disease which continues to escape government-mandated controls is something called gun violence, which kills more than 30,000 Americans each year. And if the NRA and other pro-gun folks want to continue to debase this discussion by claiming that these deaths have nothing to do with guns, that’s fine. But notice that I’m not casting blame on anyone for these gun deaths; I’m not saying that people with guns are good or bad. I’m simply saying that, at the end of the day, if someone puts a loaded gun to their own head or to someone else’s head and pulls the trigger, I guarantee you that someone will be dead. And death from anything other than natural causes is a medical issue and if it is not brought under control, it constitutes a medical risk.
“Gun violence” as amorphous evil and straw man argument aside (“if the NRA and other pro-gun folks want to continue to debase this discussion by claiming that these deaths have nothing to do with guns”), Weisser’s claim that “death from anything other than natural causes is a medical issue” foreshadows the insanity (inanity?) to come. Under this catholic definition, fatal car crashes, drownings, lightning strikes, even combat are all “medical issues.”
The logical corollary to this illogical assertion: doctors should talk to their patients about their guns. Now don’t get me wrong. I believe doctors should be able to talk to their patients about anything they want – from smoking habits to basketball scores to the possibility of alien abduction to what’s in their patients’ gun safes. Patients are equally free to refuse to answer or to tell their physician to FOAD, and then find another doctor. But there’s no mistaking Weisser’s agenda. Not anymore.
The fact is that nobody ever committed an act of gun violence, no matter how it’s defined, without first getting hold of a gun. And since, by definition, none of the 31,000 Americans who will die from gunshots this year will die a natural death, physicians need to adopt, in the words of Sean Palfrey, the strongest possible defense in order to go on the offense regarding the medical risks of guns.
If a gun-owning patient believes that anything said by a doctor about guns is out of bounds, he’s not required to accept the doctor’s advice. And God knows there are plenty of us walking around, sicut me, refusing to follow medical advice about our smoking, our drinking, our guns or our weight. But the government’s inability to go on the offense about gun violence has absolutely nothing to do with any evidence-based knowledge that having guns around reduces medical risk. And until a credible, evidence-based argument proving that guns reduce harm is produced by the pro-gun side, physicians should continue to ask patients to immunize themselves against gun violence by getting rid of the guns.
Seriously? The government should go on offense on “gun violence” – by which I assume Weisser means enact more and stricter gun control legislation rather than jail criminals longer or increase suicide prevention efforts – because there’s no evidence that having guns around reduces medical risk – defined as anyone getting shot by anyone?
Do we assume that Weisser rejects any and all “evidence-based knowledge” of defensive gun uses, which, it must be said, reduce “medical risks” (defined as anyone getting shot, stabbed, raped or beaten by an attacker)? I guess so. How else can you explain his call to doctors to tell their patients to “get rid of guns”?
You’d think Weisser would urge doctors to ask patients to ditch their guns where a patient or a family member is at risk of suicide. Or where there are small children in the house. These are the usual caveats gun control advocates rely on to hide their true intentions re: docs against GLOCKs. But no. Weisser wants all guns gone. Four words for that Mr. “Gun Guy”: over my dead body.