Mike “the Gun Guy” Weisser is a veritable font of anti-firearms freedom fail. TTAG has fisked The Huffington Post’s pet Fudd some 24 times. And counting. ‘Cause MTTG is still at it.
Mr. Weisser’s latest attempt at anti-gun agitprop is aimed squarely at America’s oldest civil rights organization: NRA Once Again Tries To Discredit Doctors With Alt-Right Nonsense. And it goes a little something like this:
One of these days, public health researchers will stop getting all hot and bothered about gun injuries and turn their attention to serious threats to health, like fatalities from dog bites (20-30 per year,) or deaths from bee stings (upwards of 100 per year,) or worst of all, getting strangled by a Python – it happened to a guy in 2006. It really did.
But gun injuries, particularly injuries to kids? Give me a break. Everyone knows that guns don’t hurt people. People hurt people. And this isn’t just a scientific fact. You can also find this evidence in Biblical texts. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at this survey conducted by the American Culture and Faith Institute conducted in 2012.
Here’s the weird thing: MTTG’s polemic doesn’t cite the actual number of children killed by gunfire per year.
The five-year-old Mt. Sinai Hospital study to which Mr. Weisser [eventually] links reports that there were 5,862 pediatric firearm-related hospitalizations in that year. It doesn’t reveal how many were fatal.
The Mt. Sinai study includes all “children” under 20-years-old — even though, legally speaking, a “child” is under 18. The study lists firearms injuries by “assaults, unintentional, suicides or undetermined,” breaking down those categories by age:
Note the huge jump in the number of incidents — more than a triple — from the 10 – 14 age group to the 15 – 19 age group.
Also notice that “Assault” accounts for the lion’s share of firearms-related injuries, even when considering all age groups.
No question: New York City’s “children” aged 15 – 19 years old face a different type of firearms-related danger than children below that age — most likely due to criminal activity by the 15 – 19-year-old “children” themselves. You know…gang-banging.
This is why the NRA disses surveys that simply calculate the total number of “children” killed by “gun violence.” A distinction that annoys Mr. Weisser to the point of literary apoplexy.
. . . back to the pediatricians from Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City who discovered again what we already know, namely, that if you put a loaded gun in the hands of a kid, someone’s going to get badly hurt.
And what I love most of all about how the NRA responded to this remarkable state of medical affairs was their comment that the study is entirely bogus because anyone who knows anything about medicine knows that kids above the age of fifteen aren’t kids.
That’s right – the Mt. Sinai research covered everyone between the ages of zero to nineteen who was admitted to a hospital with an unintentional gun wound, and since more than 80 percent of the patients were between 16 and 19, this proves that guns aren’t dangerous at all to the younger set.
Of course that’s not what it proves at all. Not to the NRA or anyone else. Everyone knows guns can be dangerous, period. One reason why the NRA leads the country in firearms education.
Again, the NRA objects to studies that lump in disparate data sets because they’re misleading. They’re used by Mr. Weisser and his ilk to wave the bloody shirt for gun control — despite the lack of evidence that gun control would reduce any of these incidents.
Let me say it as bluntly as I can: the attempt by the NRA to discredit medical concerns about gun violence is completely and totally a crock of you know what. First, pediatric practice always covers patients up to age 18, some practices go several years higher, but none go below. Second and more important, denying that guns hurt people panders to the same, alt-right stupidity which denies global warming or claims that Sandy Hook was a hoax.
Unless Mr. Weisser didn’t read the survey (what are the odds?), he knows that it includes patients up to 19-years-old. Why would he shave a year off the data set if not to make his “argument” more palatable?
By the same token…straw man. No one is saying guns don’t hurt people. If they didn’t they’d serve no useful purpose.
And while we’re at it, the NRA is neither a climate change denier nor a Sandy Hook hoaxer. Mr. Weisser’s mentions these two entirely unrelated issues solely to play to his sympathetic HuffPo audience and cast aspersions on the NRA and all those who oppose gun control. The point is to make them sound like “alt-right” lunatics.
And that’s what really galls me about Mike “The Gun Guy” Weisser: he uses misinformation, misdirection and ad hominem attacks to smear and dehumanize gun owners. Avoiding any mention of Godwin’s Law (oops!), Mr. Weisser should know better. Thank God some of us do.