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Dr. Jane M. Orient M.D. courtesy

By AWR Hawkins

In the fall 2013 edition of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Jane M. Orient, M.D., takes apart the long standing gun control advocate arguments of many medical groups to show that guns do not cause crime, people do. Orient looks at “advocacy campaigns” for “treating gun violence” that have been sponsored by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Physicians (ACP) and says these groups have fashioned gun violence as a “health problem” rather than a “crime problem.” In so doing, they have avoided the real causes of violence and to pursue federal funding for research from an advocacy perspective . . .

According to Orient, in many cases these and other medical groups have missed the real causes behind crime because their advocacy often comes with “a political agenda” attached. Orient shows how this “public health approach” included supporting more gun control laws following the heinous crime at Sandy Hook Elementary, although “the latest and purportedly best study provides no support to the call for more restrictive gun laws as a means to prevent homicide.”

She also examines how various medical groups frame gun violence in terms of a safety issue. She focuses especially on the way such groups and their allies suggest the government is more worried about motor-vehicle safety than gun safety. But Orient shows that such claims betray a misunderstanding of causal factors behind crime:

A major fallacy in the analogy between motor-vehicle crashes and shootings is that crashes are almost always accidental, and shootings are almost always intentional. Thus, in the former, the safety characteristics of cars and roads are highly pertinent, whereas in the latter the issue is why a shooter decides to pull the trigger.

Orient argues that the design of the car – including things like center of gravity in SUVs – are very important because the cause of a crash is often external to the driver. But when it comes to crime, it is the person rather than the gun who is to blame. In other words, the cause is internal. Thus, medical advocacy groups take the wrong approach when they place emphasis on “the guns themselves” instead of on “factors related to violent behavior, apart from mental illness.”

She bolsters this point by showing there is no real reduction in violent crime in certain countries where there has long been higher levels of gun control than in the U.S.

For example, Canada has had “strictly regulated handguns for more than a century” and required the registration of all handguns “since 1934.” Yet, although the northern-most U.S. states adjoining Canada “have a three to ten-fold higher prevalence of handgun ownership… no consistent differences were observed in violent homicide rates.”

In other words, in the absence of guns Canadians prone to violence were able to find other lethal means to use.

A 2007 study in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy made this same point based on suicide numbers in England following gun bans there. According to the study, while gun control advocates were celebrating a drop in the number of firearms used in suicides, they overlooked the fact that suicides among “English youth” actually rose as a growing number of people simply found other ways to kill themselves.

The gun is not the culprit. Rather, the person intent on assaulting or killing another person is the culprit.

Guns do not cause crime, people do. 


This article originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission.

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  1. yes, this is obvious stuff. But the usual suspects like Lott are considered biased, so the more PhDs and MDs come out of the closet, the better.

  2. But, but- if we had common sense car control that made it impossible for people to use the damn things the accident rate would go down! /s

  3. Imagine that, government funded “scientists” releasing politically biased studies! What next, we find out that the climate isn’t cooperating with all those doomsday global warming computer models?

  4. Always nice to see more scientific validation of what a competent Sociologist could have told you 30 years ago- violence, and ‘gun crime’ are really issues of culture and sociology – the implement used means sweet FA.

    Japan has a dramatically higher suicide-per-capita rate, but they seldom use guns. Which eliminates guns as causality for US suicides. (Which are ranked 30-somethingth in the world anyway.) Were guns the actual driver, we’d be the leader in suicides by several orders of magnitude.

    Were guns the ultimate cause of murder, 1MM+ Rwandans wouldn’t be dead from tribalism and, oh yeah, machetes….

    Not to mention guns are easy to get anywhere- if you are a criminal. 1K cash in USD or Euros and I’ll be strapped in London within 24 hours. Or less.

    This is the 4th year in a row that Piers Morgan’s Orwellian Utopia has seen an increase in ‘gun crime’. Despite all the legal ownership going away. Far up from the previous peak in ’93. ‘Handgun crimes’ post Dunblane (and the confiscation that ensued) have doubled since. That she wasn’t ready with that figure to call his stinking BS, speaks volumes that she’s just semi-kinda-bright visual candy piece who is fellating the right rooster, and not someone who will be taken seriously on a knowledge basis by anyone with a clue.

    Beyond poorly informed, she was way too allowing. I just want to debate Morgan Lincoln-Douglas, NFL rules. I’ll wreck his 120 IQ arguments like the Exxon Valdez and then pass them like a Taco Bell bean burrito. I heard better quality arguments as HS debater 30 years ago. Let alone when I judge 16 y.o.’s today.

    • BTW- “She” is the bimbo with the pathetic book,
      not the actual Dr. with her cranium fully detached from her rectum.

  5. In response, MAIG Spokesman Douche McDouchebag offered the following statement:

    “Nothing to see here – this bitch is plainly in the pocket of the gun lobby.”

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