Why Public Health Needs a New Gun Doctrine

The Future Looks Like a Girl With a Gun Resized

I am a public health professional, educated at the vaunted Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Hygiene and Public Health. I like guns, and I believe the Second Amendment clearly secures the rights of individuals to own firearms.

You read that correctly. I am a public health professional.

And I like guns.

This make me a heretic in American public health, where embracing firearms and the rights of gun owners is a gross violation of orthodoxy.

As a society, our focus on guns and not gun users derives from the shock of mass killings, such as those in Newtown, CT, Aurora, CO, Virginia Tech, and Norway, which has some of the strictest gun control laws on the planet. Mass killings, however tragic, get distorted by saturation media hysterics and 24-hour political grandstanding. What gun opponents refuse to discuss is the precipitous fall in violent crime and deaths by firearms over the past 20 years, and how it coincides with an equally dramatic increase of guns in circulation in the US.

While that isn’t cause and effect, the association is certainly curious.

In 2013, the Institute of Medicine, at the behest of the Centers for Disease Control, produced a report on firearms violence that has been ignored by the mainstream media. The upshot: defensive use of firearms occurs much more frequently than is recognized, “can be an important crime deterrent,” and unauthorized  possession (read: by someone other than the lawful owner) of a firearm is a crucial driver of firearms violence.

That report went away for political reasons. Translation. Nobody wanted to talk about it because it raised more questions than it answered.

The tragic mass murders in Virginia, Colorado, Norway, Connecticut, and most recently California, showcase the failure of the healthcare system, including potential abuse of prescription drugs, and families where parents either checked out or were willfully oblivious to what their children are doing.  They are also outcomes of popular, feel-good movements, such as deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill, colliding with communities that had no means to deal with the consequences. Adam Lanza, Anders Breivik, Seung Hui Cho, James Holmes, and Elliot Rodger all needed  treatment, and, if necessary, involuntary commitment, with due process for both admission to a facility and subsequent release.

My public health approach to the problem of gun violence starts with the assumption that every gun owner is not a raving, irresponsible nut, but in fact a person of some seriousness who has a legal right to choose to own a firearm.

My next assumption is that the most egregious gun violence happens in communities that are broken, such as inner city Baltimore and St. Louis.

Again, a topic that is not to be spoken.

Gun control will not fix schools, restore neighborhoods, stabilize disintegrating (wealthy or poor) families, employ people, heal mental illness, rejuvenate local economies, or help create self respect. I support gun courts and mandatory, no-parole sentencing for people who commit gun crimes, with a massive public education campaign to back it up.

Public education works and is central to many public health issues, from highway safety to tobacco use reduction, but for some reason, when it comes to guns, the public health establishment’s histrionic reflex is not to educate but to control and confiscate. According to the FBI, in 2012 there were 8,855 firearms homicides, down 7% since 2008. By contrast, 33,516 people died on the nation’s highways in 2012, and alcohol abuse claimed 88,000 lives.

Where’s the clamor to control and confiscate cars, cellphones (deadly when used while driving), and booze?

Before buying a firearm, I took a gun safety class and got advice from experienced friends.

I choose to store my guns in accordance with commonly promoted safety guidelines. My son (10) can pick up each shotgun and ensure that both the magazine and chamber are empty. He can check the safety, point it correctly, and place it safely in a case. He also knows how to hold and hand it to an adult. In a state where guns are ubiquitous, this is an essential skill in case he is ever in the presence of child who thinks that his family’s carelessly unsecured guns are toys, not lethal weapons. Of course, he also knows to exit that room and get an adult.

Gun owners should not, however, get their hopes up that the public health community will ever take them seriously. Public health students are taught early on that guns are evil, that the people who think otherwise are an ignorant, backward, Jerry Springer watching lot and that there are some questions you don’t ask: at least not if you want to pass the class.

This says more about the public health community than it does anything else.

More about that one in a future essay. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Ironically, public health academics happily assert that there is a clear Constitutional right to privacy, even as they vilify a right that is actually expressed in the document, and they merrily condescend to its adherents, whom they regard as pathetic rubes. Here is how gun owners can thwart the push to have doctors ask about the presence of guns in a home during a routine history and physical: refuse to answer on the grounds of the much heralded penumbra-emanating right to privacy.

As for the claim that gun rights proponents oppose the conduct of legitimate research, consider this. Many years ago, I asked a very powerful anti-gun academic the following questions: What proportion of gun crimes are committed by the lawful owner of a legally purchased firearm, and what percentage of lawful gun owners use their firearm in commission of a crime?  He said that he did not know, and that he would oppose conduct of the research to answer both questions.

The answer was no surprise, and neither should my rejoinder be: molon labe.

Vik Khanna, THCB’s Editor-At-Large for Wellness, is author of Your Personal Affordable Care Act: How To Avoid Obamacare, which is available now in the Amazon Kindle Marketplace (for all Kindles and Kindle apps) and at Smashwords.com (for other e-readers). Clickhere to visit the book’s website.

376 replies »

  1. As a progressive health professional, I used to support civilian disarmament. After a law enforcement client suggest I do some research, I was surprised and dismayed to learn that in the 10 years after their gun bans, UK and AUS women experienced skyrocketing rates of rape. Assault and robbery also increased. Murder, always a rarity in those countries, simply went sideways, neither better nor worse. All that crime data came from the respective governments. But did those governments then say: “Well, we tried this experiment and it failed, so let the people own firearms for personal protection”? No, thus proving that gun control was about control, not public safety.


  2. Except the CDC’s own data shows that states with the most gun control have the lowest gun ownership rates and the highest black homicide rates.


    I know that’s a lot to digest, but I used to believe in civilian disarmament, being one of those progressive-type health professionals. But a law enforcement client suggested I do some research instead of accepting media propaganda.

    So it appears that gun control, not firearms, is the true health care issue.

  3. Carl…great post. Apparently @StevenTorrey doesn’t have any response. Not even his usual “You’re psychotic!”

    Hopefully he’s at his local Wal-Mart buying an AR… 🙂

  4. Thank you Brian.

    I’m sure your facts and common sense are lost on those that want to blame an inanimate object for the actions of mentally disturbed individuals.



    But what about all of the other violence?
    What about the violent beatings of little old ladies?
    What about the elderly men beaten to death by violent street gangs?
    What about the eighty thousand women who suffer rape every year?
    What about the one million two hundred thousand people who suffer from violent crime every year?
    Did you know that close to eight hundred thousand of those rapes and murders and violent assaults that led to grievous bodily harm did not involve firearms in the possession of the criminal?

    One in about 330 people all across the US will suffer from violent crime at the hands of a criminal not armed with a firearm EVERY YEAR.


    There are more than eight times as many people suffering from violent crime with no firearms involved than are killed or injured by firearms every year.
    Just shy of one million people


    Did you know the FBI handles just about one million missing persons cases every year?
    How many of those don’t make it back to their homes?

    Or…What about the CDC study that indicates that seventy five thousand to two point five million people prevent violent crime every year simply by owning and being prepared to use a firearm?
    You crow about less than one hundred thousand people who are hurt or killed *by criminal action* or *by accident* or *by their own hand* with firearms.
    What about the forty seven million households that own and use firearms and may use those firearms to defend themselves or others from violent crime more than two million times a year per the CDC study?
    I honestly find you and your repetitive psychotic screed to be a much more likely victim of psychosis than anyone else here. I bet your blood pressure goes up drastically when you read this. Do you grind your teeth at night?
    And your ignorance of actual crime statistics is appalling.

  6. Did you also know that the reported rape rate in Australia is fourteen times higher than that of the US overall?
    Did you also know that both the UK and Australia don’t report a murder *as a murder* until someone is convicted of it?
    So the killings by Jack the Ripper would never have been listed as murders in the modern age because the murderer was never *convicted*. Not caught, not accused, but convicted. And if there is some deal struck and the charge is dropped down to something less than murder? The victim simply wasn’t murdered.
    It is very neat and tidy.
    It shows a stunning lack of respect for the general public and for the victims and their families.

  7. Wow! Great post Jim.

    I can’t wait to hear a response to your closing question from all the brainiac anti-gunners.

  8. I’m bothered by one thing. You support “gun court..” Do you realize that I could murder someone with a knife or baseball bat and not get the same prison sentence as I would if I used a gun? This is not rational. Valuing one lost life less than another. Our country is currently trying to pull itself out of mandatory life sentences for some criminals because the form of cocaine in their possesion had baking soda added. Party guy gets caught with a gram of cocaine, he gets 18 months, but if it has baking soda in it, it’s a life sentence?

    Thus your attempt at appearing reasonable and rational has led you into supporting politically motivated solutions that have devalued one life over another. I thought you did just fine up to that point. Why not “prescription drug courts” where medical professionals who administer the wrong medicine get mandatory and stiff sentences for their failure to abide by reasonable precautions? 106,000 people were estimated to be caused by the administration of the wrong drug by medical professionals in one years study.

    Why, physicians can’t seem to stop ACCIDENTALLY killing people, how can they carry one gram of authority when it comes to preventing death by causes not related to their profession, especially when that number is far exceeded by their own.

  9. Bobby needs to review:
    and understand there are those amongst us who are willing to protect the others. Some of us are sheepdogs. most of you are sheep. Some of you are wolves. You decide where you want to be and the level of involvement you want. Go blithely along with your ear buds plugged in, blissfully unaware and unprepared. Some of us will watch out for you.

  10. You list a number of things that you consider to be gun control.

    Are you aware that all of them have been tried, both in the US and in other nations, and not a single one has resulted in reduced rates of relevant crimes? And in most cases haven’t resulted in reduced rates of firearms related crimes.

    Actually, reality tells us that significantly over 99.99% of gun owners are sane and do not commit crimes.

    You might actually want to look at some of the criminology research on criminals, it is not true that any person is equally likely to commit a crime. And also the research on the characteristics of murder victims compared to the characteristics of murderers.

  11. 1) It’s not possible to get rid of all guns.
    2) No nation has reduced its overall rates of relevant crimes by any gun control laws
    3) Getting rid of guns will not get rid of violence
    4) The top mass murders in the US did not involve guns

    As others have noted, the rates of iatrogenic illness and death outweighs the rates of injury and death due to firearms. If criminals are a health care crisis, medical personnel are a much greater health care crisis.

    Y’all should take care of your own house before you start worrying about others, especially when the harm caused by medical practitioners is much higher than even harm caused by criminals

    Maybe you should take a look at motor vehicles, with or without the involvement of alcohol. Or other, non-motor vehicle, accidents.

    Your fixation on guns is worrying.

    It is sad that you can’t distinguish between criminals and other citizens. Perhaps you believe that you are only a step away from snapping and killing people, but you shouldn’t project that on to everyone else.

  12. I, too, am a public health professional (regional emergency response coordinator). I have been a life long member of the NRA and fully support the lawful ownership and use of firearms, including for self defense if so needed. I am a hunter education instructor, range safety officer, master hunter, and concealed carry licencee. My immediate staff agree with me but we are an island amongst the indoctrinated others. But I would risk my life to protect any of them and am equipped and trained to do so.

  13. With 81,000 gun non-fatal gun injuries, 10,000 gun homicides, 20,000 suicides–those numbers add up to a crisis in health care. And like so many health care issues there are preventive measures available. Hint: NO GUNS–NO GUN VIOLENCE.

  14. Even by your usual psychotic standards–your response is PSYCHOTIC! Trust me, shoot someone and that someone will require medical intervention of some sort. That there are yearly some 81,000 gun wounds, 10,000 deaths, 20,000 suicides–well–Excedrin you are simply blathering for the sake of blathering. A gunshot wound requires medical intervention…

  15. @StevenTorrey: “Gun control simply means that people have to register their weapons with the State..;”

    Unlike some other national systems of government, ours is actually predicated on creating a detente’ between the people and the government, between the state and federal governments, and between the branches of the federal level with the intent to make it difficult for anyone to control the others without their consent. Registration and the other suggestions you continued to make are the sort of things that generate apprehension and possibly political or other conflict should they be initiated while probably doing very little in exchange, if the Canadian and Australian models are considered.

    “With 310 million weapons in America–representing some 47 million households–plus or minus–society does not know, cannot predict who the next psycho-shooter is”

    The frustrating part is the fact–in almost all of these cases–the inability for these future shooters and bombers to build and maintain functioning relationships and their atypical behavior is usually noticed a long time prior to the actual incidents. The issue isn’t randomness because these people aren’t random, they are asocial or antisocial and people around them notice that sort of thing…

    …they just don’t report it or the reports are not handled in such a way as to prevent the crime most of the time.


    “That the owner may descend to alcohol addiction, meth addiction, suicidal depression, jealousy, blind rage, or lunacy–The NRA gun nut psychotic screed wants to posit a notion that all gun owners are sane–when reality tells us something different.”

    The reality–if permit owners are considered–is that permit holders are–as a rule–less likely to engage in lunacy or even shooting incidents. One problem, of course, is that the attitudes of people like you and the ideas people like you espouse create a feeling of defensiveness which “privatizes” the ownership and carry of firearms to the point only intimates tend to notice if someone is drifting into psychological and mental problems. So, after a fashion, it’s a perverse outcome of trying to demonize gun owners.

    “And the very fact of 310 million guns–creates a reality where every church, every school, every plaza, every mall, every street corner requires an armed guard to prevent the randomness from misuse of that weapon…”

    Actually, no it doesn’t. That’s one potential “solution” but it depends on the assumption that the armed guards/police have some advantage over normal people in sanity or lack of criminality which is a canard. The other solution, assuming psychosis and criminality are rare or less common, is you only need 1 or more healthy people with guns at that location.

    “Bloomberg, Malloy, Obama, etc–speak to those innocent victims of gun violence–who had an equal right to peaceable assembly without fear of being gunned down.”

    Actually, most of these guys–when they speak in public–are surrounded by an armed entourage themselves which–if one of the “peaceful assemblage” decided to present a threat, would probably cap their ass in a second rendering any “right” to be free of the fear of being gun downed moot. Additionally, that “right” to be without fear really depends on both the person–who may not have a reasonable understanding of where their fear ends and other rights begin–as well as a need to enforce or try to enforce that right, sometimes via force.

    “nd the psychotic screed of the NRA gun nut psychos reduces itself to the notion that America should accept the murder of 20 children between age 6 and 7 with a Bushmaster AR15 as 2nd Amendment collateral damage. Joe the Plumber’s cynical assertion–”The death of those children does not trump the 2nd Amendment”–speaks to how sick and disgusting these NRA gun nut psychos are.”

    No, those kids weren’t collateral damage. They were the victims of an asocial or antisocial killer who was able to plan, prepare, and practice the execution of a horrific crime. The kids are only “collateral” if you imagine some other form of attack on them which wasn’t in effect and is mostly only in the minds of people who can’t understand that some people are evil and it’s our responsibility to identify them and try to ameliorate their potential harm on others.

    Your focus on one of the tools Adam Lanza used ignores the fact he used several others. One is a car. You don’t normally carry long arms in public without someone noticing. The car also allowed him to choose the venue of his attack and apply a second tool–an understanding of local and Federal laws–that allowed him to select a target with a very low probability of someone interrupting him before the police arrived.

    Also, while I don’t generally apply credibility to no-name people, the death of those children is not a political problem and shouldn’t result in some paradigm shift in US national politics. What it should do is result in an increased focus on identifying, reporting, and controlling people who are asocial and antisocial and unable to form healthy relationships with other people (which happens to describe most of the shooters and bombers who commit mass killings).

    That–identifying, reporting, and controlling asocial and antisocial people–is probably a much better application of public health resources and is likely to have a greater effect on reducing non-black firearm and bomb deaths than anything else. For African-Americans, I’m not sure what effect it would be if most firearm deaths and injuries are gang-related.

  16. @StevenTorrey: “Per capita or percentage becomes meaningless. Death by gunfire is the leading cause of death–the # 1 cause– in the Black Community for males between age 15-35. That statistic comes from the CDC.”

    Let’s assume you’re correct. Given that African-Americans are the least likely to admit to owning guns (http://www.gallup.com/poll/160223/men-married-southerners-likely-gun-owners.aspx) and–assuming–there is a significant difference between the causes of death for black people and for others, then the primary factor for the different outcomes isn’t likely to be guns. Instead, the most likely factor will be something correlated with being Black–biological, cultural, or social–more than what’s common between them and other Americans (which includes gun rights).

    The failure to focus on these factors, primarily due to a desire to avoid the aura of racism and an unwillingness or inability to separate black culture from black racial identity and black phenotype, is probably the greatest disservice we have towards black victims of crime.

  17. And the psychotic screed of the NRA gun nut psychos reduces itself to the notion that America should accept the murder of 20 children between age 6 and 7 with a Bushmaster AR15 as 2nd Amendment collateral damage. Joe the Plumber’s cynical assertion–“The death of those children does not trump the 2nd Amendment”–speaks to how sick and disgusting these NRA gun nut psychos are.

  18. Gun control simply means that people have to register their weapons with the State; people have to pass a background check on criminal behavior or psychiatric history, a limit to magazine size; prohibits certain types of ‘assault weapons’ like the Bushmaster AR 15, M16, AK47, Uzi, etc. The NRA contribution is to encourage training in the use of that weapon, security of that weapon, and a lobby for gun owners and manufacturers. With 310 million weapons in America–representing some 47 million households–plus or minus–society does not know, cannot predict who the next psycho-shooter is. The reality of randomness becomes a sad reality for lots of people–and not just the inner city. Nancy Lanza had every right to own those weapons, passed a background check, registered her weapons with the state–not for a moment did she think that her weapons would be used for demonic purposes; the NRA gun nut psychotic screed ignores this reality of gun ownership. That the owner may descend to alcohol addiction, meth addiction, suicidal depression, jealousy, blind rage, or lunacy–The NRA gun nut psychotic screed wants to posit a notion that all gun owners are sane–when reality tells us something different. And the very fact of 310 million guns–creates a reality where every church, every school, every plaza, every mall, every street corner requires an armed guard to prevent the randomness from misuse of that weapon… A madness of logic. Bloomberg, Malloy, Obama, etc–speak to those innocent victims of gun violence–who had an equal right to peaceable assembly without fear of being gunned down.

  19. The truth of the matter–Excedrin is just another lunatic with a computer; the verbiage is something like diarrhea of the brain and mouth… an unending psychotic screed…

  20. And those arbitrarily labeling and dehumanizing “Open Carry Harries” are defending nothing but their own overt bigotry on all levels.

    Which means you.

  21. More cogent and honest than anything you or anyone you misquote has to say on the matter, that’s for damn sure.

  22. @Bobby — A whole helluva lot more poignant, not to mention 100% factual which is in fact wholly unlike you and your lot, than literally anything you’ve had to say here thus far.

  23. 81,000 gun shot wounds requiring ‘medical intervention’ sounds like a health care crisis. Never mind how many of those require life-time medical attention after the wound, never mind those with permanent physical damage… (Talking to you Excedrin is akin to talking to Hitler–manipulating language and reality to suit your own demonic purpose.)

  24. @Steve — The statistics “gun deaths”, which don’t exist because guns do not cause death and there is absolutely zero empirical evidence of this published anywhere, doesn’t make it a healthcare issue just because YOU say so. What’s worse is that literally YOUR only (non)argument is that YOU say it is.

    It is NOT a healthcare issue. It never was. It is never going to be. It IS a Constitutional issue, which MAKES it a LEGAL issue, and from that stems an issue of guns for self-defense.

  25. Except that it’s absolutely not a “Straw Man” argument to automatically assume that gun control advocates are in fact “gun haters” — because that is exactly the only thing they are and that they themselves have conclusively proven themselves to be.

    Our “own good” ONLY flows from the “stamp-our-feet” protection of our rights in the first place.

    ALL morality is subjective, a clear lesson taught by history that YOU seem to conveniently ignore.

    Oh, and one more thing: we are NOT a democracy. We are a Republic. Go back to civics class — and PASS it this time.

  26. You conveniently forget the cold, concrete fact that according to the Australian Institute of Criminology AND the Australia Bureau of Statistics have both already concluded that gun control had absolutely zero effect in either crime nor suicide.

    There were in fact also at least FIVE more massacres after 1996. Four of them arsons, which killed more than a dozen people apiece. Don’t forget the Monash University shooting in 2010, either.

    Also, according to your own government’s latest Facts and Figures, violent crime still has NOT fallen back to pre-1996 levels, either, almost 20 years later. Firearms theft has also INCREASED by over 50%, with more than half of the targeted homes in the thefts being in compliance with storage laws.

    MOST Australians — save for you, naturally — readily do deny that their country is safer today, and that is because it simply is not.

  27. @Holt — Not really, being that he in fact IS a left-wing politician. It’s funny that you bring up the NY Times, too, because they have THIS to ay about “assault weapons” (which don’t even exist by the way):


    In other words, it’s a dead end. Just like ALL gun control is. So uh, NO, Australia should NEVER have banned guns at all and the U.S. WON’T. Not again on a national level anyway.

  28. The only sure way to obviate the need to apply a Second Amendment solution against a tyrannical government, is for the people to possess the means to do it. May we always have it, that we never need it.

    Fear the government that fears your guns.

  29. Without reading all 300+ posts, I will assume that nobody has made the following points.

    Regarding the quality of what passes for gun “research” in the medical/public health community, I would refer you to this old (1995) but still valid article: http://www.constitution.org/2ll/2ndschol/58tenn.pdf

    This article is not free, but some of you may be able to get a copy through your school library. A critique of the epidemiologic study of firearms and homicide, published in Journal of Homicide Studies, in 1997. Here is a link to the citation: http://hsx.sagepub.com/content/1/2/169.refs

    I also didn’t see much in the way of data presented, so here is some for your reading pleasure.

    There are about 300,000,000 guns in circulation, and most of them cannot be traced to their current owners. Assuming ~10,000 gun related homicides a year, we see that about 0.003% of guns are used in homicide, and, assuming 20,000 gun-related suicides, that about 0.0067% are involved in suicide.

    We can also estimate the percent of gun owners involved in each event. A reasonable estimate of the number of gun owners is 50,000,000, including all the law-abiding non-criminals, the criminals, and the seriously mentally ill. Making all the same assumptions as above, we see that about 0.02% will be involved in a homicide. Of course, we already know that seriously mentally ill account for a small proportion of homicides, while inner-city youth who already cannot legally own a gun account for a very large (half? more than half?) proportion of homicides, although they make up a very small proportion of the population. It follows, although the exact data are not readily available, that the percent of non-mentally ill non-criminal gun owners involved in homicide is extremely low.

    The situation for suicide is a bit different, as the mentally ill are over represented in that population.

  30. “Even by the standards of the usual NRA gun nut psycho stupidity and thoughtlessness…”

    Your overt bigotry indicates that you cannot have a rational discussion on this topic.

  31. Think what you want but there are simply way more deaths from medical errors yet you want to blame an inanimate object. Now who’s “stupid and thoughtless?” smh

  32. You best hope those doctors are paying attention when they treat those 81,000 gun wounds. Even by the standards of the usual NRA gun nut psycho stupidity and thoughtlessness–your comment was extremely stupid and thoughtless.

  33. StevenTorrey said: “The statistics of gun deaths–8,855 homicides, 20,000 suicides, 81,000 gun injuries makes gun violence a health care issue–not a Constitutional issue, not a legal issue, not even an issue of guns for self-defense. It becomes a health care issue.”

    There are way, way, way more deaths due to “medical errors” than guns, Now who do we know that’s involved with ‘medicine?” Doctors? Right! So doctors should stick to addressing medical errors. They’ve got way more to work on than deaths due to guns.

  34. Too many people die each year from car accidents and that’s a public health issue, so let’s ban all forms of transportation. That’s liberal logic. LOL

    Govt knows better than you and because anyone makes a mistake, Govt will punish everyone by revocation of your privileges and rights,

    How long before we have no rights and privileges left? Just eat, sleep, work, and repeat with no recreation, freedom, etc because life is too dangerous?


  35. @StevenTorrey

    Communities do not make choices. Individuals make choices. Some individuals choose, against the ‘choice’ of their community, to be criminals, and engage in criminal behavior.

    No matter what you might choose to do, others will choose to own guns and to commit crimes.

    Crime isn’t a health care issue.

  36. @StevenTorrey: “And the Black community can only address that by making an existential choice not to own those guns… ”



    At least according to Gallup, 3/4 or more of non-whites don’t own guns. They are already complying with your idea except…

    “60% of gun homicides afflicts the Black community; the Black community has to address that question.”

    So, in other words, the problem might be black people’s culture or it might be what happens when criminals have guns and most people do not. However, that would challenge…

    “But as so often–the solution is NO GUNS.”

    “Have gun / will bully…. The gun deludes people into thinking they are automatically ‘good guys with a gun’ when that assertion needs to challenged. No one can guarantee that their weapon will not be used for purposes of the demonic.”

    Actually, overall, civilians with permitted weapons who carry generally use those guns less than other people. Which sort of questions your assertion of “have gun/will bully”. The exception, of course, is often police officers who have both a gun, a uniform, and a belief in their own authority.

    I understand your desire to reduce the costs of violence, but I’m thinking you may need to look closer at the relative power in these situations–in terms of tools (guns) and authority (police and minority)–as well as individual and population behavior, especially that with regards to cultural effects.

    Not to try and paraphrase an old aphorism about guns and politeness, but when multiple people are armed, trying to be a bully ends up being a very, very costly exercise and it’s much more likely that such people–at the very least, among armed peers–become quite polite and cooperative with each other.

  37. @StevenTorrey: “The 81,396 comes from the CDC… I’ve heard this nonsense about more deaths from other causes… Which is true… But the discussion is about gun injuries or gun deaths; the question is whether this constitutes a ‘public health issue’, the question is what kinds of steps can society take to prevent this from happening. I know you don’t want emotionalism–but when I see that a Black 8 year old child is killed because a black thug shot blindly through a door for gang revenge… Then gun ownership becomes a public health issue. And guess what the answer is–NO GUNS…”


    Turns out Africa has a problem. In some regions, their blacksmiths who used to turn out farming implements are creating copies of AK’s and making zip guns.


    Also, while a significant quantity of Mexican guns–which are generally banned outside of special permits–may come south from the US, many–especially the harder hitting stuff–comes in from elsewhere.

    How in the world can you realistically expect to eliminate all guns in the United States while 1) maintaining access to modern manufacturing processes 2) without completely securing the border against illegal trafficking of guns (while drugs can’t even be stopped) and 3) removing millions of guns already in civilian hands without creating a much greater health problem than already exists?

    So, from a public health perspective, removing gun possession from the equation is likely to end up costing more than 80,000 deaths. Additionally, the transition doesn’t address the underlying demand for guns nor the criminal activity and culture which exists in many areas and–while facilitated by imbalances of firearm possession–do not depend on firearms for their threat.

    Any public health policy with regards to firearms ownership must take into account the costs in terms of lives and cooperation with other policies–including compliance with policies regarding immunizations which has the potential of killing millions–when trying to prescribe or proscribe gun policies in the US. Additionally, a realistic public health policy should at least offer tacit recognition that criminal culture and elements of other US subcultures amenable to criminal activity are likely to engage in some level of learning and offset the (potential) loss of firearms in an adaptive, casualty producing manner.

    For example:


    Knife crime in a “gun free” country…

  38. SteveTorrey:
    How about this statistic that came from the CDC. The defensive uses of firearms in the united states if over three million. This statistic is coming from a study that the NRA actually attempted to halt. They filed a lawsuit because such studies are not allowed due to a law congress passed. Well guess what, after their attempts to halt the study and Obama signed an executive order to fund the study, the study came up with three million defensive uses.

  39. I see it now. Laying on my proctologist table, as he does his thing, and asking me if I have guns at home. That’s government intrusion.

  40. Per capita or percentage becomes meaningless. Death by gunfire is the leading cause of death–the # 1 cause– in the Black Community for males between age 15-35. That statistic comes from the CDC. The NRA gun nut psychos like to make up statistics–reality. There are more like 108,000 uses of guns for self-defense-=-not the 2.5 million the NRA gun nut psychos like to flaunt. The FBI says there are 258 justifiable–self-defense–homicides. The gun is the INSTRUMENT; the shooter is the AGENT– a basic course in philosophy.

  41. @MyTwoCents: “Fix the problem, tool bans do not reduce crime!”

    I don’t know. The ban of teaching black people to read during the Antebellum period probably reduced the crime of slaves running away. Proving it might be an issue.

    Still, reducing the ability of people to take in abstract information–including political and legal dissent–and practical information–like understanding road signs and warning signs–helps prevent crimes against the greater order, even if it’s morally and/or ethically challenged.

  42. You are an idiot! Even if the “purpose” was destruction that still does not make it more dangerous than a misused object. More people are killed per capita or per percentage by cars, knives and even baseball bats then ALL guns. Fix the problem, tool bans do not reduce crime!

  43. I’ll be direct and to the point. It’s not about gun control it’s about removing guns completely. If you don’t agree with me then think of this common sense gun control. Everyone who is deemed responsible enough to own a firearm should be able to own any type of firearm including full auto and calibers over 20mm. Anyone who is deemed not responsible enough to own firearms due to violent behavior should be in prison, because if someone is that violent they should not be on the streets. When I hear common sense gun control that sounds like this I will listen. Since I’ve determined that the end result of this campaign will be total confiscation, I will cling to them tighter.

  44. How about THIS?

    Lose the lame Straw Man crapola equating everyone who favors rational regulation of firearms as a “gun hater.” Enough of you and your stomp-your-feet “rights.”

    “[One] peculiarity of our present climate is that we care much more about our rights than about our `good…

    [W]e tend to think that modern constitutional democracies are fine regardless of the private vices of those within them. We are much more nervous talking about our good: it seems moralistic, or undemocratic, or elitist. Similarly, we are nervous talking about duty. The Victorian ideal of a life devoted to duty, or a calling, is substantially lost to us. So a greater proportion of our moral energy goes to protecting claims against each other…”

    – Simon Blackburn. Being Good: An Introduction to Ethics

  45. @BobbyGvegas “Moreover, anyone who wants to live in a Syria can go there. Y’know, that “armed, polite society”?”




    Only by the most strained definitions.

    However, you’ve hit on one of the problems with gun control.


    Turns out there was a lot of restriction on private firearm ownership in Syria but what there was a lot of is long-term, sectarian violence created by the almost arbitrary borders drawn in the aftermath of European withdrawal from colonial rule. What we want to describe as “Syria” the country, is actually an ad hoc combination of peoples who form no cohesive governmental or social unit, many of which have centuries-old conflicts.

    Or, in simpler terms, self-armed from the remains of the failed parts of the government and outside sources combined with an underlying inter-and-intra-cultural conflict suppressed by that somewhat failed government’s power.

    So, try again when you want to talk about an “armed, polite ‘society'”, eh?

  46. Mental health is the avenue to gun confiscation

    politicians and media push gun control in a dishonest manner


  47. CJA, Jr: great note.

    Please also see this article from Reason on the NY Times’ piece on Sunday acknowledging what most of us have known for some time: that, in the US, at least the assualt weapons ban amounted to absolutely nothing.

  48. JohnC: you make an important point, which is that a right is not a requirement. If you are uncomfortable around guns, don’t own one, survey your friends about their ownership of firearms and then tell the ones who own to take a hike. You actually may be surprised at the ones who own a firearm but have never talked about it.

    It is your Constitutional right to surround yourself with whomever you wish. For people who believe in #2A and who enjoy firearms, there are requirements with the right (as there for all rights and they are expressed through an abundance of laws and regulations), and that is to behave responsibly, which the overwhelming majority of gun owners do.

  49. @Steve — The only propaganda here to be found comes from you and your lot, and you’re also the only skewing the statistics. Nobody else here thinks that’s “cute”, either, but for you.

    Gun control doesn’t work, can’t work, and never will work simply for the fact that it does not, cannot, and was literally never designed to address the real problem: PEOPLE doing bad things. THAT is what pisses you off, in addition to the FACT that nearly everyone here knows better than you than to fall fold like a napkin before purely emotional garbage.

  50. How about this…

    You idiots that hate guns, how about you simply choose not to exercise that constitutional right and STFU complaining and trying to get everyone else’s rights taken away?


    The rest of us will exercise our second amendment rights and we just won’t bother one another anymore.

    Fair enough?

  51. @Matthew — The very instant you claimed, falsely might I add, that your (non)argument doesn’t need proving only proves that your own thought process is anathema to logical thinking.

    Not only does your (non)argument still need proving, it is literally physically impossible to prove it. The old, tired, and thoroughly debunked “more guns means more deaths” meme is as a matter of inarguable fact — prima fascie — false on its face and for reason that have already been clearly spelled out to you. Our argument can and always has been backed by valid empirical research that has been duplicated numerous times even by rabidly anti-gun researchers regardless of the methodology and data sets used.

    Your (non)argument holds no water because it has long since been found to be based wholly and inextricably on purely emotional, hyper-partisan garbage that bears absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to the reality that the rest of ADULTS have already come to terms with. What’s worse is that you deliberately use the corpses of the victims of YOUR asinine, ass-backwards, and knowingly fascicle policies to prop up a historically sexist, racist, anti-rights, and generally anti-Humanist agenda.

    Your, Sir, ARE all of these things — and probably more.

  52. @Matthew — Yes, yes he was a left-winger. There’s nothing funny about any politician callous enough to deprive his fellow citizens of their inherent rights, either.

  53. @Matthew Holt

    Laws that restrict access to guns have no causal connection to overall crime rates (and no causal connection to firearms related crime rates). Crime rates, including firearms related crime rates, vary independently of the number of guns available in society.

    Actually, the laws that are asserted to have reduced crime rates (but only crime rates for crimes against persons) are not laws that increased availability of firearms. They’re laws that have made it easier for people to carry firearms.

    Sadly, for you, your claim that more guns means more gun deaths, etc. can be proven false just by looking at both overall crime rates and firearms related crime rates over the past 20 years. Rates of relevant crimes, including the firearms related portion of those rates, have fallen significantly over that time period, while the number of guns owned by the public has increased significantly. The number of states that allow concealed carry has also increased, as has the number of people who legally carry.

    The news is not a satisfactory source for valid statistics.

  54. So ” gun laws in the UK have absolutely nothing to do with their rates of violent crime.” as in gun laws that restricted gun availability from an already very low level.

    But gun laws here which INCREASED availability (VIk’s original argument” ) from an already very high level are–according to the gun nut lobby–the cause of the reduction in the US crime rate.

    Just not logical thinking/

    The basic issue is that what your side is claiming “more guns means less crime” cannot be proven.

    My claim “more guns mean more gun deaths (and massacres in schools, cinemas, workplaces, etc ,etc” doesnt need proving–beyond turning on the news once a month.

  55. @StevenTorrey: “And I’m not especially sanguine at the conclusion. The NRA gun nut psychos have hijacked the debate, by bully tactics, over gun control to sow confusion and doubt. It is a health care crisis and the author who says he works in the field of health care would have known the many articles attesting to that reality. He wrote an article contradicting the assertions of responsible members of the medical profession.”

    Let’s consider something, eh?

    First, I’m going to propose that guns are not the only potential weapons to use in crime and/or acts of terrorism. I’m also going to assume that guns don’t typically cause crime but are a tool sometimes used in the commision of crime.

    Second, I’m going to assume that the technology to produce and the infrastructure to import guns illegally also exist.

    Therefore, even if you could remove all legal guns that exist right now, unless you address the demand for guns by criminals and potential terrorists, you’re going to still be forced to deal with the demand for them and violent crime which has health risks as well.

    Additionally, removing guns from the American way of government also risks destabilizing some parts of this country politically, possibly resulting in a(nother) civil war which would also have long term health implications.

    I mean, there are US states that have laws in their Constitutions and Charters over that and probably enough people willing to make a go about it. Even if they didn’t, you’re talking about enough alienation from the US government to put other policies at risk.

    So, it would be nice if you look at both the overt, simple concepts being offered as good ideas and consider what the other side’s reactions and/or long term implications would be.

    For example, the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 resulted in not a lot of anything except a lot more semiautos in civilian hands and an increase in the calibers used by criminals in handguns. What wasn’t considered–or at least considered clearly–was the reaction to both people and companies that did not agree with the law and who obeyed the letter of the law while challenging the intent of the law. In this case, the demand was for legal firearms and most of those firearms didn’t increase the overall crime rate or increase the rate of deaths, but this was also a law that intentionally didn’t address the guns already in people’s hands…

    …in order to avoid potentially costly, armed conflict.

  56. @Matthew Holt: “Few Australians would deny that their country is safer today as a consequence of gun control.”

    Did you know that–in terms of numbers–Australia currently has more guns in civilian hands than prior to that ban?

    In the same time frame, the Aussies increased their spending on mental health care by 85%.


    You’re also looking at a group of people with a greater perception of shared identity (http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/RP9798/98rp01) which likely reduces intra-ethnic conflict compared to the US. Intra-ethnic conflict may not directly address many violent acts, but such conflict is likely one cause more criminal activity may be tolerated in socially isolated groups instead of appealing to authorities who may be seen as representing other ethnic groups in the US.

  57. Matther Holt: The percentage you were trying to use is 4.4% of the population. That’s 313.9 million people in the US and 3 million defensive uses of firearms. The problem with your use of a percentage is there is no upper limit, its just greater than three million uses per year.

  58. @Matthew Hold

    Crime rates everywhere have gone down over the past 20 years, including here in the US, where the number of guns in private hands has doubled. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the gun laws in the UK have absolutely nothing to do with their rates of violent crime.

  59. Matthew Holt: The Obama administration illegally funded a study that looked at the use of gun in the US. This study was stopped by the NRA legal team because congress has outlawed such studies. When Obama made an executive decision to force the study to go through, the results showed gun usage is for self defense way more than anything else. The defensive usage of guns in the US according to the CDC is over three million. If you can’t live with that number, you may have a mental health issue called “hoplophobia”. These facts have nothing to do with a gun owner’s penis size, this is a problem with you.

  60. This is the direct quote from John Howard, prime minister of Australia from 1996 to 2007. who BTW was such a lilly livered lefty that e took Australia to war in Iraq with George W Bush over the objections of 95% of his country

    “In the end, we won the battle to change gun laws because there was majority support across Australia for banning certain weapons. And today, there is a wide consensus that our 1996 reforms not only reduced the gun-related homicide rate, but also the suicide rate. The Australian Institute of Criminology found that gun-related murders and suicides fell sharply after 1996. The American Law and Economics Review found that our gun buyback scheme cut firearm suicides by 74 percent. In the 18 years before the 1996 reforms, Australia suffered 13 gun massacres — each with more than four victims — causing a total of 102 deaths. There has not been a single massacre in that category since 1996.

    Few Australians would deny that their country is safer today as a consequence of gun control.”

  61. 3 million defensive uses of guns…..ha ha ha ha. That means 2% of people have used a gun “defensively”

    I just polled three people next to and we’ve never used a gun, therefore using the same basic methodlogy, no guns have ever been used.

    Unbelievably terrible statistics which are a full 30-50 times the official and more likely estimates.

    There are far better and more likely reasons for the fall in the crime rate–mostly due to demographics and policing. And the British crime rate went down. Despite the fact that all you gun nuts think it went up.

    If you’d just admit you like your guns because they make you feel more manly, or you are compensating for your small male member but you cant afford a Ferrari, I’d have a lot more respect for you/

    I know I’m never going to change your mind. But it’s called an Amendment, so of course it can be changed

  62. “The purpose then, in its most plausible reading, is to create a strong, active, national government, one whose benefits will flow directly to the people who create it.”

    That is just so much cacadoody.

    “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 45

    Don’t you jackwagons ever get tired of obfuscation:?

  63. And I’m not especially sanguine at the conclusion. The NRA gun nut psychos have hijacked the debate, by bully tactics, over gun control to sow confusion and doubt. It is a health care crisis and the author who says he works in the field of health care would have known the many articles attesting to that reality. He wrote an article contradicting the assertions of responsible members of the medical profession.

  64. Not skewed stats. Real stats, since so much of the gun control effort has been aimed at rifles lately.

    You still seem to have a problem distinguishing between inanimate objects and beings with volition.

    Most of you gun control advocates have problems with the concepts of causation as well.

  65. When a person has a problem with alcohol–the person is told to stop drinking; the doctor warns of Wernicke’s Syndrome, Korsakoff’s Syndrome, cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis, driving fatality from drunk driving. There is no debate about a ‘legal’ right to drink, or Constitutional right to drink. The drunk is now in a moral zone where salvation of the very soul is at risk as well as health maintenance. So too with guns–a person has to make an existential choice about gun ownership–and the Black community, which is afflicted with gun violence out of proportion to its size, has most to benefit from that existential choice. Like the drunk, the battle for sobriety is uphill–and the outcome for a life of sobriety is not always guaranteed. The statistics of gun deaths–8,855 homicides, 20,000 suicides, 81,000 gun injuries makes gun violence a health care issue–not a Constitutional issue, not a legal issue, not even an issue of guns for self-defense. It becomes a health care issue.

  66. Yeah–I’ve heard the garbage that RIFLES do not kill that many people–cute skewing the statistics. Quit skewing the statistics. It’s the cuteness that a two dollar whore is so proud of…

  67. @StevenTorrey

    Do you know the difference between rifles and shotguns and firearms in general? Long guns are used to kill about 400 people a year, which is less than the 500+ you note are killed by perpetrators using blunt objects.

    Do you really believe that those 1,589 knives just flew off the counter and killed someone on their own? That’s what your sentence means, you’re claiming that inanimate objects can act on their own without human intervention.

  68. More NRA propaganda. Firearms kill 8,855 people; knives kill1,589; blunt objects kill 518; hands, feet, fists–kill 678.

  69. “Here is how gun owners can thwart the push to have doctors ask about the presence of guns in a home during a routine history and physical: refuse to answer on the grounds of the much heralded penumbra-emanating right to privacy.”

    I was asked this at my toddlers most recent physical… I said I didn’t have to answer this question. Nurse responded with “I’ll just put down yes then”. To which I asked her “How many dildos are in your home?” When she got flustered, I said “I’ll just put down many”

  70. And bobby thinks that guns just “go off” on their own without any thought or action of the people behind the firearm. That the gun decides whether or not it will “”damage” “paper targets or soda cans (or, well, crows or rats, etc)”

    Guns are no more dangerous than the people who use them. And since you bring up torts, perhaps you can explain to us the last time a gun was either sued for its actions or brought before a jury for its criminal action.

    And it is already against the law to shoot someone unnecessarily with a gun. Or to rob someone with a gun. Or to rape someone under the threat of a gun. I’d say that is pretty “regulated”, eh.

    And as far as that “bulwark” is concerned perhaps bobby should read, “The Second Amendment as a Prophylactic” at http://jack-burton.hubpages.com/hub/Prophylactic

    Bobby is the type of person who, when someone brings up the concept of a dog as man’s best friend, demands that the person is wrong because he knows of a dog who was infected with rabies and bit someone. He needs to go to a country that is in rabid turmoil such as syria to attempt to make the point that people with guns can’t be trusted. The concept that law abiding people are fundamentally different than a broken society where violence is epidemic among all classes is just beyond him.

  71. But this is what I dislike about your song. Diagnosing people you have never meet. Or to put it another way you are engaged in dehumanization of your political opponents. Also you being rude to those who have DSM-V codes. Looking up what you meant by that, I found mine were 315.00 Specific learning disability with impairment in reading and 315.2 Specific learning disability with impairment in written expression. That I have largely over come them does not make your remark less offensive.

  72. I am sorry for calling it “low end” that was going to far. As for my sense of humor, maybe it took the day off.

  73. I’m fixin’ to get accused of “hijacking the thread.” Done here. We’ve beat this issue into its customary side by side burial plots anyway.

    Later. Good post, Vik.

  74. I repeat “The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.”

    We must live in different nations. The one in which I reside continues to provide ample, multifaceted avenues of nonviolent redress of grievances real and imagined. Imperfect, to be sure, but still pretty good in the aggregate, relative to a host of other jurisdictions.

  75. I do not deny a continuum of grays, but I do point out that white is at one end and black at the other. Yes sometimes things are morally ambiguous, but that is not and can not be an excuse for not siding with the better over the worse.

    Regarding your song, did you think I would appreciate it? Do you think that it moves the argument forward or is it just low end name calling.

    I am not a proponent of militant open carry, but people do have a right to own arms for as many state constitutions put it, “the defense of themselves and the state.”

  76. Moreso than a “natural law” advocate. But, then, there are but two types of people in the world; those for whom everything is black vs white, and those who see the continuum of Greys. 😉

  77. I am glad you have made your position clear. Some of course thought that since the crown was suspending laws in contravention to the English Bill of Rights, “That the pretended power of suspending the laws or the execution of laws by regal authority without consent of Parliament is illegal” That maybe it was the King who was in violation of his Coronation Oath and thus braking the law.

    Now of course if, may god forbid it, we should come to the point that like the founders there was no recourse but to arms, then we would be braking the statute against treason. Of course the oppressor will wrongly apply the law meant to guard the peoples rights against the people. If he wasn’t willing to do that he wouldn’t be an oppressor.

    But then you are probably a legal positivist.

  78. Spare me the hyperbole. I’m not “slandering” anyone. Just citing current legal facts. The Founders were most certainly traitors in the Crown’s eyes. Recall “We must all hang together, or we will all hang separately”? Anyone acting to violently overthrow our current government will face the same problem.

  79. Bobby,

    Are the founders heroes or traitors? That is what you have to face. The law of treason in the U.S. Constitution is taken from the English statute books.

    You are introducing the treason question to slander those who are in accordance with the Constitution and the Anglo American political tradition unwilling to give up the final means of preserving the sovereignty of the people.

    I repeat “The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.”

  80. Steph Houghton says:
    September 13, 2014 at 3:02 pm
    Treason really? Not according to the New Hampshire state constitution.

    Last time I checked, the federal Constitution trumped those of the states.

  81. Treason really? Not according to the New Hampshire state constitution.

    “Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.”

  82. Well put. Factual, articulate, reasoned article. Gun control advocates are simply on “emote” control. Zero facts or common sense.

  83. @Bobby — Or perhaps you’d enjoy Lebanon. Or Afghanistan. Or Pakistan. Or Egypt. Or Libya. Or Jordan. Or.. Well, you get the picture, right? 😉

  84. @Matthew — Of course there isn’t a rational argument for gun control, you mean. Australia’s government in 1996 was LEFT WING, thank-you-very-much, because a right-wing government would never dream of doing something incomprehensibly stupid. And no, no they didn’t make the country any bit safer or the least bit better, either. There is zero valid empirical evidence to support this.

    And yes, yes there were more mass-killings after that. Several more, a s matter of fact. But this time, in the form of arsons (and one more school shooting).

    Getting rid of guns is anything but rational, either, and would be a logistical impossibility if it were ever tried.

    The argument in favor of gun control is actually emotional. There is no data set out there in existence that supports any of the vapid dystopian fever dreams of gun control advocates anywhere. The greatest use of a gun is actually in preventing crimes, and even by the most conservative estimates (by the Campaign To Stop Gun Violence) happens at least 67,800 times per year — almost 8 times as often as they are used to murder someone, and twice as often as homicide, accidents, and suicides combined.

    It’s actually those proponents of gun control at home that never even took a basic statistics class, let alone ever had the physically ability to actually pass it if they had the wherewithal to do so. Apparently, you have less than zero room to question the intelligence of anyone else here, much less Vik.

  85. Except that it’s actually worth infinitely more than the purely infantile bile that you and every other gun control advocate vomits across the internet.

    And that’s because it’s true, whether you want it to be or not.

  86. @Bobby — Except that literally no one was eve remotely even implying anything treasonous.

    Really all you anti-gun types have are off-the-cuff stereotypes — which bare absolutely no resemblance to reality on any conceivable level in any circumstance by the way — and personal slurs.

    This is why, aside from the fact that gun control doesn’t work and never will, almost no one except for misguided but philanthropic billionaire egomaniacs like Michael Bloomberg takes you delusional morons seriously. I don’t lose any sleep over people like you, either, and neither will anybody else.

  87. Ah, now with the impotent name-calling and blind assumptions.

    So typical of someone who just lost an argument. Unlike you, I have actually studied revolutions. It’s your own delusional revisionist history that blinds you to the simple fact that NO government that has ever existed in the past, exists today, or shall ever exist in the future is ever going to be “too strong”.

    So, no, no it’s not pure canard and you know it. Ferguson was not a valid example, and you know this, too. The police did not even encounter an armed populace to boot, and the metro PD — as I rightly pointed out before — was replaced by the State Troopers because of their gross overreaction.

    Using Ferguson as an example is what is actually delusional. But, then again, you’d rather live in a place where everyone is disarmed — so perhaps you should move to North Korea.

  88. “people are the problem.”


    “If there were only one man in the world, he would have a lot of problems, but none of them would be legal ones. Add a second inhabitant, and we have the possibility of conflict. Both of us try to pick the same apple from the same branch. I track the deer I wounded only to find that you have killed it, butchered it, and are in the process of cooking and eating it.

    The obvious solution is violence. It is not a very good solution; if we employ it, our little world may shrink back down to one person, or perhaps none. A better solution, one that all known human societies have found, is a system of legal rules explicit or implicit, some reasonably peaceful way of determining, when desires conflict, who gets to do what and what happens if he doesn’t.”

    Friedman, David D. (2001-07-02). Law’s Order: What Economics Has to Do with Law and Why It Matters (p. 3). Princeton University Press – A. Kindle Edition.

  89. Firearms like most other items are tools and it the individual who uses them that does good or bad.
    Firearms are not the problem, people are the problem.
    Some folks should not have firearms but they should not have offspring or vehicles either.

  90. “firearms are different because they only exist to kill people”

    No, they are different because, in the language of Torts 101, a firearm is an “inherently dangerous instrumentality,” insofar as its very core PURPOSE of manufacture and sale/disseminate is, via propulsion of high velocity metal projectiles, damage to / destruction of objects both inanimate and animate, be they so banal as paper targets or soda cans (or, well, crows or rats, etc).

    Whether some “gun enthusiasts” derive pleasure from such activities is irrelevant to the moral imperative that inherently dangerous products be rationally regulated. Not “banned,” simply regulated for the maximal safety of all. Keyword “rationally” (with all the admittedly maddening procedural difficulty such implies).

    That some “enthusiasts” see private weapons possession as the only bulwark against “tyranny” here is equally fatuous — in addition to being the precise, literal Constitutional and statutory definition of “treason” should “2nd Amendment Remedies” actually be physically invoked.

    Moreover, anyone who wants to live in a Syria can go there. Y’know, that “armed, polite society”?

  91. For someone who criticizes others grammar, you sure are bad with grammar. You didn’t even write anything in your own words and you got it wrong. How pathetic is that.

  92. Thanks for that link.

    “If you’re going to fall back to the argument that firearms are different because they only exist to kill people, then you’re also going to have to back the argument that alcohol is just as different as it only exists to get people drunk.”

    Double Straw Man there. I certainly would not fall back on that fallacy.

  93. ‘In my experience every anti-gun person has never had any logical or reasonable stance towards the extreme regulation of guns that we know are not enjoying. But they do hate guns. They hate people who own guns. They hate the culture that supports the ownership of guns.”

    Well, the 3 most dangerous words in medicine are “in my experience.”

  94. On the whole firearms vs vehicles for transport I’ll bring up silk air 185 passenger jet that the pilot decided to kill himself so he flew the plane into the ground with a mostly full flight

  95. “Americans often think of the Constitution as a defensive document, designed to shield “the people” against the reach of government and “the states” against federal authority. But where is either in the list of purposes? In fact, the purposes are active—“ form, establish, insure, provide, promote, secure”; strong verbs that signify governmental power, not restraint. “We the people” are to be bound— into a stronger union. We will be protected against internal disorder— that is, against ourselves— and against foreign enemies. The “defence” to be provided is “common,” general, spread across the country. The Constitution will establish justice; surely this means not merely the Aristotelian ideal of giving each her own, but a system of justice, courts, judges, and jails. The new Constitution will promote the “general” welfare, not welfare varying by condition or by place of residence. It will secure our liberties— against whom?

    There’s an ambiguity here; liberty could be secured against foreign enemies and domestic subversives, or against the new government itself. The latter interpretation is soothing to American ears; but in this context, it seems far-fetched. The clause appears in a list of things government is to do, not things it is not to do; a list of powers, not of prohibitions. The new government, it would appear, is not the enemy of liberty but its chief agent and protector.

    The purpose then, in its most plausible reading, is to create a strong, active, national government, one whose benefits will flow directly to the people who create it. “Limited government” as an idea receives at best an incidental nod; the states are nowhere to be found. It would seem legitimate to interpret the rest of the Constitution purposively, as a remedial statute is interpreted in terms of the evil it seeks to remedy.”

    Epps, Garrett (2013-07-12). American Epic: Reading the U.S. Constitution (pp. 5-6). Oxford University Press, USA. Kindle Edition.

    “Many Americans profoundly believe that the American Revolution was won by a completely unorganized popular movement, in which self-sufficient yeomen in fur and homespun dusted off ancient flintlocks and deployed individually against the Redcoats from behind trees and walls. The actual struggles of Congress and the leadership of the Army to construct a professionally trained and supplied force display the Patriot movement less than gloriously. They have tended to be eclipsed by the myth of the self-sufficient country rifleman. If America won its independence with grandpappy’s squirrel gun, then any threat to current personal armories is a dagger pointed at the national heart.

    Other historical images are equally persuasive, perhaps at an unconscious level. If we regard the Militia Clause as having some relation to the “keep and bear arms” language, of course, it’s not necessary to designate the state militia power as the sole purpose of the clause. A more refined question might be, what personal right to bear arms would further the end of providing a citizenry trained and equipped to serve the militia in time of emergency? And how would that right be balanced against the kinds of restrictions on personal possession of weapons that might actually be counterproductive by restricting the power of the militia to “execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions” Personal possession of hand grenades, field artillery, armor-piercing bullets, or tactical nuclear weapons might reasonably be thought to undercut the militia function. Semi-automatic weapons and powerful handguns might or might not, in individual hands, further the purposes of the militia. These questions, like other important constitutional questions, are surely amenable to arguments more finely reasoned than most of those employed in popular discourse about the Second Amendment.

    In 2008, the Supreme Court decided that the Second Amendment guarantees a personal, individual right to possess a handgun in the home for self-protection. Two years later the Court decided that this right applies, by force of the Fourteenth Amendment, against the states as well as against the federal government. The Court is now, for the first time in our history, committed to spelling out the extent of the personal right, and we can expect questions of this sort to come up. It is thus in the interests of everyone concerned with the role of firearms in society to contribute more than images and myths to a reasoned resolution of this question— and during such discussions, perhaps we should all keep our hands where others can see them.” [ibid, pp. 109-110]

  96. My response is above. One more thing, the Bonus Army is the example where the population wasn’t armed. If they had been armed looking back at history no one would call their actions treason.

  97. Ok, so –

    Guns don’t kill people,
    Doctors kill people

    Election 2014 is OFFICIALLY on!

    ( With strong foreshadowing of Election 2016 )

  98. I am indeed “prefect.” And, I never called you a “redneck.”

    Keep digging.

    I’m still waiting for your documentation regarding the times “corrupt” U.S. governments were overthrown by armed civilians.

    The Civil War doesn’t count, btw. That was military vs military, Mr 2nd Amendment Historian.

  99. Battle of Athens, Dr. Martin Luther King, Cliven Bundy. The Bonus Army.

    While Martin Luther King may seem like a stretch, to you, he had armed body guards as he traveled through the south where many other African American’s had gone missing with the help of the local Sheriff.

  100. No doctrine can overcome constitutional guarantees.

    No rebranding of criminal violence as a heath issue that scapegoats guns is legitimate.

    Get a grip. There is a provision in the Bill of Rights that says, “You can’t DO that.”

    And that, doctors, is that.

  101. You have a twisted stereotyped view of gun owners. I have given examples or statistics, I am prepared with examples of how an armed populations has stopped a corrupt government but rather than discuss your side of the topic you continue to troll me. Yes I make spelling and typing mistakes, but you aren’t prefect your self. I’m not a dumb redneck, and that was your number one mistake when you took on the 2nd Amendment.

  102. Yes, he is an MD from Newtown. He is also a front pager for Daily Kos, a fever swamp of irrational and rabid enemies of the human right to self defense.

  103. Hello Greg:
    As you might expect, I found this article to be of great merit, and I have a feeling you’r speaking more as a front pager for the anti-gun shithole that we are both familiar with.
    Not a strawman. Gun owners ARE victims, and especially in your own state.
    I look forward to Malloy’s defeat. He richly deserves it, and it will help bring an end to this anti-gun nonsense once and for all.
    Hope you’re well.

  104. Advocating Treason because you don’t get your way on every issue of passionate concern to you is the very definition of juvenile idiocy.

    Committing Treason will quickly get you justifiably culled from the Herd. Count on it. I will not be holding any Candelight Vigil for you.

  105. It’s the Bill of Rights, not the Bill of Needs. The possession of firearms is protected, not granted. under the Second Amendment.

    Lott’s numbers are derived from government statistics.

    The United States is not a democracy. It is a Constitutional Republic. It does “fly” and has done so for over 230 years in the United States.

  106. Yes, you like to study history. Why not study a little harder. We have have at least three examples where armed citizens were able to stop a corrupt or misguided Government. We also have an example where the United States armed forces attacked it’s own people. The way things are now is working, you can call me names all day long, but you will never change our 2nd Amendment.

  107. When Europe or Australia or Japan saves the world a few times then I might be willing to entertain a conversation about how “America should be like xxx”

    When somebody with the stature of Abraham Lincoln says “Australia is the last best hope of earth” then I might listen about changing the way we do things.

    Until those things happen, I’ll keep the BOR’s just like they are thank you very much.

  108. guns are not made to kill, they are made to send a projectile down range.no American product is safer manufactured. i enjoy send projectiles down range, its fun. saying guns is for killing is like saying cars going faster is for killing. just wrong thinking

  109. DM from CT,
    Surely, you would invest your effort in preventing 90,000 deaths and 200,000 maimed annually in the US? The vast majority of these incidents could be prevented. These tragedies are from Medical Malpractice. The irony.

    Clean your own house.

  110. Wait – on December 12, 2014? How do you know this will happen?

    Let’s ignore your typo & talk horrific crime for a moment. A guy named Simon Peter Nelson beat his 6 children to death with a RUBBER MALLET. Does this mean we should ban rubber mallets? Should we focus on regulating mallets? Or should we focus on the real issue: criminals, mental health, and media giving these psychos instant worldwide fame?

    What about the guy in Brooklyn that not long ago went on a killing spree with a KNIFE & killed 4 or 5 people, plus killed one & maimed another by running over them with a motor vehicle? Is it time to regulate knives because of this guy? No. Of course not. Because these killers did not use a gun, the focus is on the killer. The minute an innocent life is taken with a gun people like you get all vocal about the weapon & ignore the person that wielded the weapon.

    I have been involved in defensive situations where a firearm stopped a crime from occurring, and know multiple people that can say the same. For each of us, the gun made the difference between being a victim or not. This happens millions of times each year. While I mourn deeply for those who lose family at the hands of a gun wielding criminal or madman, I would not trade the hundreds-of-thousands of lives that were saved by guns for the lives lost at the hands of criminals. The needs of the many, as they say.

  111. David,
    Most car deaths are by no means an accident. Most places/departments(police/hospital ER’s) don’t use or recognize the acronym MVA or motor vehicle accident anymore and have replaced it with MVC or motor vehicle collision. The “accidents” you refer to are actually mostly avoidable and are due to careless behavior.

  112. I guess the part where parenthesis are within parenthesis is what got me. You see once you put the closing parenthesis in your quoted article the quote ends. I easily refuted that statement, but instead of disputing my statement your revert to name calling. Since 1776, more than one armed force has stopped more than one corrupt government in the United States. Commence with the name calling.

  113. “I can’t tell what part of your argument you plagiarized and what is your actual words”

    You wouldn’t recognize a full-on cited quote from the most respected Constitutional authority in the nation — Dr., Leonard Levy — if it shot you in the ass. Which is was, and which it did.

  114. Have fun in your Idaho bunker.

    But while you’re being delusional go study revolutions. The US government is way way too strong to be overthrown by its population even if there was a revolutionary force active enough to try it. Which there isnt.

    Saying that the right to own guns is necessary so we can start a revolution against a yet to be defined future government is a pure canard. Ferguson just showed what the government at all levels has at its disposal to put down trouble.

    Saying anything else is just delusional./ But then again apparently you’d rather live in a place where everyone is armed –so perhaps you should move to Somalia.

  115. The left will never understand the Second Amendment because they’re willfully ignorant in theur adult lives, but weren’t not educated on its purpose early on either. They were taught to hate 2A rights.

    You know, they used to teach the constitution as originally intended by our founders in school. They also used to have shooting teams in some schools. Kids used to grow up with guns and gun safety taught by their parents. But that was when we had rights and parents were actually active in their kids lives, and taught them valuable stuff.

    Nowadays the only education you will get is Anti-Second Amendment, and US History class only teaches just names, dates, and to make American history look bad. hey never tell the great stories of our founding and history anymore. The main subject of history class nowadays is slavery, that’s it.

    For all you left-wingers who are anti-American (because you’re willfully anti-Constitution), I hope you never find yourself in a situation where you wish you did have a gun. But sadly, only then would you realize what the God given right of self-defense is all about, and with that, the Second Amendment.

    Take it fwiw….

  116. Not even CLOSE.

    If I cite the statistics and you disagree with them, I’m “being snowed”.

    If you cite statistics and I disagree with them, I’m a “cowboy” (that apparently knows nothing about statistics).

    How quaint. You attempt to make yourself out to be superior. In spite of my facts, you wish to make ad hom attacks. Nice attempt to divert attention.

    Willful ignorance while trying to control someone’s life is a very dangerous habit.

    It is so cute how leftists tell everyone to “stay out of my life”, when they disagree with a law. But want everyone to live under their thumb only.

    By the way, you’re right on one thing. Crime has been going down. It’s not because of new laws, but because of FEWER laws, and MORE firearms being owned. Firearm ownership has doubled in the last few decades.

    Oh, and crime went UP in Australia because criminals knew that it was unlikely their victims would be able to stop them.

    Your inability to grasp subtlety and nuance is so unlike an intellectual. I presume it’s an act as few people are that ignorant.

    The “the killer was a friend” argument about household firearms is another media scam. Just because we sell the same drug on adjacent corners doesn’t mean we’re “friends”.

  117. I’ve been in Healthcare over twenty years. I have met hundreds of docs over the years that I wouldn’t let within ten feet of me or mine. I feel sorry for people that don’t have that inside look at docs and think they are so great. Don’t get me wrong, some are amazingly gifted people. However, giving weight to an MD and allowing them to influence Constitutional policy is foolish.

  118. Too funny. I’ve been in Healthcare for twenty two years. Worked by thousands of docs in ICU and level one trauma ER setting at a major teaching hospital. This guy proves what all Healthcare worked know. Being a MD don’t mean jack! Some docs are freaking stupid and dangerous. They can pass all the test but put them in a shock room and they will kill your ass because they have no common sense. Take away the Nurses, RTs, pharmacist and docs look like bulls in a china shop.

  119. NO; a gun is designed to direct accurately a projectile at high velocity. Killing is determined by the intent of the wielder of the tool. Note that the simple act of displaying the tool to an aggressor is adequate to defuse an otherwise potentially deadly encounter – many orders of magnitude more frequently than the decision to kill.

  120. You call people gun nut psychos because you believe that rhetoric is telling.
    Which it is not.
    America is coming around to realize that people who use terminology are the ones who really have NO clue.
    Get a clue, save your bigoted and ridiculous rhetoric and insults. It’s only hurting you, not us.

  121. Guns are used by the Majority of Americans to defend themselves. The Majority of instances a gun is used in this manner the Gun Owner NEVER HAS TO FIRE IT.
    Face it, a Gun is a deterrence to crime.

  122. Just stop. You’re rhetoric about more gun control being needed is tired and worn out. Gun control has never worked to control the REAL problem. The REAL CRIMINALS who get guns by illegal means. And no amount of Gun Laws will ever prevent that.
    Spare US your Liberally Based Gun Control Rhetoric.

  123. One was a hell of a lot more likely to get killed by someone with a gun here than in the UK before the UK ever passed any gun control laws.

    Who will you be upset with if one of your family were to be killed by someone with a baseball bat or a knife? Or three guys just with hands and feet? Gonna blame the bat, knife, or hands and feet? Or in that case would you rationally blame the killer?

  124. If your discussion is only about the 20 murdered children, why are you citing the 2nd amendment and the NRA all over the comments section? Regardless, Joe the plumber is still right. Your dead children do not trump our rights. Anyone’s rights. If a man yells fire in a theater and 20 children are killed do we ban the word “fire” nationwide because of all the emotional agony? Of course not. It is already illegal to use the word fire in a theater to incite a panic, it is already illegal to kill people with guns. My guns didn’t shoot any children, Steve.

    Also, we are not a statistic Steve. We are people with individual rights and individual responsibility. Adam Lanza is responsible for their deaths – not us gun owners who are unwilling to be blamed for owning guns, not the NRA who promotes gun safety, education, and gun rights. Your view is the psychotic skewed one – not ours.

  125. Thats always an interesting argument Kendahl…and I want you to seriously consider what you just said. A car, that IS NOT DESIGNED to kill people, kills MORE PEOPLE than an item that IS DESIGNED to kill people. Think about that a moment.

  126. Exactly. And to be honest, it is quite easy to obtain the components necessary for them. Nor can you really regulate it, because those components can actually be made with household items and a trip to the gas station.

    So yes… you are not safe. Safety is an illusion. Anything can happen at any time. It is better you accept the risk and embrace that someday you will die anyways, and live your life to its fullest, instead and running around screaming about for safety by means of regulating objects in attempts to prevent criminals from obtaining objects to commit crimes.

  127. Any weapon used to assault someone … is a an assault weapon. Can you define “assault weapon?”

    If you think an assault weapon is just a semi-automatic, then we have a problem, because all pistols are semiautomatic, hunting hogs or coyote are best done with a semiautomatic, home defense is best performed with a semi-automatic. You are trying to draw a line in a gradient between colors and it isn’t making any sense.

  128. @ Steven,

    I think we should stop 100% of all deaths by sealing everyone in small white rubber rooms were they are not allowed to suicide, and are only allowed to eat what they are given, do what they are told, and work inside their rooms producing a product under tight surveillance. This is the answer people.

    You see now? Freedom is worth it’s own risk. I want more freedom at greater risk than less freedom with the illusion of more safety.

    I want to do with my life as I please as long as i’m not hurting anyone else. Is that too much to ask? When people can’t have that… it frustrates them and some start to ignore the law altogether because those laws don’t merit any respect. You want people to respect the law – right Steve? Then we should make laws that are rational, reasonable, logical, that serve a real purpose other than to just annoy and frustrate “some” people.

  129. “And a failure to recognize the obvious: possession of the gun causes gun violence—no gun/no gun violence”

    And possession of a knife is “knife violence?”

    Possession of a club is “club violence?”

    Violence is violence, regardless of the tool of choice used. Guns do not “cause” anything. Violence is the underlying problem. I’m sure you’ve heard the now cliche statement “If guns cause crime, soft drinks make people fat.” So… there are a lot of fat people in the United states so… we need to regulate… yep – soft drinks. The underlying problem was not targeted – and you are also not targeting the underlying problem. Instead – you are blaming the gun because you don’t like them. That is all.

  130. “You’re right. There’s no emotion here …”

    Emotion has no place in policy.

  131. A death is a death regardless of the tool that was used. So in your own statement car deaths are accidental but they can be charged with homicides, murder, or even suicide.

  132. “Twenty children between the age of 6 and 7 were shot to death with a Bushmaster AR15″….

    You have JUST PROVED MY POINT. That Bushmaster didn’t do jack effing shiite….a sick
    twisted evil mind killed those children. And NOBODY could stop him because of puerile self
    righteous fukkstiks in charge who INSIST on disarming anyone and everyone who might possibly
    act to stop the evil sick people that DON’T OBEY THE LAW.

    This obsession you brain dead moronic gun grabbers have with blaming the tool is sick….sick
    beyond measure. Would you feel better if those kids were hacked to death with a machete or
    carved up like a Christmas goose with a knife? Would THAT make you feel all warm and fuzzy
    inside because some evil nasty GUN wasn’t used. The tool used by evil is not important, what is
    important is that those who might oppose evil are not capable of doing so as a result of laws that
    have NOTHING to do with ANYTHING but granting political parasites greater control because that
    is ALL that gun control laws exist for……CONTROL. Not crime, not public safety and NOT to make
    you bedwetting oxygen thieves feel safe because those evil nasty guns are illegal.

    Evil has existed since time immemorial. Evil people have murdered and slaughtered the weak and
    the defenseless since then. The ONLY invention mankind has come up with in all those millennia that
    allows a small weak and relatively helpless person to defend themselves against criminal violence is
    the GUN….and because you fukkkwaddds are obsessed and scared shiitless by an inanimate object
    you spend all your time trying to disarm ALL honest people so that ALL the evil sociopaths that walk
    the planet can come and go as they please murdering and slaughtering with impunity because their
    intended victims have been disarmed in the name of politically correct bullshiit.

  133. You seem to have missed the point. Vik was attempting to establish perspective. Cars can kill people, Guns can kill people. Knives can kill people. What you do with it – you are responsible for. It is actually a very valid comparison. The fact that you see the gun as something in a totally different realm than a car shows your bias against it. Nothing more. A gun is a machine that “can” be used to do wrong. So can many other machines.

    When this country was founded (on the basis of philosophy) in support of freedom. The punishment for the crime WAS the deterrent, not trying to ban or regulate objects in order to try to prevent the capability of and prevention of a crime.

  134. So, you’re just going to arbitrarily blame someone who would have had absolutely nothing to do with the death of said family member(s) in any way, shape, or form whatsoever.

    Got’cha. Logic is definitively not your strong suit.

    We should very well expect you not be upset with Vic or any of the rest of us for any crimes that we did not commit or even facilitate. Your blaming of those not even remotely responsible can only tell us that you’re clearly not thinking clearly even now, much less when you’re emotionally compromised over the death of a loved one.

  135. @Steve — The first flaw in YOUR (non)argument, is that NOT everyone owns a gun. Additionally, NOT every church, school, mall, street corner, or other public forum could even afford to hire an armed guard or even wants one there.

    The simple, practical, cheap solution? ARM THE CITIZENS — who, by the way, are far less likely to shoot an innocent bystander than the police (and are generally just more law-abiding than the police to boot).

    The second flaw in YOUR (non)argument is that you automatically — and ERRONEOUSLY — presume guilt on the part of the citizens. This comes from your extreme paranoia of everyone around you, demonstrated clearly here BY YOU, reinforced by an irrational fear of weapons and all those who own them plus an aversion for taking responsibility for your own personal protection.

    The simple, practical, and cheap solution? For you, it’s to get a check-up from the neck up. Afterwards, if and when you’ve been cleared by a shrink (as opposed to playing here with a license as you ARE wont to do), ARM THYSELF. Not out of fear, but out of the understanding than you and you alone are responsible for your personal security and that you are your own first-responder.

  136. @David Rothsauser: “In the article you compare gun deaths with car deaths. Guns are designed to kill people, cars are designed to transport people from one place to another. Car deaths are mainly accidental, gun deaths are mainly homicides. There’s no comparison.”

    Actually, you’re talking about two types of modern machines which–regardless of design–are both dangerous and subject to individual use. Add to that the face most guns never cause anyone harm and most major shootings (and bombings) involve the use of motor vehicles, there is a pretty good argument for applying the same limits and background checks for firearms to automobiles, especially background checks.

    Otherwise, the application of your logic based on design could actually be read to ignore restrictions on box-cutters, baseball bats, hammers, fists, knives, hatchets, axes, and many, many other things not “designed” to kill people.

    (Or you can actually argue guns that are designed for continuous carry are equally as designed for protecting life as they are for taking life…

    …then what do you do?)

  137. The argument is: criminals don’t know who has a gun, therefore they don’t commit the crime.

    Criminals could be a mass shooter, a rapist, a strong arm robber, or any other violent person who intends to threaten to use or actually use force against another person.

    Not everyone has to have a gun for this to work, and statistically it does work without turning into the wild west.

  138. It’s only “psychotic” to a willfully ignorant, pompously arrogant, bigoted, and wholly unqualified pulpit-bully like you. You’ve proved my point, not the other way around.

  139. There ISN’T any such thing as an assault weapon. It’s nothing more than a media buzz word designed to confuse the ignorant and incompetent. Namely YOU. The worst mass-casualty events WEREN’T even committed with a gun, but EXPLOSIVES (Baath School Massacre, Oklahoma City Bombing, etc.).

    No, it’s not that complicated. YOU make it so.

  140. @Steve — YOU read the statistics. For once.

    48 – 90% of all violent crime is committed by 1.44 million active gang members. Primarily against other gang members.

  141. I have a degree in electrical and computer engineering… and I like guns. Are they dangerous? They can be – but so can a great number of other things. Can guns be used in ways to hurt people? Sure – but so can a great number of other things. There is nothing miraculously special about guns that is deserving for the anti-gun community to put them on the pedestal of shame. They are not special and they don’t perform crimes. The anti-gun media has put them in this position for the sake of fear tactics particularly with bloody shirt waving, emotional unreasonable logicless propaganda.


    Truth be told there has been about 500 children killed in mass shootings in the last 10 years. That is about on par with lightening strikes. Meanwhile, children are dying in swimming pools, plastic bag suffocation, vehicular accidents, poisoning, and buckets, and those figures are much much greater. You would think their focus would be elsewhere. But the statists don’t want perspective – they want results for the published propaganda.

    In my experience every anti-gun person has never had any logical or reasonable stance towards the extreme regulation of guns that we know are not enjoying. But they do hate guns. They hate people who own guns. They hate the culture that supports the ownership of guns. They like to preach tolerance yet their extreme intolerance is self evident. It is not us who are intolerant – it is them. I am not trying to take something from them – it is they who are trying to take something from us.

    An entire article has been published in support for Mr. Vik Khanna at the largest gun blog here:


    Thank you Vik, for being that man amongst your colleagues with the courage to stand up and speak out against the masses for the sake of reason.

  142. Why can’t I find a ‘Newton CT” on Google? You’re a ” doc from Newton CT”?

  143. You first sentence gave you away as a shill since it’s Newtown, not Newton. I lived in Monroe, which is right next door, for most of my adolescent years. Even to this day, some 25 years later, I wouldn’t make this mistake.

  144. Like the armed society is a polite society, an armed society also creates a polite Government. Regardless of what side of the political fence you’re on the Government is overstepping its place. Be it the Patriot Act, NSA Spying, or the removal of gun rights. For the most part the legal system works, but there are times when an armed rebellion have become necessary. I’m not talking about a bunch of camo’d out overweight business men tromping around in the desert. Most of the rebellion to government that we have seen in the United States is done by former military members. That’s right it has already happened since 1776. I can’t tell what part of your argument you plagiarized and what is your actual words, but saying it couldn’t happen would be ignoring history.

  145. Mike–the flaw in your (non)argument—EVERBODY owns a gun–so every church, every school room, every mall, every street corner, every public forum needs an armed guard so that EVERYBODY who owns that gun–will be stopped from going psycho-demented with it…

  146. This psychotic screed was barely coherent by any standard… Thanks for proving my point,

  147. A crazy person uses a GUN–an ASSAULT WEAPON to intentionally kill as many people as possible… Wow, that is complicated…

  148. Mike–read the statistics again–8,855 homicides to gun violence; 81,396 injuries dues to gun violence…

  149. Mathew Holt: The argument in favor of getting rid of guns is not statistical. Your number is 8,000 homicides but my number is over 3,000,000 defensive uses of guns. The greatest use of a gun is for self defense.

  150. Actually I was invited to comment. My spelling does suck, I mostly use a spell checker or Google a words definition to make sure I get it right but I was going through a proxy browser that had spell checking disabled. I work as a network engineer, so I’m not some dumb redneck like you’re stereotyping me as. Have a nice day you bigot.

  151. Wait, you’re comparing smoking cigarettes and being drunk to owning a gun? So if I have a pack of cigarettes next to a bottle of wine, even though I don’t consume them it’s fine, but if I own a gun it’s not okay? That doesn’t make any sense. Wouldn’t the health risk have something to do with using the gun?

    You haven’t thought this through much have you?

  152. And your only response is more nonsensical and unjustified labeling, emotional vitriol and bile, and a shifting of blame onto us and inanimate tools. You’re the one that’s crawling over the dead bodies of the victims of YOUR inane and asinine policies before they’re even cold, and then have the audacity to wave your bloody shirt in our faces as if that blood was yours to begin with.

    That is how we see your response, and that is because it cannot be anything else other than that.

  153. So removing guns will mean no one gets shot by a gun? What about the people killed by baseball bats, knives, fists, feet, and what ever object they find? The type of weapon has nothing to do with the problem. The real problem is people who somehow think it’s okay to murder. If we ban guns what’s next? Stations where people are encouraged to turn in their knives? While we’re at it we can set up surveillance cameras all over our city to catch criminals. No thank you. To deter or stop a crime before it happens there is a demonstrated action. That action is to arm the the population to the point where criminals no longer know who is armed. This works in the United States, the statistics prove it works. Arguing with the facts only causes the problem to worsen. An all out ban like the UK, Australia has lead to an increase in home invasions, beatings, and rape. The United States would rather put fear in the heart of over three million criminals, than stop the three hundred criminal uses of firearms. Think of it this way, 3 million or 3 hundred thousand?

  154. We’ve heard your nonsense. You’ve heard no such thing come from us. Gun ownership does not constitute a public health crisis, as it is not even remotely a root or secondary or tertiary cause of violence or injury in any demographic. Gun control is not, and cannot be, a step that society can take to keep those things from happening. Why? It doesn’t work, and it’s purely an anti-rights policy that disempowers everyone.

    We don’t want emotionalism because it doesn’t produce cogent, workable arguments. It certainly doesn’t produce fair and effective legislation, either. Emotionalism IS the problem — YOUR problem. Gun ownership DOESN’T become a public health issue simply because YOU “think” it does.

    So, guess what the REAL answer is?


    All day.

    Every day.

    TWICE on Sunday.

    That thug had that had that gun because he wanted one, and all of the laws in the universe AREN’T going to keep him from getting one. Nor are they even going to hamper his ability to get one in the slightest.

    There is only one “existential choice” for you: either leave your emotional hysterics at the door or don’t bother coming in at all. It’s obvious to the rest of us, and seems too obtuse to you to grasp.

  155. Actually, the second most likely outcome is to brandish that weapon in front of a criminal, and have them run away at the sight of it.

    The third most likely outcome is that said criminal is then shot because they are a.) either too stupid to get the hint or b.) think they have nothing to lose.

    The only poor statistical analysis is on the part of gun control advocates.

  156. Except that there aren’t any holes in Vic’s argument to be found. You, on the other hand, don’t even have an argument to start with. The fact that you prefaced yours in your last post with, “To me”, indicates that you are only quite clearly not speaking from a logical point-of-view that is couched in fact. It is in fact gun control advocates that are the ones “swimming upstream”. The Second Amendment institutionalized an individual right, and the Founder’s intentions are the exact opposite of what you think — not know, but think — they are. The Founders would not only turn green at the thought of 20 school children being slaughtered, but they would be equally if not more irate about the fact that people like YOU specifically and deliberately caused to exist the circumstances that allowed such a travesty to happen in the first place. They are only collateral damage to YOU, as you and your ilk dance on their graves to promote your poisonous agenda that only ever produced victims.

    You’re a known liar and a hypocrite, saying that the discussion is only ever about the children and not the NRA while in the same breath demonizing peaceable citizens that would have given anything — including their lives — to have saved those children. That is far and away more than anybody here (including you) could every say about the likes of you and your bigoted lot. All YOU have are personal slurs whenever someone cuts the legs out from under your (non)arguments by pointing the inescapable and all-consuming face that they are and always have been absolutely nothing than Statist fever dreams. YOU should be seen as nothing more than that: psychotic for your own adulation of death, and defining insanity outright by trying the same old and tired policies that have only ever been conclusively proven to be ineffective.

  157. So, you have a problem with self defense.

    Before the 1968 GCA the USA averaged around 290 violent crimes per 100,000 after the GCA and 22 years of “gun control” violent crime had risen to nearly 900 per 100,000 by 1990. It was around that time that state after state began to allow CCW and by 2014 all 50 states now allow some form of CCW with the vast majority being shall issue states. Violent crime is now down to 386 per 100,000 and the murder rate has fallen over 50% since 1990. And that’s with well over 200 million(FBI/NICS numbers) more firearms in the hands of citizens just since 1996

    More firearms in the hands of the law abiding lowers the violent crime rate

    Just ask the UK which has seen their violent crime rate shoot up to 2,034 per 100,000 and Australia which saw its violent crime rate go up 42% in the first 10 years after their “gun bans”

  158. Except it wasn’t an “army”, and it was soon replaced by Missouri State Troopers for the very fact that they grossly overreacted.

    No, Mr. Holt, you apparently didn’t see Ferguson last month, either.

  159. @Holt:“ BTW the Freakanomics guys have a much better explanation”

    That Freakonomics guy had something else to say about guns.

    “ a given swimming pool is 100 times more likely to lead to the death of a child than a particular gun is to lead to the death of a child. “

    Of course that just has to do with one segment of the population. But, Australia hasn’t solved its problems with guns as criminals aren’t as likely to pay attention to laws and gun violence remains a present problem.

    I suggest that those that don’t like guns and don’t have them place a sign letting potential criminals know they don’t have guns. Then a study can be done to see if guns in private homes have an effect on home invasions.

    Anyone want to put up a sign?


  160. The AMA bragged that medical errors “only” killed 190,000 last year. That number is generally around 250,000.

    Accidental gun deaths are few and far between. And according to the FBI a firearm is used on average around 2.5 million times each year to prevent a violent crime.

  161. Tell that to the Mujahedin who beat the Soviets, with the Baluchastani in particular holding the Reds in play with muzzle-loading muskets until they started taking arms and ammunition off the Soviet dead.

    Tell that to the Taliban, who has held at bay the combined might of NATO in Afghanistan not too many years later for the last 13 years running.

    Tell that to the SNA who made a mockery of U.S. power in Somalia, and have since confined the U.N.-backed government to just a few square blocks in Mogadishu.

    Tell that to ISIS, who literally steam-rolled the Iraqi army (and took their lunch money too) and is currently within spitting distance of Baghdad.

    Tell that to the American colonists, who were able to defeat (at that time) the most powerful military that walked the face of the earth.

    Not to mention the fact that there are many millions of military veterans, among them hundreds of thousands of former Special Forces and Special Operations (yes there is a difference according to these two communities), who are better-armed, better-trained, and better connected than any Jihadist. Let’s also conveniently ignore the fact that there are a whole helluva lot more of them than there are active and reserve troops, and only a small fraction of these troops are actual front-line combat units trained to fight.

    Oh, no, Mr. Holt. We, The People hold all of the power here. The government both rules and his its military only at our patience and our leisure. 😉

  162. Actually it’s 2/3rds of guns deaths are suicides. And over 80% of “gun” murders are drug and or gang related.

  163. Gun deaths are mainly suicides, not homicides, as per CDC statistics, which are publicly available. Please stop lying.

  164. Actually, for you, the discussion is about the Second Amendment and the NRA. You, after all, erroneously and knowingly, willfully even, blame them instead of the shooter. The real focus should be there, and nowhere else, and the study should be on the problems that lead up to their decision to maim and kill those 20 kids.

    It’s the sexist, racist, anti-rights, anti-Humanist sociopaths like YOU that promulgate knowingly falsified, debunked, and dishonest talking points simply for the sake of hearing yourself talk.

  165. @StevenTorrey, our ridicule is reserved for those who think that proximity to tragedy gives them some kind of moral or emotional authority.

    Believe me when I say that we “gun nuts” take the mass murder in Newtown VERY seriously. More seriously than most. We empathize with the victims and their families. Speaking only for myself, the thought of my kids being trapped in a Sandy Hook situation with absolutely no one to defend them makes me physically ill.

    If a tragedy like Sandy Hook is significant enough to call for new laws, let’s make the right kind. Making life difficult for 100 million people who didn’t do it isn’t going to make another crime like it any less likely to happen or any less tragic when it does.

  166. There isn’t even any such thing as an “assault weapon”. It’s nothing more than a media buzz word completely made up by dystopian delusionaries in YOUR side, and done deliberately to fool low-information voters — like you. A gun has several purposes, and it would be useless if it didn’t cause damage. Used negligently, it is just as dangerous as a car –a 4,000-pound missile laden with flammable fuel. Used with ill intent, it is still just as dangerous as a car –still a 4,000-pound missile laden with flammable fuel. A pool can drown someone if they are not careful or don’t know how to swim. Knives also serve DUAL purposes, as they were used as weapons for millenia before the invention of guns.

    That is why the “intended” purpose of a thing IS, and always WILL be, completely irrelevant to the discussion. The fact of the matter, whether you like it or not, is that it is entirely within the purview of the holder of any such thing to determine with that thing’ “intended” purpose is. Period. NOT the manufacturer. NOT the law. The USER. The PERSON.

    YOU are the only one wasting all of your verbiage running from the obvious: that being that you are as a matter of incontrovertible fact categorically wrong. Get over it.

  167. The only ones spewing psychotic garbage are the sexist, racist, anti-rights, anti-Humanist gun control advocates that deliberately allowed the circumstances to exist for the Newtown massacre to even happen in the first place. Your psychotic screed reduces America to the notion that we, as a whole nation, must accept the loss of our sacred rights all because of the actions of a few depraved individuals. What’s worse, is that delusional sociopaths like you want to justify that loss of rights by blaming the very same people who could have and very likely would have if not prevented such a tragedy in the first place, then kept it from becoming such a huge tragedy. You lash out in a purely discriminatory tone to people you don’t even know, don’t even want to know, with accusatory bile that you couldn’t possibly justify or prove.

    You can argue until you’re blue in the face. Simply put, and as has been conclusively proven by hard statistical fact, gun control does not, cannot, never has, and is never ever going to work. Gun ownership is not a public health crisis, and gun control will NOT curb violence — and you KNOW it.

  168. And what is most of that killing over?

    Drugs and turf, and in a war — the War On (Some) Drugs — promulgated by moralists on YOUR side of the discussion. The ownership of guns has absolutely nothing to do with the root cause of the violence, and if you had ever read any of the valid academic research published over the last 20+ years, you’d know this. But, naturally, you’d rather argue completely and inextricably out of emotion, and based on absolutely nothing more than your own irrational fear of weapons and demonic contempt for those who own them. And it’s actually like I’VE said: the psychology of gun ownership is absolutely not “have gun, will bully” — and you have less than nothing to argue against this and support your clearly Orwellian delusion to the contrary.

    The gun is, contrary to whatever falsehoods you’ve deluded yourself into believing, nothing more than an inanimate object. It does not have a mind of its own. It does possess its own will, emotions, or aspirations. It cannot and does not persuade, dissuade, encourage, discourage; or otherwise convince anyone, at any time, in any place, under any circumstance to think, say, or do anything to, at, or around anyone.

    Any action is completely, totally, and inextricably within the purview of its holder — and no one and nothing else. If they choose to do wrong, that’s their fault. Not the gun. Not its manufacturer. Not the NRA.

    If anyone is at all culpable, it would be those who voted to (illegally) disarm peaceable citizens in those areas where they are most vulnerable to attack — i.e. “Gun-Free” Zones, where in ALL but two of EVERY public mass-casualty event has occurred since 1950.




    Eat it.

  169. Vic–sorry about confusing your gender. In the end I just found too many holes in your argument which I indicated in my original response. To me possession of the weapon is the problem. No weapon, no problem. Well, you way as well swim upstream.. I do not see a resolution to senseless gun violence in America. So long as we have a 2nd Amendment that institutionalizes gun ownership in a way that the Founding Fathers did not intend, then we will have gun owners and gun violence. The Founding Fathers would vomit with the thought that murder of 20 children between the age of 6 and 7 murdered with a Bushmaster AR15 should be seen as 2nd Amendment collateral damage. (And read how often the NRA gun nut psychos cast out personal slurs when someone points out the major flaw in their ‘arguments’–and why they should be seen as exactly that–psychotic for their adulation of the gun.)

  170. The only “psycho” here is YOU, Steve.

    The only “shill” here is YOU, Steve.

    The vast majority of the 8,800+ homicides committed WITH (not by) with guns were perpetrated by gang members. And mostly against other gang members. Those 20,000+ suicides were intentional choices, and have absolutely nothing to do with any of the rest of us. And no, the psychology of gun ownership is NOT “have gun, will bully”. That’s completely a dystopian delusion on your part, not to mention having less than absolutely nothing to back it up but hot air and hyper-emotional vitriol and bile spewed by partisan bigots like you. You constantly ignore the person behind the gun for the convenience of focusing on the tool itself because you’re either unwilling or unable to address the real problem: the person pulling the trigger, because focusing on the person is the hard road and you simply DON’T want to take it. There are no two ways about that, either, so don’t even bother trying to deconstruct it and justifying your overtly prejudicial thought process.

    Your (non)argument is nothing more than a nail in the coffin for gun control due to contempt for individual, civil rights to satisfy YOUR own ego and to quench YOUR own absurd sense of moral superiority.

    Get lost, kid. Us adults will hash this out all by our lonesome, without the unwanted and unneeded peanut gallery commentary from way down there at the bottom of the food chain.

  171. On December 12, 2014–Twenty children between the age of 6 and 7 were shot to death with a Bushmaster AR15 in a cruel and horrendous fashion, they were left to die without comfort of father or mother… When Joe the Plumber stands up and says outright that 20 murdered children don’t trump the 2nd Amendment, I suspect sociopaths haven’t taken over the discussion. For me the discussion has ALWAYS been about those 20 murdered children; it is not about the 2nd Amendment, it is not about the NRA. The discussion is about those 20 murdered children. And yes, the tragedy is personally searing… The NRA gun nut psychos seems to be arguing points for the sake of arguing ,,,

  172. A gun is intended as a killing machine. An assault weapon is a killing machine intended to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible… A car is used for transport, a pool is used for swimming, a knife is used for cutting–that gun is intended as a killing machine. That you wasted so much verbiage running from the obvious….

  173. Except for the posers, many women and men by performance cars because besides their horse power and speed potential they steer, brake and handle in ways far superior to your average sedan. These provide safety margins. They telegraph to the driver what is going on on the road. In fact one can feel where each tire is and whether it has traction. The comfort offered in most cars today isolates the driver. The driver learns to only use the eyes. No gauges just idiot lights to say, “it’s too late.” My point? Those drivers are fully engaged and therefore more safe than your average driver.

  174. Mike–I have been reading the NRA gun nut psycho garbage since the Newtown tragedy. Their psychotic screed reduces itself to the notion that America must accept the murder of 20 children with a Bushmaster AR15 as 2nd Amendment collateral damage. You may not think that–but that is what all the NRA gun psycho sociopathic garbage reduces itself too. You can argue till you are blue in the face, and ‘debate’ all you want… Simply put untrammeled gun ownership is a health crisis just like cigarette smoking, drunk driving, medical malpractice… Whatever can be done to curb gun violence–should be done…

  175. And the Black community can only address that by making an existential choice not to own those guns… 60% of gun homicides afflicts the Black community; the Black community has to address that question. But as so often–the solution is NO GUNS. 2nd Amendment allows for this untrammeled gun ownership; but more than that there is an adulation for the weapon–like I said, Have gun / will bully…. The gun deludes people into thinking they are automatically ‘good guys with a gun’ when that assertion needs to challenged. No one can guarantee that their weapon will not be used for purposes of the demonic.

  176. The 81,396 comes from the CDC… I’ve heard this nonsense about more deaths from other causes… Which is true… But the discussion is about gun injuries or gun deaths; the question is whether this constitutes a ‘public health issue’, the question is what kinds of steps can society take to prevent this from happening. I know you don’t want emotionalism–but when I see that a Black 8 year old child is killed because a black thug shot blindly through a door for gang revenge… Then gun ownership becomes a public health issue. And guess what the answer is–NO GUNS… That thug had that gun for what reason—to be 10 feet tall–only to end up a physical and moral midget. An existential choice has to be made at some point–what seems so obvious to me, seems abstruse to lots of people…

  177. Thank you. Very well written article, and it’s nice to see that somebody in the medical profession does on fact see the hundreds of millions of responsible gun owners are not represented by the few who commit crimes. Very encouraging.

  178. You are exactly right. I’ve heard that argument ad infinitum from would be gun confiscators, that because guns are “designed to kill” (kill what? many are designed to kill game, not humans) that somehow someone killed by a gun is different from someone killed by some other object, even if the other object, such as a car, or swimming pool for that matter, actually kills more people.

  179. Carl–your response is what I find so annoying and why I call you people gun nut psychos–your are ridiculing the Newtown tragedy, laughing at the victims…. That’s how I see your response…

  180. Let me help you out, CuriousGeorge.


    and, this grammatical beaut,

    an armed populations

    I think you’ve mistaken this place for a Yahoo Board.

  181. More people are killed by someone using only their bare hands than by someone using a rifle or shotgun.

  182. The rhetorical argument “guns are designed to kill” is fallacious. You’re turning the inert object into an actor so that you can argue against it independently of the true actors… In reality guns are designed to empower an individual with the ability to kill. This empowerment can be both beneficial and harmful depending on how it’s adopted.

    “Guns are designed to kill” comes with a presupposition that a gun which is not killing is not being employed effectively. If you believe that, then how do you deal with the dissonant observation that our Police and Military are generally considered to be most effective when they’re -not- killing people.

    The debate here should be based on who we want to empower, why, and to what degree… Personally I’d like to empower the most vulnerable rational actors in our society (women, disabled persons, threatened minorities) as quickly and safely as possible. And that’s why, as a white, middle-class, liberally educated male I’m comfortable being both a non-gun-owner and a strong Second Amendment supporter.

  183. hmm…did you miss Ferguson last month? I didnt see much disinterest there in an “army” putting its “own people” into place.

  184. Tell that to the every gurilla force, including the American Collonists who took on England, that had to take on a foreign army. Because it would take a foreign army funded by the US Government to enforce a war against the people. The US armed forces would not fight their own people, and once they abandon the Government they all have personal weapons to fight what ever outside force is stupid enough to try an invasion.

  185. Matthew Holt: did you even read the article? It says over three million defensive uses of guns. That means someone saw an easy victim, and that victum pulled out a gun and said, “no I don’t think so”. It doesn’t say anything about three million criminals killed by guns, or even wounded by guns. The point that you are missing is that when you have an armed populations criminals are more hesitant to commit crimes against people. Even if you aren’t armed, putting a sign on your house that says, “I’m not armed”, would signal to the criminals that you’re an easy target. By having an armed society, they don’t know who is armed therefore no one is an easy target. Making guns increadibly hard to get is that “I’m not armed” sign.

  186. I know, like I said, I’d prefer to have the world be a little different, but I respect the laws that are in place.

    Are you serious, though? “Choose” to be a victim. How do you choose to be a victim if you are a victim of random crime, of if someone with a gun decides to unilaterally escalate an argument by discharging their weapon at me. That’s the whole point. There is no choice in the manner.

  187. Matthew, you don’t mind your family being a victim of all other types of crime though? Tell me, if gun control works so well in England, why is London considered the most dangerous city in all of Europe?

  188. Random, You already “live in a world where everyone (any gun owner) could kill me randomly”. It’s just more likely to be a criminal than a law-abiding gun owner. Some of us choose not to be a victim, you may choose to be one. The key word here is “choose”.

  189. I’m pretty sure that Loughner passed a background check when he bought his pistol. Even if it wasn’t done, doing one would have been pointless since there is a disconnect between the psychologists and the background check system.

  190. Vik, I’m over that revolution thing. Not sure I’m over that Indian colonization thing!

    But for all practical purposes, nothing is going to happen about guns here. dont expect me to not be upset with you if one of my family gets killed by a gun. Because it’s one hell of a lot more likely here than it is in the UK

  191. “The phrase “well-regulated” was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected. Establishing government oversight of the people’s arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it.”


    In good working order or well repaired, not under the thumb of government.

  192. Agreed that education needs to be #1.

    For whatever reason, we have decided as a society that you can have someone come into your house to check on a variety of things (e.g. building permit inspector). I don’t see why gun ownership should be special in that regard. (No, this wouldn’t mean they could come in a check on hammers, prescription drugs and throw rugs, just like the existence of a building permit inspector doesn’t mean they can check on your hammers, prescription drugs, throw rugs…or currently your firearm. Each item is separate). That said, I wouldn’t want anyone in my house making sure my firearms are secure either.

    Anyways, you’ve probably gathered that I fall slightly on the anti-gun side of things. My personal feeling is that although I respect people’s desire to have a way to defend themselves in case of an attack, I don’t want to live in a world where everyone (any gun owner) could kill me randomly, however unlikely that is. For me, the problem isn’t responsible gun owners…it’s how do you know in advance who is going to be an irresponsible gun owner.

    However, I am respectful that the Constitution and current laws allow gun ownership. The thing that really drives me nuts though that BOTH sides never seem to acknowledge is the arbitrariness of the whole thing. The Heller decision was pretty clear that the rights secured by the 2nd Amendment are not unlimited. The whole debate is really about where that limit is. People are just so cocksure of themselves that whatever they believe to be the limit is somehow right. I’ve never seen anyone make a cogent argument about how to draw the line between guns that we choose to make legal vs illegal. The line just seems to be an approximate reflection of our society’s viewpoints at a given time, which to me makes it a fluid right, as opposed to the rigidity that some suppose by banging on about the Constitution.

  193. I fear you are being snowed by statistic reporting. Do you really believe that the rate of rape is three times in Australia what it is here. Or is it just possible that the rate of reported rape is three times higher.

    Bu the interesting question is, what would it have been like in Australia had there been American style easy gun availability when crime rates went up. Or do you really think that with easy access to guns a big increase in violent crimes would have led to a big decease in gun related homicide.

    Americas stats are all going in the same direction, Down, (The cause according to Freakonmics guys is easy abortion) Nothing to do with gun availability, as for practical purposes gun laws haven’t ever significantly changed in the US.

    Or did you miss the Cowboys and Indian movies?

    But I agree. Most likely outcome of having a gun in the house is nothing. Second most likely outcome is suicide. Third is one family member trying to kill/wound another

    Why you would any of of those latter two is puzzling to me. and suggests poor statistical analysis. I can achieve the first without having to worry about the second two (well not from a gun at any rate)

  194. Vic, you know you are probably confounding the anti’s right now. Too often they try to describe gun owners as rednecks, white trash, and uneducated white people. You are none of those. Plus they try to link guns to hunting only, which you don’t do. Though I would urge you to try hunting, especially with your son. Some of my fondest memories are from hunting with my boys. Most of these memories don’t even involve killing something.

  195. Well, no. From the Guardian : Mexico has over 11,000 deaths per year by guns and over half of all deaths are by firearm.
    I realize that your post is sarcasm, but I thought you might be interested to see exactly how wonderful gun control can be.
    (also sarcasm)

  196. W: great reply to Mr. Holt, who hails from the UK. Perhaps he’s still aching over that Revolution thing.

    I had to look up hoplophobia. Good one.

  197. I would be interested to see that definition of “rape” that only counts double attacker stats.

    My state doesn’t report based on the number of assailants, it reports based on the number of reports made to law enforcement period….

  198. @ Matthew Holt —

    The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research in Australia have determined that the gun ban had no positive impact on the amount of firearms related crime

    In 2006, assault increased by 49.2 percent and robbery increased 6.2 percent.

    Sexual assault increased by 29.9 percent.

    The rate of violent crime went up 42.2 percent.

    Interestingly, those in support of an Australia-type ban refuse to acknowledge that in both Australia and the United States there was a marked decrease in murder rates.

    Between 1995 and 2007, Australia saw a 31.9 percent decrease; without a gun ban, America’s rate dropped 31.7 percent.

    During the same time period, all other violent crime indices increased in Australia. Assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent. Particularly troubling was the increase in “hot” burglaries. Those in which the homeowner is home.

    Sexual assault increased 29.9 percent.

    Australia’s violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.

    U.S. violent crime decreased 31.8 percent: rape dropped 19.2 percent; robbery decreased 33.2 percent; aggravated assault dropped 32.2 percent.

    The rate of rape in Australia is now over three times as often as American women.

    This doesn’t necessarily prove that more guns would impact crime rates. But, it does prove that gun control is a flawed policy.

    The most important point is that hoplophobes promote failed policy in spite of the consequences to the people who must live with that failed policy.

  199. An argument can be made that guns are for self-defense, as that is how they are most often used.

  200. This is nonsense. Just lookat Mexico’s gun crime. It’s increadibly low. If we inact stricter gun laws like Mexico and allow amnesty for people who want to come to the US we will have an all time low crime rate. *satire*

  201. Matthew, all other crime in Australia is way up. Burglaries, asaults, rapes, home invasions…all up since they banned guns. No thanks, I’m not going to sit on my sofa while my wife is raped. Each to their own though.

  202. Vik, you say “While that isn’t cause and effect, the association is certainly curious.”

    You missed the correlation doesnt equal causality stats class too!

    Oh and BTW the Freakanomics guys have a much better explanation for the decline in crime than you do. Easy access to abortions.

  203. Of course there’s a rational argument for gun control. More over there’s an actual real life example of where a RIGHT WING government took all the guns away from a population and made the country safer and better. No mass extermination of Jews, no colonization of India.

    But no more mass killings like in Tasmania.

    Yup Australia in the 1990s

    I doubt that we can practically ever get rid of guns here in the US. We can’t do anything else rational.

    The argument in favor of getting rid of guns is statistical. The greatest use of a gun in a death is either suicide or murder of one family member by another, with murder of an intruder way way way down the list. Those proponents of everyone owning guns at home just missed stats class in high school, or dont know my wife’s temper! Apparently Johns Hopkins never retested Vik on his high schools stats.

  204. I disagree. Cars are designed for many different reasons. Many cars are designed to go fast, faster than the speed limit. Many accidents are caused by speeding therefore many cars are designed to cause accidents. Because accidents kill people, many cars are designed to kill people.

    Guns can be used for the Olympics, for clearing avalanches, but most importantly to stop violent attacks on innocent people. This isn’t a notion or a made up fear. The CDC study mentioned in this article very clearly pointed out that guns are used for self defence over three million times a year.

  205. Thank you, Mr. Khanna, for writing such an objective, logical, fact-based perspective on a subject that is oft maligned with such irrational emotionalism.

  206. DM from CT…please spare us. YOU are obnoxious and WRONG! This is an article with common sense.

  207. What does where you’re from have to do with anything? Do you mean legal gun owners or the gun owners who illegally posses guns? I get the feeling you didn’t even read this article. Legal gun owners are being persacuted, it’s true. The CDC study proves that legally owned guns save lives yet that study was only mentioned by the media because it was opposed by the NRA. Once the study was completed and it showed that over three million defensive uses of guns occurs each year, no one would touch it. Ignoring the truth, that your asked for, because it goes against what you’re agenda is ignorant. Get down off your high horse and admit that you are wrong.

  208. JohnH: thanks for commenting. One thing I can assure you of is that very few public health people are trained to be scientists. Most now are trained to be bureaucrats and administrators, and no matter whether the labor in government or the private sector, all they are is enforcers for government doctrine. Witness the rise of the surveillance state in the healthcare sector; all those programs need automatons to run them and promote the lie that the way to improve the healthcare system is by promoting unneeded services to generally healthy people.

    They wouldn’t know a priniciple or a crucial data point if it fell on their heads.

  209. Thank you for your support of the shooting community. I applaud yoour bravery and fortitude in standing up and speaking out on oyur beliefs in spite of the overwhelming anti-gun sentiment in our current society.

  210. David, David, David. Your argument is invalid. Didn’t your liberal college professors ever teach you that an invalid argument is “no argument at all?” Apparently not. You and the one-dimensional thinking ilk you hang out with, only look at “the kill.” Guns can STOP a threat as well, without the need for death. Your ignorance and unfamiliarity with firearms is obvious. Perhaps if you actually showed an interest in firearms and trained with them, you might have a different perspective.

  211. Dave: so glad to you read your words. Yes, it is named after MIke “ban guns and Coke” Bloomberg. Fortunately, my diploma, which is of marginal value to me now anyway, does not bear his name. You are completely correct that the public health education environment is stifling in its quest for uniformity and disgustingly so.

  212. I just want to say that I enjoyed your article. It’s obvious you’ve thought things through and have come to solid conclusions about what is real and BS about guns, gun ownership and crime. Keep writing, there is a need for people who understand that in the industry you work in which seems to be dominated by people who are supposedly trained to be scientists but seem to be unable to separate their prejudices from reality. Thanks.

  213. Yup, here’s another physician with an MPH ready to weigh in on the matter…
    I don’t see myself ever going to another ACPM meeting, and I won’t be renewing my membership. I assume you saw their article this year on improving the outcomes for gun ‘buy-back’ programs. Public Health programs are aggressively anti-gun. I was accepted to Hopkins, but you’ll notice the official PH program belongs to the “Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Hygiene and Public Health” – yes, THAT Bloomberg. Any discussion of personal freedom and responsibility in these institutions is scoffed/mocked/derided in attempts to quell any of that Individual Liberty nonsense. More folks die from horrible lifestyle choices than medical errors, but both of those are orders of magnitude greater than firearm-related homicide. Lets focus our attention and efforts where it can do the greatest good (and no, that doesn’t mean banning soda/coke/pop). Yes, I’m a well-trained firearms owner, CHL/CCW guy who is a NRA/GOA/SAF/CCRKBA member and supporter, so you can take medical advice and firearms advice from me!

  214. I would add to Mr. Khanna’s excellent answer to Random Observer that our right to self preservation does not come from the constitution. Rather our forefathers had the wisdom to codify natural rights. We are the most fortunate of people that we had men of such wisdom when our country was formed.

  215. I second Mr. Badurina’s thank you. Mr. Khanna has the courage to point out the emperor has no clothes and he does so in a calm, cogent manner. His article is a striking counterpoint to the breast beating histrionics, fabricated data, fallacious arguments and condescending attitude of those who see themselves as saviors and the rest of us as those who need to be saved.

  216. So, in the vein of that line of thought, why own a car? Why visit a doctor? You are significantly more likely to kill or be killed as a result of either. Suffice to say, some things are necessary for life, living, or the enjoyment of life. Owning the tools with which to protect your own life from psychopaths bent on violently assaulting or killing you…I’d say that’s a fairly important component of life.

    The interesting thing is, on one side of this debate, the numbers don’t matter UNLESS they are numbers that can be twisted to support a flawed premise. 265 children (under 16) murdered, according to your numbers. Tragic, yes. What of the thousands that die from car accidents every year? How about the tens of thousands that die from medical malpractice every year? Are those numbers somehow irrelevant?

    What is the response for attempting to improve on those factors (car accidents and malpractice)? Typically it involves creating stiffer punishment for those that commit those crimes, as well as various types of public outreach from both governmental and private sector organizations to help educate people, encouraging people to educate themselves, encouraging people to be proactive about making the best choices, etc.

    I think it would be far more effective if we approached the issue (there are far more important issues IMO) from the standpoint of creating much stiffer punishment for violent armed criminals (the judicial system is one of the major root causes of these issues in terms of not holding people more accountable). Also, we should be much more accepting and inviting as a society towards public outreach campaigns to help educate people on firearm safety, seeking out firearms training, self defense, etc. Not government forced, but encouragement and resources to allow people to be proactive.

    Firearms are one of the only subjects I can think of where you are damned if you do, damned if you don’t, in the most irrational manner. If you’re a well-trained firearm owner that actually puts a good degree of time and effort into training and becoming more responsible for yourself and your own safety….the other side sees you as a lunatic that’s just looking to kill people. If you’re an untrained firearm owner….the other side looks at you as an irresponsible and dangerous gun owner that will kill people due to your negligence. Whereas with almost all other subjects, education is seen as being greater than having a lack thereof. In this case, the irrational standpoint is that not only should you not have an education on the subject, but you shouldn’t even participate lest you be deemed morally, emotionally, and psychologically inept by the other side.

  217. RO: thanks for your comment, and you raise interesting points. First, driving is not a Constitutionally protected right, and so any regulatory scheme that impinges upon the right of gun ownership deservedly gets a higher level of scrutiny than other legally granted rights and privileges, such as the right to secure a driver’s license and use public roadways. In light of the Heller decision, it is inconceivable to me that courts would uphold a random search scheme, which would be anathema to the population.

    If the state can randomly check your firearms, what else can they randomly check? How that’s Constitutional is beyond my reckoning. By this logic, the state would come randomly check (and take?) my hammers, my prescription drugs, my inappropriately anchored throw rugs because they may cause a fall, etc. The model is not even remotely the same as random drunk driving check points, which happen on public roads, often in proximity to bars from which drunk people are known to exit and get into their cars.

    Second, with regard drunk driving, we take a multifacted public health approach to it. Enforcement is just one part of the equation (and it’s often poorly done because judges, in the end, don’t impose stiff sentences when they appear warranted). There is saturation messaging about drinking and driving and now, texting and driving. There is messaging in bars, on alcoholic beverages, on billboards, in magazines. It’s everywhere. Then there is also the liability and insurance issue. Get a DUI and good luck getting affordable car insurance.

    Third, the tech solution appears aimed at law-abiding gun owners, who are not the root cause of gun violence and gun crime. Start selling only guns with a safety technology, and I am quite sure you will witness the growth of a booming black market in guns without the technology, which then has the potential to make people who would otherwise buy a gun legally into criminals because they don’t want the technology. The criminals, on the other hand, will make no effort to buy a safer gun, because they’re not interested in gun safety but in its utility as a weapon against someone who either isn’t armed or is armed with a “safe” gun that may or may not work as intended when needed. The black market will grow so rapidly that Fast and Furious will look slow and ponderous by comparison.

    Technology is not a solution to all problems. Sometimes the solutions are quite old-fashioned: education, education, education, and then enforcement when education fails.

  218. One good rule would be to prohibit the act of banning carry in any place you are legally allowed to be, including post offices and schools.

  219. Wow, you are delusional. There were 8800 gun homicides. The suicides don’t matter because, well, without guns, they are still dead, it was self-inflicted. Just ask Robin Williams if he needed a gun…

    And no, giving up guns doesn’t improve health. But speaking of paid shills, Bloomberg wants his monkey back, so you better run along now.

  220. The UK’s murder rate is also calculated based on convictions, not deaths. So their “gun murder rate” are simply the number of convictions they’ve received in court for the year, nevermind the fact that the crime was likely committed 1, 2, some cases 15 years prior.

  221. So Doc from Newton, CT (which, far as I can tell, doesn’t exist on any map of the USA)….care to make up any more lies?

  222. He’s from Newtown, therefore an authority. You cannot question his ethos, he’s from Newtown. Did I mention he’s from Newtown.

  223. Vik,

    If unauthorized possession of a gun leads to higher violence, why not just require that all firearms in the United States can only be used by their authorized owner, using some type of fingerprint identity or RFID mechanism?They already have the technology. Seems fairly obvious to me…if safety is the concern. Otherwise, you are putting a lot of trust in people. You are assuming that every person is going to properly lock up their guns…but I can’t imagine anyone being in favor of home inspections to see if this is being done. Seems like a good way to balance privacy/public safety. A corollary would be with drunk driving. Driving drunk by itself isn’t a problem, it is just when an incident occurs. But we spend lots of money policing roads to capture drunk drivers before an incident occurs . Why not do the same with firearms…random checks to make sure they are being stored responsibly, rather than being reactive when an incident occurs.

  224. Sorry sir but there are vehicle deaths that are suicides so therefore they are intentional. In most cases they dont run into other vehicles but they are suicides. We will never know how many single car accidents are accidents and how many are suicides.

  225. You’ve been hitting too many of the pain pills Doc! Law abiding gun owners are the victims in many cases either by abusive police or targeted by criminals to steal the guns they do own! There are two mothers sitting in jails now that are licensed to carry because they inadvertently crossed into the states of Indiana and NJ. Both had their kids in their cars and even when they willfully volunteered their information are being “victimized” by the legal processes of those states. And for your info, I lived in CT and own guns. I hunted there and competed there in state matches. And the attitude of law enforcement when encountering law abiding gun owners is the same as New Dork state. You’re a criminal no matter what you say! And you’re right to guns in their eyes should be denied. Polecats in office will not support gun safety education. Representativ Brian Curran of Long Island was given gun education curriculum to promote for schools and he refused! The author was correct! YOU, however, are not!

  226. “…why do we have 500 hp sports cars capable of going 200 plus mph when the maximum limit in most states is 60-70? Those cars are designed specifically to break the law.”

    No. SPORTS cars are designed for SPORT! Not every racing
    enthusiast can afford to own a car dedicated to racing plus the
    truck & trailer to tow it… so they make cars one can race on
    weekends under the auspices of the Sports Car Club of America or the National Auto Sport Association or the National Hot Rod Association & use as transportation during the week.

    Numerous cars have been built capable of doubling the speed limit
    or more for decades now, it’s nothing new.

  227. Richard: I have had the same experience with cops, as I worked for a time with a county police dept back East, helping to advise their uniformed and civilian staff on fitness issues. In talking to the patrol officers and commanders, I learned what you did: that there are very few random accidents. Most, if not nearly all, have a contributing cause: phone calling, texting, driving under the influence, even driving while angry. These are all user errors, so to speak, and they are all intentional choices.

  228. Leo: thank you for your contribution. You make an important point in the apples-to-apples comparison. Don’t get your hopes up, though, that looking at the metrics will help bridge the gap. The metrics will only show that gun controllers have been barking up the wrong tree. The public health and medical establishments have very little history of admitting error and changing direction.

  229. Vik–

    If I had internal genitalia, I’d be wanting to bear your children. Though it’s more likely that you could be the fruit of my loins. Tell me, were you adopted?

    You and my son could be good friends, and have a lot in common to talk about.

    Best Regards,

  230. Sir,

    I am friends with a retired Missouri Highway Patrol Officer. His instructors told him early on that there are no automobile “accidents”. They are always caused by something or someone. The MO Highway Patrol calls their incident report site, “Online Traffic Crash Reports”, and NOT “Accident Reports”.

    The reason gun proponents cite the number of car deaths in their argument is to bring facts to the table concerning the proportional size of the problems being discussed. Any firearms related death is a tragedy, just as any traffic crash death. The numbers indicate that we should be vastly more concerned about crash deaths than gunshot deaths. Did you know that traffic experts agree that as many as 10,000 to 15,000 deaths could be avoided annually in the US by simply enforcing a reduced speed limit? You can find articles on this via Google.

    Gun death numbers involve murder and also self defense uses. Some experts argue that the legal ownership of firearms actually decreases violent crimes. Can you imagine what would happen if American citizens were disarmed and burglars, rapists, killers, etc. knew that their intended victims would be basically helpless? Yes, it would be fine to imagine a Country where all of the bad guys were disarmed, but looking at the history of the war on drugs and the failed alcohol prohibition experiment we know that law breakers do not follow the laws.

    Thank you for considering these points.

  231. ” And yeah, the NRA gun nut psychos”

    We can play that game all day. I call you a libtard, you call me a nuckledragger, ad nausium.

    Read Lott’s book then come back to the discussion with your arguments please.

    You have the right to be a defenseless victim for anyone intending on making you a victim.

    I have the right to defend myself, my family, and other good citizens of my community from anyone attempting to make us a victim.

    Grow Up

  232. No studies are necessary. The medical/liberal community thinks guns are bad. So that’s it. We lie like crazy and just yell “Guns are Bad” all the time. We will not let actually proof interfere with our beliefs or a little crappy document like the US Constitution interfere with our beliefs.

  233. Yes on your points, but bear this in mind, too. In politics and policy, optics and posturing matter as well as substance. Gun courts or at least maybe gun-specific criminal code or penalties will assuage some people that “at least something is being done about guns.” Yes, we’re putting gun-wielding violent criminals behind bars and keeping them there. While I agree completely that we should puruse ALL violent behavior vigorously, drawing attention to specific acts can serve a useful highlighting purpose and can also help to, ahem, disarm the opposition.

  234. What you never hear from any medical professionals is how many more people die from medical malpractice than all other causes combined.

  235. Alex: welcome to the world of modern American health policy where the ticket for admission is a willingness to be loyal to the group and the groupthink. No group of people is more devoted to slavishly advancing the power of the state and of subordinating individual rights (and responsibilities) to the ever elusive and increasingly intrusive greater good. Never forget that that the same people who want stricter gun control are the same people who want to control your health life through Obamacare and its brainless devotion to screenings of healthy adults. Because nothing breeds dependence and cash flow like making a person into a needy patient.

  236. To compare apples to apples we should be comparing accidental gun deaths to accidental car deaths. If we make this comparison you would see that accidents involving guns are much less common than accidents involving cars. And whereas the intentional misuse of a gun to kill is a far too commonplace, the intentional misuse of a car to kill is (thankfully) much less common. I think where public health metrics may come into play to solve this issue is in redirecting efforts where they will do the most good.

  237. Then I apparently have nothing but defective firearms. I own 14 firearms and not a single one of them has killed anyone. What are the odds of those many defective firearms?

    Since the 100,000,000 lawful firearms owners have over 300,000,000 firearms, and those arms are “designed to kill people” then how are there still people left alive?

    Since cars only “accidentally” kill people, while being used properly, and for the most part the 300,000,000 firearms have NOT killed anyone, then your assertion is delusional at best. I would go so far as to say you obviously have an agenda, but I think you are not nearly logical enough to draw those conclusions, and you are simply parroting what mommy and daddy said to you. If something “accidentally” kills more frequently than something only “designed to kill people”, there is more of a problem with the former than the latter.

    Just for the record, can you justify the alcohol deaths? I mean alcohol was designed to drink, and that’s how it kills. Are you for banning alcohol?

    No, you aren’t. You don’t really care about “deaths”, accidental or otherwise. You only care about deaths that aren’t “politically correct”. Maybe you’re a doctor, and you’d rather focus on the deaths by firearms wielding murderers than on the deaths caused by doctor’s mistakes. Some 1900% higher than those “gun deaths” you pretend to care about.

    It’s pretty funny how so many like you will use the licensing of drivers to justify registering firearms, but when the tables are turned on you, you limp away with “cars are used for something else” as an argument.

  238. (Meta-comment. This is how discussions work. A: I don’t quite agree with your premise because of (reason). B: I see your point, but (this). A: That’s something I had not considered, I agree, but (this). etc.)

    As a layperson, it certainly seems to me that you are correct that the parole system is not working, and I can agree that it should stop being used. I could support no-parole sentences for violent crimes. I think I still prefer keeping the distinction between violent acts with vs. without a gun as small as possible, although I probably could come around to supporting additional penalties for violent crimes committed with a firearm.

    I agree completely with the need to fix root causes.


    I knew a fellow who got into so much trouble road racing that he got felonies.
    That means NO MORE GUNS FOR HIM.

    Yet last time I saw him he had a truck. And that truck had a nitrous bottle in it as big as a SCUBA tank.

    So you tell me, Double-standard genius, why even being accused of some “crimes” no judge no jury or getting a felony for a non-violent conviction means no guns forever yet the VERY THING he got felonies over he can still have?

    And tell me about all those cars DESIGNED TO BREAK THE LAW.

    There is a comparison. And I can compare you to the kind of people George Orwell warned us about.

  240. What amazes me is the number of physicians and other healthcare folks, who have training in science and statistics, choose to disregard the overwhelming body of evidence that legal firearm use in America is generally very safe and responsible. Statistically things like pools and hot tubs and 4 wheelers kill many more kids each year than guns, which don’t even make the “top 10” list. Just like the Obstetricians who voted for John Edwards, or the Jews who voted for Hitler (yes, there were some!) many folks who should know better choose to ignore those stubborn facts. If gun bans worked, places like Detroit, DC, and L.A. would be paradises! Also countries with virtually no legal gun ownership would be crime free, like Mexico and Columbia!

  241. Excedrine: thanks for an excellent comment. Your point about Japan is very interesting, because, for example, in his treatise, The Clash of Civilizations, Samuel P. Huntington takes that the position that Japan is actually a unique civilization (one strata higher than a culture), which is the most important reason that many things Japanese won’t transfer well to America or other parts of the industrialized west.

    I agree completely that international comparisons are all too easy to make but often not credible because of differences between nations. This is a standard public health meme, especially when a facile look at another country offers up something tantilizing, such as, you know, a perfect healthcare system. No other industrialized democracy approaches us in size, scope, heterogeneity, or complexity. When you are Gulliver, it isn’t easy to do as a Lilliputian.

  242. Actually, Joe…more people are killed by blunt instruments than by LONG GUN. Not by All guns

  243. Saurabh, there never really has been a “rational” argument for gun control. It is an emotional stance that gun-ignorant people take to salve their fear of the unknown.

  244. David Rothauser, That should bother you even more. When an implement of death, that is not designed for killing, is four times more effective at killing than an implement designed for it, there is obviously something wrong and it’s not with the implement.

  245. Jack: Yes, now that you mention it, I think you are right. When Steven insisted on referring to me as “she,” I had to go ask my wife if anything had changed that I did not know about. The pic is not of me. I have no idea who that “she” is, but I am pretty I don’t shoot nearly as well as she does.

  246. David: please quote/borrow shamelessly.

    You raise a good point that perhaps the distinction ought to be violent vs. non-violent crime. It’s a worthy debate; at the end of it, however, we are going to have to admit to ourselves that the state penal model of paroling violent criminals doesn’t work. In the federal system, there is no parole. If we can’t or won’t fix root causes, and communities refuse to fix themselves, then the penal system becomes the default solution.

    Happy to go shoot with you, if you live in the St. Louis area. Please visit my blog, http://khannaonhealthblog.com/, and send me an email.

  247. Vik, The “she” Steven refers to my be because the pic in the article appears to be a female.

  248. I hit submit before I remembered to write this:

    I am SO going to take that question you used at the end of your article!

  249. Mr. Khanna, I appreciated your article, and look forward to followups and your future article on the PH community.

    My only disagreement is with your support for gun courts & mandatory no parole sentences for gun crimes. I don’t see a need for special courts for gun crimes, and prefer to make the distinction one of violent or non-violent crime.

    If a person commits a violent crime against another, does it actually matter what the instrument of violence is? In my opinion, it does not.

    However, that point is something that would be good to discuss. I’m ready to learn more about your position on that matter, and ready to share mine.

    Even better would be to have that discussion after a fun day at the range. 🙂

  250. Rodney: Thanks, but I cannot claim a credential I don’t have. I am not a physician. Just a lowly healthcare consultant with a graduate degree in public health. I am a physician assistant in internal medicine.

  251. Good post, Dr. Khanna. My doctor is the same way. He is an immigrant from Ukraine and is a strong believer in the US Constitution. He said he would never ask about gun ownership. And if he did, he said people like me would tell him where to stick that question and go and find another doctor.

    Keep up the good work with facts and accuracy. And it is good to read where you do reply and accept facts that you didn’t know.

    Best of luck to you.

  252. Saurabh, your last point is exactly the issue. Criminality is what scares people because it is unpredictable and uncontrollable. Criminals are,by definition, not quite interested in legal restrictions while most gun owners, even those who bridle at some gun regulations, by and large obey them.

    I have never pointed any of my shotguns at a person. They pursue only clay pigeons. However, I am very well versed in Missouri’s generous Castle doctrine. While we live in a semi-rural St. Louis suburb (yes, they exist. St. Louis is much more than Ferguson, where, by the way, store owners defended their property with their own firearms), we are quite safe. Some of that is demographics, but I am sure some of it is the fact that, by my rough estimate, 7/10 homes here contain a firearm.

    I also know where the registered sex offenders in my area live, and we have had drug dealing problems in our neighborhood, so relatively safe does not equal immune. In the unlikely event that someone comes on my property with bad intent (brandishing a firearm or any other weapon), assuming he can get past my German Shepherds, he will find me and the Benelli brothers waiting at the top of the stairs.

    As you and I are also both of Indian descent, it is useful as well to remember gun control’s impact on entire populations. The British passed the Indian Arms Act of 1878 to codify what they had already done, which was to strip our ancestors of their right to produce or possess firearms. In his autobiography, Gandhi, the Indian liberals love to quote, said that British action to deprive Indians of their right to self defense was their “blackest” deed. Even with this history, people stood by as Hitler disarmed the Jews decades later. Gun controllers say, “Well, that’ll never happen again/here.” How do you know? Don’t you think Indians and Jews said the same thing?

  253. DOC, If I apply your train of thinking, you would be put in prison as more than a 1000% of deaths accrue at the hands of doctors through malpractice mistakes than all gun deaths in our country, so you might just take a good long look in the MIRROR tomorrow morning and ask your self why all of these people are your victims. Same thought process, works for me but I’m sure you won’t admit to that truth and then seriously do a real comparison of facts and ones rights for self protection from evil!

  254. Kudos to you and your article sir from another Public Health professional. I fully agree with everything you have mentioned. In my graduate class I know there were at least two of us that openly admitted owning firearms and we were a distinct minority! I fully agree with your assessment that the PH community doesn’t want to talk about the real root causes of violence and depends way to much on skewed statistics and it is why the Public Safety Criminologists have a much better grasp on what is going on in this area. again Thanks !!

  255. Please correct, of the roughly 32,000 gun related deaths that occurred in 2011, just over 20,000 were suicide (2/3s). Also note: the number of suicides that occur in the US each year, other than gun related suicide, may be underestimated buy 10 to 15 thousand. Suicide and related mental and emotional problems are a pressing public health issue and not receiving the attention they deserves.

  256. DM As a former Federal LEO allow me to say your comment is the response from an ignorant self-satisfied pure blind fool stance. I carried a firearm for work for 9 years and after my last anti0narcotic undercover service have carried a legal concealed firearm for nearly thirty years. I have often been harassed by people like you who did not get shot hit or otherwise hurt in any way other than being ignored as a loud mouthed cretin studying hard to be a moron. You are a perfect example of an educated idiot. kindly continue spewing you vitrol and enjoying the freedoms our military and LEOs have bled for you to exercise. Or better yet SPARE US!

  257. Yes, it’s about as raw an analysis as one can have.

    I don’t think democracy is geared towards Benthamite analysis.

    It requires a remorselessly rational mind to do this type of algebra:

    If innocent deaths averted by possession of guns > innocent deaths through sporadic shooting by lawful gun ownership then gun control is a net societal loss.

    I’m not sure this algebra is correct, I believe it might be marginally correct but far from a slam dunk, but if it is correct, the rational argument against guns is over.

    A more pragmatic argument against gun control is this catchy line:

    If you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns.

    So, like in many areas, policy is most ineffectual against those who would most benefit from its application.

  258. I agree with your response as well. You could be the one too though to change how the the position operates and is viewed. You could bring some common sense to both sides of the debate. Well, either way keep up these good articles. Hopefully someday we can find some common sense in our society and do some meaningful stuff to truly improve our society for everyone.

  259. Well said. The hp is a great analogy to use. Sad some people don’t see the same way as we do.

  260. Gun Deaths and Car deaths are comparable for the simple fact, both are deadly weapons if used incorrectly. Just like a baseball bat. And guns are designed to defend yourself, not kill people. Some people take lives, and some save lives. It all depends on which side of the barrel you want to be on. Also having a loved one die by the hands of a drunk driver, or a driver texting and driving wont make the outcome any better than someone dying from being shot. I’ve also seen a lot of cases of people being run down by a car on purpose. Case closed

  261. JMass_M14: thanks for joining the conversation. Unfortunately, in my experience, whether it’s dismantling workplace wellness programs or speaking up for gun rights, facts are the opposition’s worst nightmare. When data doesn’t support ideology, all of a sudden the data is suspect. It’s the hallmark of an ideologically-driven discussion, not a facts-based discussion.

  262. Perry, I agree, and I think that many of my gun-owning colleagues in this thread agree with you as well. The right to own a firearm does not include the right to be an idiot or a criminal with it. But, again I ask, where is the public health establishment’s messaging on gun safety? Billboards in my community tell me not to text and drive, not to drink and drive, and to change my smoke dectector batteries. Where’s the billboard that says “If you choose to own a firearm, make sure it is stored safely” or “In this state, if you commit a crime with a gun, there is no parole”? I never see those billboards.

  263. Yes, I did forget Loughner. You raise a crucial point. If we really want to get the criminal use of guns in our society, a lot of people and organizations are going to have to rethink basics concepts and responsibilities. At some point, shoving things under the rug is not a sustainable strategy.

  264. Notice, however, that while my colleagues in the guns rights community obviously feel strongly about their Constitutional rights, they also happen to have the data that supports their positions. It’s not emotionality for the sake of it, but passionate support for a position that has a data-based foundation.

  265. The commenters below addressed your missive well enough, but I will add this. I did not decide to become a gun owner or wade into this debate because I am enamored of killing. I don’t even hunt. My son and I shoot trap and skeet simply because it is really fun. It also has the useful purpose of giving him the chance to learn gun safety and proper behavior around guns first hand. If it is true that 43% of American households own a firearm, then there is a nearly 1 in 2 chance that anytime he visits a friend, he is in a home with a gun. It is imperative that he know the dos and don’ts of gun safety. He has also learned that he has a legal right to own a firearm and to know how to defend himself.

    As Gregg Barnes notes below, death is death, and if the issue is how to prevent premature mortality, particularly homicide, it is long past time to deal with root causes.

  266. GregB: here is what I learned at Hopkins. Superficial diversity (i.e., the skin-deep kind) is revered value. So, as long as I, a brown-skinned son of immigrants fulfilled the vision of toeing a particular line, I was welcomed with open arms. But if I ventured into heretical territory, as I often did along with military officers in school with me at the time, we were shunned and even subjected to third-grade level name calling.

    And that was 30 years ago. Orthodoxy and ideology are powerful drugs.

  267. dogbert1918: thanks for your praise, but I decline. I am of the view that the position of Surgeon General is one that is an anachronism, duplicative, and now too highly politicized to have any value. I am in favor of doing away with it completely.

  268. John: Our culture is drowning in emotion and emotive responses to things that require serious adult conversation.

    You may dodge the issue of deaths from medical errors all you wish, but the IOM and the OIG of HHS both say your are wrong. When IOM issued Bridging the Chasm in 1999, they estimated 98,000 deaths from medical errors. In 2012, OIG estimated that the number has almost doubled. Since 1993, when firearms homicides peaked, the death rate has fallen by 50%. I’d say gun owners are making much more progress than the medical establishment it.

  269. “I believe the Second Amendment clearly secures the rights of individuals to own firearms.”

    This is in fact true, notwithstanding the seemingly countervailing “well-regulated militia” clause. to wit:

    “Of the states that recommended amendments to the Constitution, four urged an amendment guaranteeing the right of individuals to bear arms. New Hampshire, the ninth state to ratify, was the first to make that recommendation with a proposal that said: “Congress shall never disarm any Citizen, unless such as are or have been in Actual Rebellion.” New York followed suit with the proposition that the people “have a right to keep and bear arms” and that a well-regulated militia, including “the body of the people capable of bearing arms” is the “proper” defense of a free state. Two other states, Rhode Island and North Carolina, used similar language in recommending amendments to the Constitution.

    The second amendment in effect prevents the national government from destroying the militias of the states and preserves a personal right that is centuries old. Joel Barlow, the Connecticut wit and writer, in 1792 sagely declared that a tyrant disarms his subjects to “degrade and oppress” them, knowing that to be unarmed “palsies the hand and brutalizes the mind,” with the result that people “lose the power of protecting themselves.” But arms privately held can be dangerous to society. President George Washington once reminded Congress that “a free people ought not only be armed but disciplined.” He meant that the militias of his time had to be under military authority or, in the frequently used phrase, should be “a well-regulated” militia. However, we no longer depend on militias, a fact that in some respects makes the right to keep and bear arms anachronistic. An armed public is not the means of keeping a democratic government responsible and sensitive to the needs of the people. As the Supreme Court said in 1951, in Dennis v. United States: “That it is within the power of Congress to protect the government of the United States from armed rebellion is a proposition which requires little discussion.” Whatever hypothetical value there might be, the Court said, in the notion that a “right” against revolution exists against dictatorial government “is without force where the existing structure of the government provides for peaceful and orderly change.” The Court added, “We reject any principle of government helplessness in the face of preparations for revolution, which principle, carried to its logical conclusion, must lead to anarchy.”

    The right to keep and bear arms still enables citizens to protect themselves against law breakers, but it is a feckless means of opposing a legitimate government. The so-called militias of today that consist of small private armies of self-styled superpatriots are entitled to their firearms but deceive themselves in thinking they can withstand the United States Army. The Second Amendment as they interpret it feeds their dangerous illusions. Even so, the origins of the amendment show that the right to keep and bear arms has an illustrious history connected with freedom even if it is a right that must be regulated.”

    Professor Leonard W. Levy. Origins of the Bill of Rights (pp. 148-149). Kindle Edition.

    Yeah. When in doubt, I tend to write a song. http://www.bgladd.com/OpenCarryHarry.jpg

  270. Alkmyst: thanks for your sarcasm. It’s well appreciated here. Your point about fun is actually resonant with me, because my interest in all this springs completely from our family’s move from Maryland (very gun unfriendly state, with 2 of the nation’s most violent jurisidictions..Baltimore City and Prince George’s County…three if you include the contiguous, WDC) to Missouri. I went trap shooting with a friend, and I thought shooting was, well, a blast.

    Learning about guns and shooting led me to delve into related issues more deeply, including the deep passion that people in a large swath of the country feel for the Second Amendment, and I have come to share it.

  271. Jan: thanks for the note. I was going to mention Switzerland as a nation with a long tradition of gun ownership. Thank you for the information about Norway.

  272. Safety is habitual, whether it is handling guns, driving cars, or drinking alcohol. There are safe ways to do all of those potentially dangerous things. When I shoot trap with my son, our dialogue is almost completely about safe handling of the shotgun throughout the process. The same thing is true when we drive; he is dreaming of the day when he gets his driver’s license, and during time in the car, he has started asking questions about how to handle a car in particular situations, and reasons his way through traffic situations that he observes around him. Does this mean that he won’t die in a gun accident or a car accident? Obviously not, but the teaching of safety as a valuable set of processes helps him to reduce his controllable risk as much as he can.

  273. Who is “she”?

    I have no relationship with the NRA, not even a member.

    The violence in the black community is something that the black community must decide it wants to fix. It can wait for the prevailing liberal intelligentsia to proffer fixes, of which we have 50 years of evidence of ineffectiveness, or the black community can decide that the criminality in its midst has root causes that it alone can and must address: schools, family disintegration, drugs, economic opportunity.

    Nancy Lanza did have a right to own her guns. She also had a responsibility to be able to see, hear, and feel what was going on with her own son, and to secure those firearms. She didn’t, and we all watched the horrific results.

  274. I read this article and the comments on Yahoo. I find it interesting that once I went back to my Yahoo homepage, it was no longer available to read. I guess someone didn’t like having facts displayed on Yahoo.

  275. The only thing accidental about car deaths is that the collision was not intended. Since in almost every case a violation of the state vehicle code caused the collision, the deaths are due to negligence. Those violations are willful. That should mean a charge of manslaughter in every case for the at-fault driver, but usually does not unless the driver is drunk, which is about 40% of the deaths annually. If a sober driver runs over a bicyclist and sticks around, telling the police “I didn’t see him”, chances are he won’t be charged with a crime, but if that same person fires a rifle into the air on New Year’s Eve and the bullet comes down and kills someone, they will be charged if found. Both scenarios involve deadly negligence, but we as a society “accept” the ones committed with cars.

  276. Seems to me like we have an abundance of rules. A change in strategic thinking on guns must include at least consideration of the fact that more rules are not necessarily the answer.

  277. You’re wrong! 100 million law abiding gun owners woke up this morning and killed no one. 😉

  278. When the author mentioned why the healthcare professionals would never take gun rights people seriously because the health care professionals were taught to look down on them he hit the problem on the head. When we say “knee jerk liberal” that is another example of why there is a problem. The educational institutions in this country have been ignoring inconvenient things like facts or reality to teach political correctness and the liberal/marxist agenda. The suppression of engineering and sciences in favor of art and political correctness classes result in many degrees that are useless for making a living and students that are deep in debt and stuck. The schools are ok with this because the former students are properly programmed and blinded to many areas of reality. To fix the fraud in the gun control issue we are first going to have to fix the education system by firing all the administrators and the teachers that are not teaching reality and facts, that will solve the school system money problems and get a real education for our kids.

  279. David, you couldn’t be more wrong. The majority of people that die from gunshot wounds shoot themselves on purpose. According to the CDC, for every murderer who uses a firearm to kill their victim, more than two people commit suicide with a gun. (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/suicide.htm)

  280. .00003 of every gun owned ever kills someone. doctors kill more people and have a higher rate of death at their hands than guns. maybe we should be banning you.

  281. So something that isn’t designed to kill kills far, far more people than something that is. Got it.

  282. The author of this article should be the next Surgeon General. He is somebody who gets it. He has a firm grasp of all the issue’s and how they affect each other and isn’t one of the “knee jerk” liberals.

  283. Lott’s analysis is a serious contribution to the debate….but too often ignored as the gun control folks do not like the conclusions. Kudos for having read it!

  284. The anti-gun crowd should be disqualified from possessing a fire arm. They are obviously mentally unstable as they have an irrational fear and hatred of an inanimate object.

    Lock ’em up.

  285. Thank you, sir, for such an enlightening article. It’s always so interesting to see the response of gun-haters on forums such as this, because they always fall back on emotional arguments, not facts. Anyone who goes to the FBI’s website and searches their database of crime statistics (CIUS) will quickly see that the truth supports gun owners, not anti-gun owners…

    Again, thanks for standing up in a profession that wants you lying down.

  286. Yes, about the UK: recently read an article that defined the differences between the ‘reporting’ standards of the UK versus the US. To report a rape, more than two rapists must be involved, otherwise it’s not a felony. Same standard (?) applies across the board so as to keep the reported crime statistics as low as possible. In other words, folks, they’re just plain lying to cover up the true crime rate…

  287. More people die from malpractice then gun deaths in the US. CDC and FBI report.
    More people die from blunt instrument then firearms. CDC and FBI report.
    More people are killed or hospitalized by misdiagnoses or wrongly prescribed medication then guns. CDC and FBI report.
    fifty million law abiding gun owners work up this morning and killed no one.
    Never seen a car drive drunk or a gun kill someone.

  288. Yeah your right. Because something that is made to transport people kills more people a year then an implement of war.
    Fifty million law abiding gun owner woke up this morning and killed no one.

  289. Public health, schoolteachers, Moms against sanity…..doesn’t matter what demographic is being discussed there are massive quantities of people who refuse to think rationally, choose to live in the world their biases have constructed and will do ANYTHING to destroy, change or subvert that which does not meet their personal emotional biases. Guns are one of those subjects where the vast majority who hate them do so from an emotional irrational point of view. Not a group that one can educate, reason with or even tolerate talking to usually. And CERTAINLY not a group that should be allowed input on ANY subject let alone one dealing with personal liberty.

  290. Incorrect. Half of all gun deaths in the United States are suicides, then you have homicides, and lastly accidental. Homicides account for less than half.

    To help clarify the comparison, why do we have 500 hp sports cars capable of going 200 plus mph when the maximum limit in most states is 60-70? Those cars are designed specifically to break the law. Now I can mention that speeding is a major reason for fatality car deaths. See where I’m going with this?

    The analogy while imperfect is not to be completely dismissed. FYI man used his fists first to kill, then clubs, then sharp objects. Many implements originally were designed to kill. Guns can be used for defense, deterrent, and even to shoot as a sport at targets. Claiming the blanket statement they are meant to kill implies they have only one purpose which is false.

  291. “Norway, which has some of the strictest gun control laws on the planet”

    I am fairly sure we don’t. In fact, I believe our gun laws are rather lax compared to the developed world average.

    America and Norway are similar in at least one respect: Countries of low population density, with an urban/rural divide. Rural areas tend to have an attitude of guns being just another tool. Norway also has a very strong cottage/hunting culture. About 10 % of the population are registered hunters, the vast majority most will have a gun. 1-2 % of the population do their military service in the Home Defence system, and used to keep an assault rifle and ammo at home.

    There is a town where you are not allowed to leave the town limits without a gun. About 50 % of the male population do military service and get taught how to handle military armaments.

    Off the top of my head, the only western European country I can think off with more guns is Switzerland.

  292. 81,396 non-fatal gun injuries?
    The 2012 top 10 injuries prompting a visit to the ER (from the CDC):
    1) 8,974,762 unintentional falls
    2) 4,553,417 unintentional struck by/against
    3) 2,564,003 unintentional motor vehicle occupant
    4) 2,145,927 unintentional cut/pierce
    5) 1,580,574 unintentional other specified (???)
    6) 1,361,096 other (non-sexual) assault struck by/against
    7) 1,250,916 unintentional other bite/sting
    8) 972,923 unintentional poisoning

  293. Oh my word, Mr. Khanna, you heretic, you. How dare you suggest that a gun could EVER be used for anything but terrorism and ending innocent lives! It couldn’t POSSIBLY ever be used for ending a crime before it’s started, stopping a criminal in the commission of a crime and we won’t even talk about those poor benighted fools who think it’s actually FUN to shoot guns! How dare you! *sarcastic rant over*

    Seriously, thank you for finally expressing what far too many of us in the gun community have felt for years. To actually see it expressed from a member of the medical community is refreshing and I thank you for taking the effort to deliver it so cogently…

  294. I’m also curious to see where it has “succeeded”.

    Oh, that’s right. I hasn’t.

    Don’t bother mentioning Japan, because they’ve always been historically rather peaceful (comparatively anyway) regardless of whatever gun control laws they’ve had on their rolls.

    You’ll only make me laugh with mentioning the U.K. — THE most violent member-state of the European Union, with higher rates of robbery, (armed) assault, and rape than the U.S. by far.

    I’ll yawn at mentions of Australia, too, because there were in fact shootings after their forced turn-ins. Not to mention those fatal arsons that killed more than a dozen people apiece. They have a similarly higher reported per-capita rate of violent crime — also including assaults, rapes, and roberies — than the U.S. By a factor of 3. Not to mention that this crime rate has not returned to pre-1996 levels, either, almost 20 years later.

    Besides this, international comparisons are, at best, intellectually dishonest. All of the above have vastly different social structures, cultures, customs, definitions of crime, methods of reporting and collating crime data, and litigation than we do. And no, no there is not any reporting system out there currently in existence that accounts for these disparities, either.

    So, then, we’re stuck with just historical comparisons with the U.S. against itself only. Such comparisons have only ever shown gun control to be a complete and utter failure in every sense and shade of the word, on every conceivable level it could have failed on, and in every single solitary possible way, shape, and form it could fail in. Gun control is, and always has been, a non-starter because it simply doesn’t work.

  295. There was Jared, and I think it was the Aurora nut. Both were considered dangerous by their schools, to the point of mental health professionals and boards of people looking at how to handle them.

    And in both cases, as soon as they were away from the school … POOF, magic … “not my problem any more”.

  296. I am unconvinced by her argument. She is a Public Health ‘professional’ being an NRA shill and her assertions questionable. No mention of the 10,000 gun homicides; no mention of the gun homicides for kids under the age of 16 (265); no mention of the 81,396 non-fatal gun injuries; no mention of the 1,322 non-fatal gun injuries to those aged 14 or younger; no mention of the 20,000 suicides by firearm; no mention that the leading cause of death in the Black community for males between age 15 and 25 is gunfire. And a failure to recognize the obvious: possession of the gun causes gun violence—no gun/no gun violence. That makes gun ownership something of an existential question like drinking alcohol becomes an existential question for the drunk. What is the psychology of gun ownership–have gun, will bully. We read too many instances of people going demonic with that gun–a father shoots to death his five children. Nancy Lanza had every right to own those weapons, she had registered them with the state, she passed the background check–she never for a second anticipated that her weapons would be used for demonic purposes. Again–physical possession of the weapon… And there are laws against driving drunk, driving while using a cell phone, careless driving–her assertion here was downright silly. And yeah, the NRA gun nut psychos like to claim that more kids drown in swimming pools then are killed by guns; except the item in question is about GUNS–not about heart disease, drowning, alcohol–it is about GUNS. Is gun injury or death one of those preventable health care issues. Give up smoking for better health; give up guns for better health. Her argument was just another nail in the NRA coffin of American gun deaths due to ownership of a killing machine.

  297. I don’t go to an NRA accredited firearms instructor for medical advice.
    I don’t go to a doctor for firearms safety advice.

  298. Except that the “other side” isn’t even remotely interested in any “meaningful conversation” at all. They are not, after all, at all interested in the gangland shootings that far and away out-number public mass-casualty events by several orders of magnitude. They are not at all interested in addressing the underlying causes of violence, either, like the failed War On (Some) Drugs.

    They focus on astronomically rare events that happen in predominantly white, upscale urban and sub-urban communities. They don’t give a damn about the majorily brown, poorer, run-down inner city. Nevermind the fact that in reality, the vast majority of homicide victims are criminals, who are usually engaged in criminal activity at the time of their deaths, and against other criminals to boot — which gun control advocates also don’t care about (not that I blame them in that instance). At all.

    Literally the only thing they are, have ever been, or are ever going to be interested in is a one-sided shouting match and pearl-clutching at the slightest instance of resistance and intellectual challenge to their absolutely nonsensical “solutions” to violence.

  299. Im curious as to where it has succeeded? I live in California, where it is quite a chore to get a firearm. And yet, a young man with many mental health issues was able to legally purchase 3 handguns, and use them to kill people. In addition, the “Assault Weapons” ban had zero affect on crime, as these weapons are used to infrequently to commit crimes. If you look at countries that have banned firearm ownership, their homicides by forearm have dropped, but homicides by other means have gone up. And lets not forget Chicago. They too have some of the strictest gun control in the country, and yet every weekend, you hear of several people killed, and multiple people wounded. I would argue that gun control makes things worse. And the fact and statistics support that.

  300. Indeed cars are not designed to kill. And yet, year after year, more people are killed by them then are killed by firearms. An really, how does it matter how someone is killed? Isnt dead, dead?

  301. Vik, you left out Jared Loughner who shot Gabby Giffords and others. Loughner had been suspended from a community college due to his behavior. One of the conditions for readmission was certification by a mental health professional that he was not dangerous. In my opinion, if he needed such certification to attend classes, he also needed it to live outside a secure mental hospital. I realize that the vast majority of mentally ill people are not dangerous and that psychiatrists do not have effective tools for identifying the few exceptions. However, I also know that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Far too often, institutions “solve” behavioral problems by pushing out the actors so that they become someone else’s problem.

  302. Guns would be useless if they could not kill. They enable small, weak victims to fight off attacks by larger, stronger assailants. You need to distinguish between murder and justifiable homicide in self defense. The former is a crime to be lamented; the latter should be celebrated for preserving innocent life.

  303. And I’m a doctor from Colorado. DM: Your attempt to put words in the mouth of the writer makes no sense, whatsoever. He was not promoting gun owners as victims, and what the hell are you talking about “strawman”? With such poor logic, there is no way you could have past the MCAT, passed a logics board, or gotten through med school with that thought process– much less get into a Residency. You would have been flushed out prior to any of those steps. You’re a fake, and a liar. Go troll somewhere else and let the adults talk.

  304. What “straw man arguments” are you referring to? I read none. I am a gun owner in California and I DO feel like a victim of the liberal nanny state I live in. Every legislative session, there are more silly laws passed that only further erode my constitutional rights while doing nothing to actually decrease crime.

    By the way DM from CT is it really “Newton, CT” or did you mean “Newtown?” A quick internet search shows no results for Newton, CT.

  305. In the article you compare gun deaths with car deaths. Guns are designed to kill people, cars are designed to transport people from one place to another. Car deaths are mainly accidental, gun deaths are mainly homicides. There’s no comparison.

  306. Dm you are such a grossly misinformed anti gun zombie you are pathetic. The author made a very valid and informative post, your only problem is he is pro gun. “Strawman”??? wtf?? the most invalid arguments you get are from anti gun propaganda mmachine like bloombergs, guess being from Newton (? I wonder), you are aware of the prime lie of “74 school shootings since sandy hook”. Talk about “strawman”. Spare mus your parsimonious rantings go back to school “doc” you need it.

  307. 200,000 medical error related deaths a year, Vik?

    For someone who makes a living challenging dubious statistical estimates, I’d think you’d hesitate before bringing that one up. That’s a million people dying in American hospitals every five years from medical errors.

    I’m all for patient safety, and the issue is real and very much worthy of debate, but those are highly suspect, wiggly, cause-driven numbers and you should know it.

    How many people die from preventable medical errors a year.? I don’t think we actually know. Here’s what I do know:

    More than one is one too many.

    Show some “emotive reaction” Vik to the deaths from gun violence and you’ll have a hope of engaging the other side in a meaningful conversation.


  308. George, thanks for this reference as well. I will read both essays closely.

  309. George, I agree with you about homicidal ideation, and that’s what I was referring to when I brought up the names of the various shooters. My exposure to homicidal people was brief, when I worked in the medical clinics of a city jail and a state SuperMax penitentiary. From where I sat on the “safe” side of the exam, it was indeed daunting to do H and P on people who had committed murder.

    I realize that what you are talking about raises many privacy, patient-privilege and even liability issues, but we need to at least be talking about them, and we aren’t. Thanks for your comment.

  310. Jim, thank you for that very cogent observation, and it is obviously completely true. The OIG’s report in 2012 indicated that the number of medical-error deaths annually in the US now approaches 200,000, and it may even be quite a bit higher, depending on what models you look at. Of course, I have been rebuked on this site for pointing to the model data. I guess you can only use models when pushing the idea of affordable care for all or anthropogenic global warming.

  311. I am a hell of a lot more likely to be killed by a doctor than someone with a gun.

  312. There are public health approaches but I don’t see many touched on in your post. First and foremost homicidal ideation needs to be focused on as a symptoms of interest. People are reluctant to see aggression and homicidal ideation as intervention points if they have not actually treated homiciial people:


    I was surprised to find your digression into the theory that psychotropic medications cause aggression and homicide. You might find the real evidence on that to be interesting:

  313. I’ve read Lott’s classic econometric paper, which lead to his “more guns less crime”. I’m not savvy enough to critique the data.

    The pro gun control group make a very utilitarian argument for guns, which I’m not sure would fly in a democracy for very long, even if there were an element of truth.

    Since it’s constitutionally enshrined, the utilitarian argument or the opposition probably doesn’t matter.

  314. Where does the post indicate that gun owners are victims? Futher, what data do you have to counter any point made? You are certainly entitled to emote, it’s a standard gun control strategy, and I would never deny it to you.

    From Congress to statehouses around the country, the standard approach to gun violence is blame the implement and, by extension, anyone who lawfully posseses one. You cannot get around fundamentals by avoiding facts.

  315. This post is as obnoxious as it is wrong! I’m a doc from Newton CT. “Gun owners as victim” is just bullshit. The part I appreciate is the the careful attention to gun safety. That’s a good thing. But straw man made up arguments? Spare us.