If the do-gooders really want to save the children, they should forget about guns and focus on doctors

By Gerard Valentino & Chad D. Baus

Last month, actor Dennis Quaid took to the airwaves on 60 Minutes to speak out about a medical mistake that nearly took the life of his newborn twins. Quaid just can't seem to understand why more people aren't aware of the problem, even though he says 100,000 people are killed every year by medical mistakes (the number is probably quite a bit higher), and even though the medial journal Pediatrics reports that 1 in 15 hospitalized children are administered drugs improperly (540,000 times per year!). It is a problem which Quiad points out is "bigger than AIDS. It's bigger than breast cancer. It's bigger than automobile accidents."

Perhaps the reason more people aren't aware of this problem is because people like Dennis Quaid have a history of spending too much time ranting about issues that impact far fewer lives, sucking up available air time and distracting Americans from issues much more vital, such as the one he is now addressing.

You see, according to the NRA-ILA, Dennis Quaid is among a group of celebrities who has "lent their name and notoriety to anti-gun causes, speaking out for anti-gun legislation and providing a voice for anti-gun organizations."

There he was, crusading against guns without realizing the true threat to his children: their doctor. Quaid’s twins were nearly killed when they were given a near fatal overdose of the drug heparin. Thankfully, his children survived and now Quaid has a new crusade – to stop doctors from making dangerous errors in how they administer drugs.

The American Medical Association spends millions of dollars every year in their misguided quest to ban all guns. Although the AMA is hailed as impartial on the subject of guns, that is far from the case. They refuse to accept that guns are used in self-defense far more times each year than they are used to take innocent lives.

In 1999 only 65 children 14 years-old and younger were killed accidentally with a gun and undoubtedly each instance is tragic. The establishment media’s sensational coverage of nearly every instance, spurned on by camera-hungry actors like Dennis Quaid, makes that number appear far higher. Yet more children are killed by neglect, drowning and falls (and yes, medical mistakes!) than by firearms.

Dennis Quaid, however, chose to spend his time vilifying guns instead of looking at the true risks to society. He followed the misguided who felt guns are an easy target because they represent a part of America that is foreign to their way of thinking. Instead of believing in the individual, Quaid, and others of his misguided ilk, believe in furthering the nanny state at all costs. Everything that represents the rugged individualism of America is an anathema to them.

The numbers don’t lie, however, and the AMA needs to start concentrating on keeping their own house clean before they turn their members in to anti-gun automatons determined to take away our guns.

Nobody wants to see children put at risk, but the simple fact is that people need to realize they are much more likely to be killed receiving poor medical care than by a gun.

Until the crusading do-gooders in society start to focus in on the real threats to the health and safety of our children medical mistakes will continue to occur. The AMA teaches people to check if a gun is kept in a home where their children might play and, believing there to be a true risk, many parents act on the ridiculous advice. Yet, the same parents refuse to question what their doctor is doing to keep their child safe while in the hospital.

Nobody doubts that the medical profession is a net benefit to society, since they save far more lives than they take each year. Still, doctors will tell you they are simply practicing medicine, so some risk is acceptable in the process. Then, in the next breath, they claim the hundreds of thousands of people who are alive today because they used a gun for self defense isn’t proof guns are beneficial.

We should expect more from a profession that prides itself on using sound science and logic in their daily pursuit of healing people.

Instead, we are faced with emotion-based arguments about how guns, an object incapable of feeling or action, are a true evil in society. But people are willing to believe their assertions that guns are evil because they trust that doctors have their best interests at heart.

It isn’t true, however, since the AMA has an agenda to push just like any other special interest group. Their goal is to protect the members who pay dues and one way to do so is to blame guns for the high number of people who come into trauma rooms and don’t survive.

A quick Internet search turns up a limitless number of excuses the AMA has to blame health problems on anyone but their membership. Obesity, lack of exercise, smoking and a host of other perceived ills are used to explain away why people die.

Clearly, the AMA wants us to believe its membership isn’t responsible for people who make bad choices that negatively effect their health. But the AMA is only responsible for the incompetence of doctors and the organization has an unwillingness to punish their own regardless of the extent of the damage done to society.

When you add the 540,000 children put at risk to the 400,000 people killed by other medical mistakes every year, it puts the AMA’s members as one of the leading causes of health problems in America. The number dwarfs just about every other so-called health risk epidemic identified by the AMA.

Gun related deaths are less than 0.75% of the total of people killed each year by doctors. A startling statistic that should put in perspective how hard the AMA has to try to deflect blame for the deaths they cause.

Guns are an easy target, and although we expect more from doctors, seeing trauma victims each day causes them to subconsciously vilify guns. The same phenomenon occurs in some reporters. A local Columbus reporter, Kevin Landers, fits the bill. His anti-gun slant is clear for all to see and he has said he can’t see how anyone showing up to a scene were a child has been shot could be pro-gun.

Scientists are taught to look at both sides of the story and anti-gun doctors are responding to half of the story. They don’t know if the person on their trauma room table was shot over a drug deal, was a home invader who made a serious miscalculation in victim identification, or was an innocent bystander hit with a stray bullet. Instead of analyzing each case for the ultimate cause of the problems in society, doctors have an easy target in gun owners.

It’s about time for the AMA to police its own instead of telling us how to live our life. The same goes for Hollywood actors who know nothing about a particular issue and still proclaim their own brilliance.

Until their house is clean, they shouldn’t be telling us how to clean ours.

Gerard Valentino is the Buckeye Firearms Association Central Ohio Chair, writes for the ValentinoChronicle.com and teaches the Ohio Concealed Carry class through Center Mass LTD.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman and Northwest Ohio Chair, and teaches the Ohio Concealed Carry class through Northwest Self Defense LLC.

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