Not the Same Old Doctors and Guns Article

By Gerard Valentino

(This commentary has also been published at!

Politicians, scientists and the American public have now accepted gun-control as a failed social experiment resulting in the proliferation of concealed-carry laws nationwide. The medical profession, however, stands as one of the few remaining special interest groups that still believe in disarming law-abiding citizens without regard for the clear public health benefits of gun-ownership.

By modest estimates guns are used in self-defense 2.5 million times per year with most instances not requiring a shot to be fired. Such a number dwarfs the roughly 28,000 people that die annually in gun related incidents. Considering that suicides account for roughly half of gun deaths the chance of an average American becoming a victim of random gun violence is slight.

If you take out drug turf and other type of criminal on criminal murders the odds of becoming a random victim of gun violence shrinks even more.

The establishment media’s coverage of children killed by firearms combined with statistics conjured by the Violence Policy Center make it seems like thousands of kids are killed every year in gun accidents. Those statistics are often padded by using a definition of children as people up to 24 years of age. There can be little doubt that the establishment media also hypes every gun related incident as the next sad chapter in the scourge of gun violence plaguing America.

Inexplicably, the American Medical Association has bought into the myth and chooses to ignore the glaring flaws in such misleading statistics.

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 makes that number appear far higher yet more children are killed by neglect, medical accidents, drowning and falls than by firearms.

Regardless, doctors often ask people whether they keep guns in the home but ignore other easily identifiable risk factors which is proof that their advice is biased. They also turn a blind eye to the number of cases where a family survived a violent attack specifically because someone in the home knew how to use a firearm.

The irony is that if the average person used the same convoluted logic to determine the value of modern medicine few would risk going to the doctor since 400,000 Americans per year are killed by medical mistakes.

Like a scalpel or any other tool guns kill and maim and when used improperly. Both gun accidents and medical accidents also have the same dynamic in that it is the person wielding the tool, be it a gun or scalpel, which is ultimately responsible for death or injury – not the tool.

Still, medical professionals and the establishment media somehow blame guns for gun related deaths. The equivalent is to call for a nationwide ban of “assault scalpels” as a way to combat medical accident related deaths.

Being human, medial professionals make mistakes which unfortunately lead to thousands of deaths each year. They should still be applauded for the work they do because despite the accidents they are undoubtedly a benefit to society.

Dissuading people from keeping a gun in the home due to a misguided anti-gun bias is one of the mistakes that can be helped - not that doctors should tell everyone to run out and buy a gun. Instead they should simply seek out and tell the truth about the effects of having a gun in the home and allow the individual to make the decision.

So, if your doctor asks about guns in the home tell them you love your children and therefore you keep a gun for your family’s safety. If your doctor scolds you for your choice, don’t get rid of the gun, get rid of the doctor!

Gerard Valentino is the Buckeye Firearms Association Central Ohio Chair

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