this is an OP-ED I wrote several years ago in th Fredericksburg Free Lance Staf after a local Doctor wrote his weekly column stating that all doctors and neighbors should demand to know what guns are in each house in the neighborhood, quoted a lot of bogus facts etc. Created quite a stir locally and cost the Doctor a lot of patients.
Safety Manager finds Stafford Doctor Guilty of “Journalistic Malpractice”
As a Safety Manager, I deal with statistics and accident rates daily. I also am a hunter, and volunteer Hunter Education Instructor. Dr. Neustatter’s recent medical information article on guns was based on false and misleading statistics. Was this deliberate or he is just guilty of “journalistic malpractice”? Only he can answer that. However, his inflammatory approach calling everyone “knuckleheads” who do not agree with his anti-gun agenda is offensive and has no business being portrayed as factual medical information. He is just an extremist who is using a medical license to mislead the public and did not confirm his facts. I hope he takes more care researching patient treatment.
He did not quote from any source except the AMA. The reason is his information only comes from anti-gun groups that routinely publish false information in an effort to mislead you. Consider the following factual statistics.
*The US does not have the highest rate of gun-related deaths among industrialized nations. The UN Demographics Handbook, has the US ranked 12th..
*Gun deaths and accidents are down by almost one-third for the last 10 years, not up (National Safety Council (NSC) and National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)).
*The quote of the 15 children a day killed due to guns is from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence (formally Center for Gun Control, but name changed due to fact that gun control was not selling). Sarah Brady has claimed that figure was 11 to 14 per day. She also said, “No one has the right of self-defense with a firearm”. She admits that statistic is achieved by adding adults up to age 24. A 24-year-old drug dealer shot on a street corner is not a child. This fact really puts Dr. Neustatter’s “information” into perspective.
*The NCHS has all firearms related incidents (accidents, suicides and homicides) for children at 4.2 per day. When you add young adults to age 19, the figure is still only 9.1. That is not to minimize the loss of any life, especially a child. But statistically, it is minor when we have four times more drownings, five times more poisonings, thirty times more for motor vehicles and finally two times more deaths for “medical mistakes”! Heal thyself and thy profession first, Doctor!
*Firearms are used in over 2.5 million instances each year to protect our families and us (Professor and Criminologist Gary Kleck, “The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, (Fall 1995) p. 164). That is 3-5 times the number of total violent crimes committed with firearms annually (FBI). So, without firearms used in a self-defense mode we would have 400,000–1.5 million more dead due to criminals.
*Real scientific studies show that concealed carry laws in each and every case, state by state, have greatly reduced crime rates not increased them.
Dr. Neustatter’s asserts that the Second Amendment only covers the “state militia”. Obviously, he failed Early American History. Henry Lee wrote, “To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms”. James Madison wrote that the Bill of Rights amendments “relate first to private rights”. The Court decisions do not support Dr. Neustatter.
*The Supreme Court recognized that the right to arms is an individual right in U.S. v. Cruikshank (1876), Presser v. Illinois (1886), Miller v. Texas (1894), U.S. v. Miller (1939)and U.S. v. Verdugo-Urquidez (1990). In U.S. v. Cruikshank, the Court also recognized that the right preexisted the Constitution.
*The Guard is …. (Perpich v. Dept. of Defense, 1990) is not the "well regulated militia" referred to in the Second Amendment. "The Militia of the United States" is defined under federal law to include all able-bodied males of age and some other males and females (10 U.S.C., sec. 311; 32 U.S.C., sec. 313), with the Guard established as only its "organized" element.
*The recent U.S. v. Emerson, on Oct. 16, 2001, the Fifth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals wrote the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, subject only to "limited, narrowly tailored specific exceptions" that "are not inconsistent with the right of Americans generally to individually keep and bear their private arms as historically understood in this country. . . . All of the evidence indicates that the Second Amendment, like other parts of the Bill of Rights, applies to and protects individual Americans."
I recommend that there are ways to properly have available a loaded firearm in a house and still keep it from children, such as small bedside lock boxes with keypad combinations that are designed for this. They are safe and fast to open. They have a built in safety feature which locks the box for 15 minutes if a wrong combination punched in more than twice.
As for a doctor or any person demanding to know what firearms I have, I will answer that question AFTER they give me a written authorization to go to the state medical board and get their malpractice history and they answer my questions about their drug history, sexual practices/preferences. We have a right to know our doctor’s malpractice history and if our neighbor is a sexual deviant, right? The AMA does not want you to have the malpractice history about your doctor. Wonder why?
Consider how misleading statistics can be and unethically used to justify an irrational analysis and personal bias.
Number of physicians in the US: 700,000
Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year: 120,000.
accidental deaths per physician: 0.171
Number of gun owners in US: 80,000,000
Number of accidental gun deaths per year (all age groups): 1,500
accidental deaths per gun owner: 0.0000188
Statistically, doctors are 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.
FACT: Not everyone owns a gun, but everyone has at least one doctor.
We must ban doctors before this gets out of hand.