Your firearms, according to a new slogan from the anti-gun crowd, pose a danger to public health. In the minds of anti-gun folk, that means you have no right to bear arms. They are now trying to say that their right to live a healthy life trumps the Second Amendment.
Dr. David Hemenway, a Harvard University professor of health policy and the directory of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health was the first to try out this new manufactured crisis tagline. He proclaimed to CNN that, “The evidence is overwhelming that firearm violence in the United States – firearms killing people, scaring people, injuring people, is an enormous public health problem.”
The context of that conversation involved the American College of Physicians (ACP) declaring firearms violence to be a crisis in the United States. In a March 7 statement for the record before a U.S. House Appropriations, the ACP claims a series of so-called “common-sense approaches” to reducing firearms injuries and deaths across the nation. Those include most of the usual suspects: banning “assault rifles,” requiring universal background checks, outlawing mag clips that hold more than a few rounds, restricting concealed carry, etc.
That same sentiment is echoed by liberal media and liberal politicians across the United States. The reason isn’t that firearm violence is a massive problem. The relatively few actual deaths and injuries that occur daily and annually mostly amount to outliers.
Outliers are statistical anomalies that do not represent the norm. They are aberrations that do not represent the norm. That means they do not represent a “crisis” or even a particular problem in our society.
The only real problem is, outliers are so unusual, that they draw lots of attention when they occur. Think Hurricane Katrina and claims of pending doom-and-gloom predictions of continued massive storms battering the U.S. coastlines.
That outlier event was followed by 11 years of not one single hurricane strike anywhere in the United States. No media reports highlighted the relatively long-term calm. They only highlight the potential doom-and-gloom, because that grabs people’s attention.
It also helps to sell a political viewpoint and narrative. Specifically, that firearms, and certain ones in particular, are so threatening to general public health that they must be banned.
When firearms account for a very small percentage of deaths in the United States, those who hate firearms and the Second Amendment seize upon any outlier event, like a mass shooting, and present it as the norm. The prior ban on military-style firearms, the so-called “assault weapons ban” enacted in 1994, proved pointless. Military-style firearms were used in only a very small percentage of killings, and the ban had virtually no effect on firearms violence or public health.
Yet, in their zeal to erode Second Amendment rights and eventually do away with the right to bear arms altogether, the anti-gun crowd is targeting public health. They say people have an innate right to live free from the fear of potential firearms violence.
The simple fact is, firearms violence accounts for a very small percentage of deaths in the United States. And, in most cases, those deaths involve related criminal activity and would not end due to a ban on military-style firearms. It would not even end if the Second Amendment and right to bear arms were eliminated altogether.
Targeting firearms also is a political tool that helps anti-gun liberals to differentiate themselves from their political opponents. A compliant mainstream media enables them via sensational headlines and increasingly to influence political and social thought, facts be damned.
A quick check of federal records shows that firearms account for a relatively small percentages of deaths across any age group. The Centers for Disease Control shows the most prolific non-natural killers of people in the United States are accidental poisoning and vehicular accidents.
For young children, homicide, suffocation, drowning and car accidents are the most prolific killers. Firearms account for a tiny portion of deaths among youth and very young children in the United States. Yet, we have liberals at Harvard University, in the media, and on Capitol Hill, declaring a false crisis and threat to public health.
Anti-gun liberals want to use our taxpayer dollars to fund studies designed to affirm firearms are a menace to society and a threat to public health. They will not use those same studies to affirm the positive effects of the Second Amendment.