Frustrated (but massively ignorant) AMA adopts sweeping policies to cut gun violence

[Editor’s note: The AMA appears to have acted without conducting the research that would have been appropriate to warrant such drastic action. Not only has gun violence been decreasing in recent years, but gun ownership and gun homicides are inversely related. Most strikingly, the AMA seems to have bought–hook, link and sinker–the authenticity of reports about school shootings around the US, including Sandy Hook, Parkland and (most recently) Santa Fe, which have been exposed as events that were staged to promote the gun control agenda of the Democratic Party.]

CHICAGO (AP) — With frustration mounting over lawmakers’ inaction on gun control, the American Medical Association on Tuesday pressed for a ban on assault weapons and came out against arming teachers as a way to fight what it calls a public health crisis.
At its annual policy making meeting, the nation’s largest physicians group bowed to unprecedented demands from doctor-members to take a stronger stand on gun violence — a problem the organizations says is as menacing as a lethal infectious disease.

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The action comes against a backdrop of recurrent school shootings, everyday street violence in the nation’s inner cities, and rising U.S. suicide rates.
“We as physicians are the witnesses to the human toll of this disease,” Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency-medicine specialist at Brown University, said at the meeting.
AMA delegates voted to adopt several of nearly a dozen gun-related proposals presented by doctor groups that are part of the AMA’s membership. They agreed to:
— Support any bans on the purchase or possession of guns and ammunition by people under 21.
— Back laws that would require licensing and safety courses for gun owners and registration of all firearms.
— Press for legislation that would allow relatives of suicidal people or those who have threatened imminent violence to seek court-ordered removal of guns from the home.
— Encourage better training for physicians in how to recognize patients at risk for suicide.
— Push to eliminate loopholes in laws preventing the purchase or possession of guns by people found guilty of domestic violence, including expanding such measures to cover convicted stalkers.
Many AMA members are gun owners or supporters, including a doctor from Montana who told delegates of learning to shoot at a firing range in the basement of her middle school as part of gym class. But support for banning assault weapons was overwhelming, with the measure adopted in a 446-99 vote.

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“There’s a place to start and this should be it,” Dr. Jim Hinsdale, a San Jose, California, trauma surgeon, said before the vote.
Gun violence is not a new issue for the AMA; it has supported past efforts to ban assault weapons; declared gun violence a public health crisis; backed background checks, waiting periods and better funding for mental health services; and pressed for more research on gun violence prevention.
But Dr. David Barbe, whose one-year term as AMA president ended Tuesday, called the number of related measures on this year’s agenda extraordinary and said recent violence, including the Parkland, Florida, school shooting and the Las Vegas massacre, “spurred a new sense of urgency … while Congress fails to act.”
“It has been frustrating that we have seen so little action from either state or federal legislators,” he said. “The most important audience for our message right now is our legislators, and second most important is the public, because sometimes it requires public pressure on the legislators.”

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While it is no longer viewed as the unified voice of American medicine, the AMA has more clout with politicians and the public than other doctor groups. It counted more than 243,000 members in 2017, up slightly for the seventh straight year. But it represents less than one-quarter of the nation’s million-plus physicians.
The National Rifle Association didn’t immediately respond to email and phone requests for comment on the doctors’ votes.
AMA members cited U.S. government data showing almost 40,000 deaths by gun in 2016, including suicides, and nearly 111,000 gun injuries. Both have been rising in recent years.
By comparison, U.S. deaths from diabetes in 2016 totaled almost 80,000; Alzheimer’s, 111,000; and lung disease, 155,000. The leaders are heart disease, with 634,000 deaths in 2016, and cancer, about 600,000.

Jim Fetzer, a former Marine Corps officer, is McKnight Professor Emeritus on the Duluth Campus of the University of Minnesota and co-editor of

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2 thoughts on “Frustrated (but massively ignorant) AMA adopts sweeping policies to cut gun violence”

  1. Mexico is a shining example of the gun free Utopia. It's funny if guns are the trouble why was the homicide rate in the U.S. 0.7 – 1.2 per hundred thousand from around 1870 to 1902? That's like Prince Edward Island in Canada. Financial issues after the money trust collapse started the flat line rising. There were post war risings as well with what we call PTSD. The major rise was the narcotic epidemic. The graph looked like the debt curve almost. It's a good thing drugs are bad and universally available in virtually every school. That proves you can't ban anything because bans violate the law of supply and demand. They are emotional reactions to circumstances beyond understanding even by physicians who kill millions with prescription medications. The gun dear doctor is not the disease. It is the symptom of the disease. As long as to fight the symptom, you'll never cure the disease. The disease did not exist in the late 19th century. So we have to look at the world then and compare. I dare the social engineers altering society bear the brunt destroying the nuclear family and the moral absolutes of religious values. The greatest harm is the drug culture and the war on same. It comes as a surprise to physicians there are casualties in war. Portugal legalized drugs and put the narcotics traffickers out of business with a drop of something in the neighborhood of 70% in crime. The greatest insult to the physicians is that as scientists, they cannot use deductive reasoning or the scientific method to draw conclusions that are not based on either logic or reason. No wonder bloodletting and resistance to germ theory lasted as long as it did with the attendant loss of life.

  2. Hey Jim, I tried to enlighten a 20 year old from Indiana on school shootings. He said no one would say their kid died if it wasn't true. Want to talk about just falling off the pumpkin truck? His middle name should be changed to naive. I asked how much time he spent looking into the shooting at Sandy Hook? He seemed disturbed that I would ask such a question, it was obviously none. I hit him with the hardest fact no one can dispute and anyone can check. There are still zero murders listed for Newtown on the FBI's crime data base six long years after the crime. I checked it several times and it still lists zero. I asked our pumpkin truck rider how is that even possible? He looked a little more disturbed by that and said "I believe school shootings happen because no one would lie about losing loved ones". I could see just a little doubt creeping in. Then I asked him what an assault weapon was? and he had nothing. All he could manage was they were used in school shootings. I then said "did you know the anti-gun marchers were shown a photo lineup of a various guns and not one person could point out the only gun that could be considered an "assault" weapon. It was a kalashnokof AK-47 with banana clip. No one fingered the AK-47, but many pointed out a high tech 22 cal competition target rifle as the assault weapon. It looked all high tech and scary to people who don't know a thing about guns. How would you like to go into battle wth a .22 and the enemy had Kalashnikovs ? Pumpkin Boy got in his car and shut the door to get away from the uncomfortable facts…

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