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Report Suggests that Doctors are a Leading Cause of Death

Friday, May 13, 2016

Report Suggests that Doctors are a Leading Cause of Death

Groups claiming to speak for the medical profession have long criticized America’s gun culture in general and NRA in particular. Besides supporting an array of gun controls and suggesting that firearms do not belong in the same communities as children, the groups bewail limitations on the use of public funding for supposed “studies” that in reality are thinly-disguised advocacy pieces with preordained anti-gun conclusions. Even fictional doctors have been coopted into gun control efforts.

But a recent analysis by researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine published in BMJ shockingly concludes that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. (behind only heart disease and cancer), accounting for more than 250,000 fatalities a year. This is almost ten times the number of annual deaths attributable to firearms, including the some 20,000 that occur by suicide.

Perhaps even more ironically, the study (as an NPR report put it), “highlights how shortcomings in tracking vital statistics may hinder research and keep the problem out of the public eye.” According to the report, the coding system used by the Centers for Disease Control to record death certificate data “doesn't capture things like communication breakdowns, diagnostic errors and poor judgment that cost lives.” The lead author of the Johns Hopkins study, Dr. Martin Makary, claims that this deficit leads to a “vast underrecognition of the place of medical care as the cause of death,” which in turn, “informs all our national health priorities and our research grants.”

So even as doctors are reportedly making mistakes, killing hundreds of thousands of people as a result, and obscuring that fact with faulty data,
they’re pointing the finger at Second Amendment advocates for what their self-appointed spokespersons claim is an epidemic of gun violence. They also criticize Second Amendment supporters for being “anti-science” and supposedly trying to ”muzzle” doctor/patient communication.

That’s ironic, to say the least.

We recognize that medicine has a noble pedigree and purpose, and the miracles of modern healthcare generally lead to better lives for all Americans. Most of us have good relationships with our doctors and appreciate the excellent work they do to save and improve quality of life.

But as a frequent target of high-handed scorn from self-important physicians, we would simply reiterate a point we have made many times in the past. Doctors
should stay out of the firearm debate -- where they have little subject matter or public policy expertise to contribute -- and tend to their own business.

If the BMJ study has any validity,
there is plenty of room for improvement in their own hospitals and clinics, and the potential to save lives with reform in those contexts far outstrips the potential to save lives with politically-motivated gun control. We hope the BMJ study and the publicity it has generated will lead the medical profession to reexamine its priorities and focus inwardly to “first, do no harm,” before pointing the finger at NRA and others who are committed to protecting the Second Amendment. 

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Monday, September 20, 2021

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Long a slogan of defiance and independence, it is little wonder that the phrase “Come and take it” now finds itself falling into disfavor with a new generation of busybodies and penny-ante authoritarians. The latest ...

Harvard Researcher: About Half of New Gun Owners are Women

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Monday, September 20, 2021

Harvard Researcher: About Half of New Gun Owners are Women

In a blow to the tired stereotypes perpetuated by gun control supporters, a recent academic survey found broad diversity among recent first time gun buyers.

The State of Surveillance: California Cops and Social Media Monitoring

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Monday, September 20, 2021

The State of Surveillance: California Cops and Social Media Monitoring

Last year, the Brennan Center for Justice requested under California’s freedom of information law, that the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) provide records relating to the Department’s “social media monitoring” activities.

Virginia Attorney General Finds More Roving Gun-Free Zones

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Monday, September 20, 2021

Virginia Attorney General Finds More Roving Gun-Free Zones

The Virginia state government’s attacks on law-abiding gun owners continue apace. On September 1, Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) used his position to offer an expansive interpretation of statute that will create a confusing patchwork of ...

Virginia Shocker: Crime to Get Public Health Response, Not Police

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Monday, September 20, 2021

Virginia Shocker: Crime to Get Public Health Response, Not Police

The Mayor of Richmond rejected a plan to reduce violence by focusing on gangs, instead prioritizing a costly “public health” approach that conflicts with the reality on the ground.

Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

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Sunday, August 22, 2021

Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

The Biden Administration’s Department of State announced that it will soon prohibit the importation of Russian ammunition into the United States. According to a release on the Department of State’s website, “[n]ew and pending permit applications ...

The Second Amendment Now Comes with Government-Issued “Harmful Language Alert”

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Monday, September 13, 2021

The Second Amendment Now Comes with Government-Issued “Harmful Language Alert”

The absurdity and dysfunction of the Biden Administration have become so pervasive that it’s easy to become numb to it all. But some things it does are still so outrageous and inconceivable – touching on ...

Biden Reiterates Call to Ban 9mm Handguns

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Monday, July 26, 2021

Biden Reiterates Call to Ban 9mm Handguns

During a July 21 CNN “presidential town hall,” Joe Biden expressed his support for a ban on commonly-owned handguns. Responding to a question about the recent increase in violent crime, the career politician stated,

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Michigan: Committee Hearing CPL Reform Bill

Friday, September 17, 2021

Michigan: Committee Hearing CPL Reform Bill

On Tuesday, September 21st, the House Judiciary Committee is hearing House Bill 4003, to reduce the penalty for law-abiding citizens who forget to renew their Concealed Pistol License in certain instances.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.