This time for sure.
The American Medical Association is taking on gun affirmers and they are serious about it.
CHICAGO – In the wake of the worst mass shooting in American history and with more than 6,000 deaths already in 2016 from gun violence, the American Medical Association (AMA) today adopted policy calling gun violence in the United States “a public health crisis” requiring a comprehensive public health response and solution. Additionally, at the Annual Meeting of its House of Delegates, the AMA resolved to actively lobby Congress to overturn legislation that for 20 years has prohibited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from researching gun violence.
Please re-read that statement and make sure you understand the TACT the AMA wants to hit. It’s not about anything related to any policy change that they think would reduce mortality and morbidity, but rather the TACT is . . . “researching gun violence.” In other words, the AMA wants more money so their members can do research. Of course, you cannot randomly assign Other Guys to guns versus not guns or some guns or whatever, so this will be observational research. You can imagine where the Harvard School of Public Health stands on this.
So far, so good, but then this. Again, read carefully.
“With approximately 30,000 men, women and children dying each year at the barrel of a gun in elementary schools, movie theaters, workplaces, houses of worship and on live television, the United States faces a public health crisis of gun violence,” said AMA President Steven J. Stack, M.D. “Even as America faces a crisis unrivaled in any other developed country, the Congress prohibits the CDC from conducting the very research that would help us understand the problems associated with gun violence and determine how to reduce the high rate of firearm-related deaths and injuries. An epidemiological analysis of gun violence is vital so physicians and other health providers, law enforcement, and society at large may be able to prevent injury, death and other harms to society resulting from firearms.”
Even allowing for PR round off, there’s no way that annually 30,000 Americans are getting shot to death in “elementary schools, movie theaters, workplaces, houses of worship and on live television.” We’ve seen this kind of innumeracy on guns before from smart guys who want your money to do research. Most of those 30,000 gun deaths are from suicide (about 20,000) and criminal acts of murder (about 10,000). Other Guys deliberately misuse a gun to hurt themselves or others. And most of this isn’t happening at your local Cineplex or school.
And, keep thinking. The AMA wants more money to collect data that would help law enforcement agencies. Hey, kids, the FBI is already doing that. That’s the basis for most of what we already know about guns and death.
Worse than the vampiring for money is the pedestrian persuasion play here of stepping into somebody else’s spotlight. The AMA made this announcement two days after the mass shooting in Orlando, FL. Please read the Gun Control Case Study. Waiting for disaster is not an effective persuasion play.
The good persuasion news is that the AMA brand looks caring, involved, maybe even, outraged and they will make your world a better place. Just give them more of your money to duplicate what other people are already doing and the AMA will save you. And, if that persuasion doesn’t work with the Orlando mass shooting, you can be sure the next time a disaster like that happens, the AMA will step into that spotlight and play again.