Paranoid gun worshipers jeopardizing public health

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Ask any cop or medical professional and they will tell you that gun violence is a health care epidemic in this country. And it is not just suicides, accidental shootings and intentional shootings, but the use of guns to threaten and intimidate in cases of domestic violence, and other instances of assault and battery.

The NRA convinced members of Congress to prohibit any federally funded research into gun violence as a health care issue back in the 1990s. Willful ignorance allows the NRA and the weapons manufacturers it represents in Congress to argue in the abstract because they have prevented the collection of any hard scientific data for this health care epidemic. It is easy to argue that "there is no evidence" when one has prevented scientific research into the empirical evidence.

When President Obama announced his gun violence policies recently Gun Violence Fact Sheet (.pdf), it included this provision:

PRESERVE THE RIGHTS OF DOCTORS TO PROTECT THEIR PATIENTS AND COMMUNITIES FROM GUN VIOLENCE: Doctors and other mental health professionals play an important role in protecting the safety of their patients and the broader community. The administration is clarifying that no federal law in any way prohibits doctors or other health care providers from reporting their patients' threats of violence to the authorities, and issuing guidance making clear that the Affordable Care Act does not prevent doctors from talking to patients about gun safety.

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued this statement, AAP Statement on President Obama’s Gun Violence Prevention Recommendations

“The nation’s pediatricians applaud President Obama for his leadership in the wake of the recent violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The President’s federal policy recommendations today represent the necessary national commitment to addressing gun violence prevention and mental health access in a comprehensive, meaningful way. We are pleased that the President accepted AAP recommendations provided during our Jan. 3 meeting with the White House Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention.

“Among other proposals, the President took action to direct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies to research the causes and prevention of gun violence and to clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors from asking their patients about guns in the home. In addition, the Academy is pleased with the administration’s new national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign. These are meaningful steps that will improve the safety of the nation’s children…"

Enter the paranoid gun worshipers who see medical research into gun violence and doctors treating their patients as a conspiracy by the Obama administration to compile a "gun owner registry" for a "guvmint comin' to take away your guns!"

What really pisses me off is that this is the framing that our feckless media villagers give to reporting on these paranoid delusional fantasies. Here is an example from the Arizona Capitol Times reporting on "Fast Eddy" Farnsworth's bill in the Arizona legislature. House committee passes bill to ban gun owner databases:

The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would expand the state’s law prohibiting cities from keeping databases of gun-related transactions to include firearm ownership as well.

Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, the committee’s chairman and the sponsor of the bill, said HB 2326 was largely meant to keep doctors from compiling databases of patients who own firearms, which could be turned over to the federal government. Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, said the bill was inspired by President Obama’s recent comments that his Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors from asking patients if they keep guns in their homes.

“This won’t stop them from asking the question, but they can’t collect a database that can be handed over to the government and then have a database that says here’s a list of people who own firearms,” Farnsworth said.

Arizona law already prohibits political subdivisions of the state from compiling databases of sales, purchases or transfers of firearms. Farnsworth said his bill would simply expand that prohibition to protect gun owners.

“This simply is going to expand what we’ve already done in this state saying that the transaction of buying and selling guns, we cannot maintain a database. And now we’re saying if you own a gun, you can’t maintain a database as a political subdivision,” he said.

The committee passed the bill 6-2, with Democratic Reps. Albert Hale and Martin Quezada voting against it. Rep. Lupe Contreras, D-Avondale, was the only Democrat to join Republicans John Allen, Farnsworth, Doris Goodale, Ethan Orr and Justin Pierce in voting for the measure.

There is nothing in President Obama's policy that even remotely suggests a "gun owner registry." This is typical NRA fear mongering to distract from the real issue at hand, a gun violence health care epidemic in this country, and the NRA's objection to any scientific research and the collection of empirical data into gun violence as a health care epidemic. This would not identify specific gun owners — this is not in the purview of the medical research. This is about maintaining willful ignorance and engaging in fear mongering. Something at which "Fast Eddy" Farnsworth and his ilk excel.

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