AMA's Embrace Of Background Check Bill Is Bad Medicine

With Joe Biden prepping his first executive orders on gun control, which are expected to be unveiled on Thursday, we can expect a renewed push as well for the Senate to take up the pair of background check bills that were approved the House a few weeks ago. That means another round of op-eds and public statements from anti-gun politicians who’ll falsely claim that H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446 are simple “common sense gun safety regulations,” as opposed to attempts to criminalize common transfers of privately-owned firearms.

On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, Dr. Robert Young of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership joins me to talk about one such attempt to influence the debate: a new letter from Dr. James Madara, the executive vice president and CEO of the American Medical Association that offers his full-throated support for the idea of universal background checks on firearm transfers.

In the letter, Madara calls the proposal a “commonsense” piece of legislation that provides “reasonable exceptions for law enforcement and family and friend transfers,” while claiming without any evidence whatsoever that the passage of H.R. would “lessen gun violence and save lives.”

Given the fact that there’s no way to proactively enforce the ban on private transfers of firearms, Dr. Young says he doesn’t believe the gun control bill would make much of a difference at all in terms of public safety. Young also says that Madara’s letter is just the latest in a long line of attempts by the AMA to push itself into the gun control debate, and he believes there’s a longstanding hostility towards the very idea of gun ownership within the organization.

As Dr. Young points out, however, the vast majority of physicians in the U.S. aren’t members of the American Medical Association, and the organization doesn’t even speak for all of its members when it sounds off in favor of creating new criminal offenses out of the right to keep and bear arms.

Young also takes issue with the group targeting legal gun owners when he says there’s much work to be done in the medical community in terms of preventing deaths. While there are no hard numbers on how many deaths in the country are due to medical mistakes, a number of studies have suggested that as many as 250,000 deaths each year can be attributed to preventable mistakes by healthcare workers, including physicians (a more recent study by Yale concluded that the number is around 22,000 deaths per year, which is still far higher than the total number of homicides in the country). Rather than virtue signal their wokeness about gun control, Young says these physicians need to heal their own industry instead.

Be sure to check out our entire conversation in the video window above, which also includes some discussion about a better way to approach the issue of background checks on private firearm transfers entirely; one that doesn’t involve turning someone into a criminal for selling a gun to their neighbor without driving for miles and forking over cash to a federally licensed firearms dealer who’s willing to run the background check. There’s nothing stopping the American Medical Association from endorsing an approach that doesn’t try to turn legal gun owners into criminals, but the group apparently is more interested in putting more people in prison for an invented crime instead of empowering them to have access to the NICS system when they have doubts or concerns about a potential buyer.


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