Following the Orlando shooting, Dr. Stephen Hargarten, chair of emergency medicine at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, is working on convincing others gun violence is a “bio-social disease”.
“It is biological. Bullets rip through victims as we saw in a mass way in Orlando. It rips through victims on a daily basis in the United States,” Dr. Hargarten said.
The American Medical Association is now planning to lobby Congress for federal research dollars after they voted to ‘officially call gun violence a public health issue’.
“It is something that should be rigorously done. It should be peer reviewed. It should be done at the highest level — just like we would do with any other disease,” Dr. Hargarten said.
If the AMA thinks they’ll have more luck than the CDC had in making money off the publication of their gun control rhetoric, they need to pack a lunch, because the NRA will dig in for another fight.
When the CDC ramped up its requests for funding their firearms violence research in the 1990’s, the National Rifle Association successfully lobbied for an amendment to prevent the Centers for Disease Control from studying gun violence. As a result, their federal funding of ‘firearms injury prevention activities’ dropped from more than $2.7 million in 1995 to barely $100,000 by 2012, according to the CDC.
Since then, Obama has been doing his part to force the issue back into their hands. After Sandy Hook, Obama issued a presidential memorandum “directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.”
- Do background checks actually reduce gun violence?
- How often do Americans successfully use guns to protect themselves each year?
- What is the relationship between violence in video games and other media and “real-life” violence?
“What works to reduce gun violence is to make sure that criminals are prosecuted and those who have been found to be a danger to themselves or others don’t have access to firearms,” NRA’s Managing Director of Public Affairs Andrew Arulanandam told CNN in 2013. “Not to carry out more studies.”
Unfortunately, if gun violence is a ‘disease’ as Dr. Hargarten and the AMA believe, then the vaccination is gun safety education and the cure is criminal justice reform in conjunction with a strict adherence to the current gun laws and the penalties for breaking them.
But we all know that’s something we’re not going to see from these people until global warming freezes hell over.