Prevent 1/3 of young gun deaths without taking away a single gun

❝ In 2015, more than 1,100 young people died by suicide or by accident because of a gun. New research suggests that almost one-third of those deaths could be prevented by simply locking up guns in the home.

“The take-home message from the findings of the study is that even a relatively modest increase in the practice of safe storage by parents could result in substantial reductions in firearm suicides and unintentional fatalities among youth,” says Michael Monuteaux, a Harvard Medical School professor of pediatrics and epidemiologist who is the first author of the new study…

❝ To make that estimate, the researchers designed a model based on the only existing American case study to specifically look at the effect gun storage has on young people, which is from 2005. Using that study’s conclusions on how effective gun storage can be, they estimated how many fewer injuries and deaths by suicide or accident in youths would have occurred in 2015, had more parents followed safe gun storage procedures.

They ran the simulation more than a thousand times in order to get a sense of the range of protectiveness that would be offered by different levels of buy-in from parents…

They had to hunt carefully for data on gun violence that didn’t violate the 1996 Dickey Dickhead Amendment, which states that no government funding for injury prevention can be used to “advocate for gun control.”

American Medical Association takes a stand against gun violence


Jim Watson/AFP

❝ With frustration mounting over lawmakers’ inaction on gun control, the American Medical Association on Tuesday pressed for a ban on assault weapons and came out against arming teachers as a way to fight what it calls a public health crisis.

At its annual policymaking meeting, the nation’s largest physicians group bowed to unprecedented demands from doctor-members to take a stronger stand on gun violence — a problem the organizations says is as menacing as a lethal infectious disease.

The action comes against a backdrop of recurrent school shootings, everyday street violence in the nation’s inner cities, and rising U.S. suicide rates.

❝ “We as physicians are the witnesses to the human toll of this disease,” Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency-medicine specialist at Brown University, said at the meeting.

RTFA. Nice to see a leading body of successful, well-educated professionals stand in responsible commitment to fighting a social disaster. Ain’t always the case.

3-year-old finds dad’s gun and you know what happened next


Same as it ever was

The 3-year-old was sitting on a stool behind the counter near the cash register while his father, the owner of a small convenience store in North Carolina, chatted with a customer on Sunday.

Suddenly a shot rang out, and the owner, Manal Abdelaziz, 56, turned and saw his son, Manal, lying on the floor.

Manal, who was nicknamed Cash, had found a 9-millimeter handgun that was kept in the store for protection, and fatally shot himself.

“All we heard is something happening, and I look: Oh my God, my son is on the floor,” Mr. Abdelaziz told a local television station, WMBF. They called 911. “Help comes, but it was late,” the store owner said. “It happened quick…”

The shooting took place at the Brother’s Minit Store in Lumberton, N.C., a small city of more than 21,000 people about 95 miles south of Raleigh. Brother’s Minit is the kind of store where customers are known by name and can stop in for everything from cellphone covers to tobacco and snacks.

But the events that unfolded there just before 11 a.m. Sunday touched a nerve far beyond the region, reflecting a growing concern around the country about gun violence, particularly involving children. Many of the shootings happen when young people pick up and play with guns they find in stores, cars or residences…

The Trace, a website that compiles national statistics in its Gun Violence Archive, said there were 692 incidents of children age 11 years or younger killed or injured by gunfire in 2015, up from 628 in 2014.<

RTFA for the sad comments we know too well. All part of a culture that considers the anarchy of self-righteousness more important than the safety of children.

American College of Physicians builds coalition against gun violence

NRA Paranoid

Every time a physician treats a gunshot victim he or she should develop a discharge plan that includes a mental health evaluation and counseling as needed.

Failing to do so is practicing bad medicine, said JudyAnn Bigby, MD, former secretary of Health and Human Services of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Bigby, who spoke at an American College of Physicians press briefing on gun violence, noted that it is standard medical practice for physicians to refer “attempted suicides for mental health evaluation,” yet common practice for gunshot victims is to “patch them up, and send them home.”

The ACP was promoting its coalition of 36 medical, legal, and community organizations, all of which have now signed on to a document titled “Firearm-Related Injury and Death in the United States: A Call to Action from 8 Health Professional Organizations and the American Bar Association.”

The 28 new co-signers, which include the American Academy of Neurology, the American College of Chest Physicians, and the American Psychological Association, added their names after the statement was published in February 2015. The original eight-member coalition included the ACP and the ABA as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Surgeons, American Psychiatric Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, and American Public Health Association…

Asked about next steps, ACP Executive Vice President Steven Weinberger said the coalition wants a public health campaign similar to campaigns used to curb drunk driving in order to build public support.

MedPage Today asked if the coalition sought a meeting with the National Rifle Association. Weinberger replied it had not, noting that the NRA did not appear to be interested in a “professional discussion.” He added, “When the original paper came out, they [the NRA] posted something on their website that was an acknowledgement but not a respectful analysis.”

Weinberger also pointed to the NRA’s efforts to block the nomination of Vivek Murthy, MD, as U.S. Surgeon General “because Dr. Murthy said gun violence was a public health concern…”

Another major problem, Bigby said, was the ease with which mentally ill patients had access to guns but did not have access to good mental health services. “This population, these people are the most severely mentally ill patients — they are the canaries in the mine for mental health care. If, as a society, we can’t get care for them, how can we address care for the large population of less severely ill patients?”

Way too rational for American politicians or gun profit-pimps like the NRA.

Surveys affirm, again and again, that Americans in general understand the good sense in programs like this – and wish to have sound regulation of access to firearms. Between ethically-corrupt groups like the NRA and cowardly elected officials, the need for professional organizations like the ACP to step in with broad political and social action only increases.

Guns with history

Overdue. And the gun nutballs, the NRA, the folks who absolve themselves of any responsibility about gun safety – are crapping their tidy whities.

The folks who produced this PSA had a representative of the NYPD on the scene for the whole production, they used prop guns. They also told the truth about gun deaths that could have been prevented if paranoids didn’t have a lobby big enough to scare admittedly chicken-hearted politicians.

Speaking as someone who has been a gun owner for 60 years – Go get ’em, folks! Gun sense starts with gun safety, human safety – not rightwing paranoia.

Fearing for his store, defying death threats, embattled gun dealer sleeps there


Brutus – and Andy Raymond

After word spread that his Rockville store would sell the nation’s first smart gun — infuriating gun rights activists who fear more regulation — Andy Raymond’s phone and e-mail inbox went absolutely berserk…

That’s because gun rights advocates think the guns will be mandated. Electronic chips in the Armatix iP1 can communicate with a watch that can be bought separately. Then the gun cannot be fired without the watch.

Somebody told one of Raymond’s workers that the store, Engage Armament, wouldn’t be selling the gun because there wouldn’t be a store — it will burn down.

Followed by death threats.

Even the store’s dog Brutus did not escape the vitriol.

Raymond was clearly shaken, and late Thursday night, he released a video saying he wouldn’t sell the gun and apologized for messing up. He also wrote a message on his Facebook page: “You call me and email me and threaten my life? You come at me, my girlfriend, or my god damned DOG I will put one in your dome. I promise you.”

And then he decided to sleep at the store. He stayed til 3 a.m., then went home, and then came back at 6 a.m. to stand guard….

…“I can’t have my shop burned down. I don’t think somebody is gonna come shoot me, but somebody could burn down my shop while I’m not here.”

The dementia of gun nuts vs ordinary lifelong gun owners, hunters, hobbyists, etc. is now out in the open.

I come from a family where three generations worked in the firearms industry – from managing one of the largest firearms factories in the United States to lead prototype gunsmithing for both civilian and military design for decades. No one in my family would advocate the violence of these nutballs threatening Mr. Raymond.

I’ve owned handguns, rifles and shotguns for over sixty years – and I’m embarrassed because someone might count me in alongside these paranoid fools.

They deserve nothing less than contempt – and maybe institutional care.

Study finds Americans safe from gun violence except in schools, malls, airports, movie theatres, workplaces, streets, their homes

A new study released today indicates that Americans are safe from the threat of gun violence except in schools, malls, airports, movie theatres, workplaces, streets, and their own homes.

Also: highways, turnpikes, libraries, places of worship, parks, universities, restaurants, post offices, and cars.

Plus: driveways, garages, gyms, stores, military bases—and a host of other buildings, structures, and sites.

National Rifle Association C.E.O. Wayne LaPierre applauded the study, saying that it reinforced his organization’s long-held position that the United States does not need additional gun laws. “This study makes it abundantly clear that Americans are in no danger of gun violence except in these isolated four hundred and thirteen places,” he said.

He added that he hoped that the study would spark a conversation “about the root cause of mass shootings: people who recklessly show up at places where they could be shot at.”

I truly enjoy folks with a sarcastic sense of humor.

Thanks, Barry Ritholtz