“We live in a society saturated with guns and need better ways of preventing harm from them,” says a doctor who believes the federal government must take a “public health” approach to gun ownership in the United States.


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Dr. Garen Wintemute, director of the University of California’s Violence Prevention Research Program likens the dangers inherent in owning a gun to those involved in driving a car. “Highway safety measures, product changes and driving laws…slashed deaths from car crashes decades ago…” says the doctor. And just as it “…wasn’t enough…to curb [highway] deaths by trying to make people better drivers…it isn’t enough to tackle gun violence by focusing on the people doing the shooting.”

Rather, in the public health approach to “treating” gun violence, it must be understood that gun ownership itself is a “precursor” to that violence. It therefore becomes the role of science to forbid the sale of firearms to the “wrong sort”—that is, those most likely to engage in gun violence– by determining who that wrong sort is likely to be!

For example, one study found “…firearm owners were more likely than those with no firearms at home to binge drink or to drink and drive…” And as another study found that gun violence and alcohol are sometimes tied together, it becomes obvious that “…people with driving under the influence convictions should be barred from buying a gun.”

Also, according to health policy expert Daniel Webster, gun ownership “…can spread ‘much like an infectious disease circulates.’” ”‘There’s sort of a contagion phenomenon’ after a shooting,” continued Webster, “where people feel they need to have a gun for protection or retaliation.” This behavior reveals itself in the sudden, widespread purchase of firearms after multiple killings or the election of politicians believed a threat to the 2nd Amendment protected rights of American citizens.


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It’s therefore likely that believers in the public health approach might occasionally prohibit the sale of firearms for some predetermined amount of time—a cooling off period—so as to allow wiser and clearer heads to prevail!

Naturally, the products most responsible for gun violence must not be ignored. Manufacturers would have to make certain that guns do not go off accidentally and that only the legal owner would be able to fire the weapon. Assault weapons and high capacity magazines would of course be banned.

So rather than focus the efforts of law enforcement on criminals, these masters of societal improvement suggest that a properly caring government should control the purchase of guns by pre-determining who the future criminals are likely to be; permit the American public to buy guns only when the time seems appropriate and allow only the purchase of those weapons considered safe enough to own!

No doubt there are many more “public health” features which would make any concerns about self-defense quite unnecessary by scientifically guaranteeing that only the right people may own nothing but the safest of firearms.

The mind of the left–there is no ground more fertile for unconditional lunacy.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.


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