From the Arizona Central website-
Doctors target gun violence as a social disease
Is a gun like a virus, a car, tobacco or alcohol? Yes say public health experts, who in the wake of recent mass shootings are calling for a fresh look at gun violence as a social disease.
What we need, they say, is a public health approach to the problem, like the highway safety measures, product changes and driving laws that slashed deaths from car crashes decades ago, even as the number of vehicles on the road rose.
One example: Guardrails are now curved to the ground instead of having sharp metal ends that stick out and pose a hazard in a crash.
“People used to spear themselves and we blamed the drivers for that,” said Dr. Garen Wintemute, an emergency medicine professor who directs the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis.
It wasn’t enough back then to curb deaths just by trying to make people better drivers, and it isn’t enough now to tackle gun violence by focusing solely on the people doing the shooting, he and other doctors say.
They want a science-based, pragmatic approach based on the reality that we live in a society saturated with guns and need better ways of preventing harm from them.
That’s just one aspect of a public health approach. Other elements:
–“Host” factors: What makes someone more likely to shoot, or someone more likely to be a victim. One recent study found firearm owners were more likely than those with no firearms at home to binge drink or to drink and drive, and other research has tied alcohol and gun violence. That suggests that people with driving under the influence convictions should be barred from buying a gun, Wintemute said.
Say what??? Binge drink if you’re a gun owner??? Drink and drive if you’re a gun owner???
–Product features: Which firearms are most dangerous and why. Manufacturers could be pressured to fix design defects that let guns go off accidentally, and to add technology that allows only the owner of the gun to fire it (many police officers and others are shot with their own weapons). Bans on assault weapons and multiple magazines that allow rapid and repeat firing are other possible steps.
Umm… Hasn’t that already happened??? And how many actually HAVE been shot with their own weapons??? Numbers??? and a ban on more than one magazine per weapon???
–“Environmental” risk factors: What conditions allow or contribute to shootings. Gun shops must do background checks and refuse to sell firearms to people convicted of felonies or domestic violence misdemeanors, but those convicted of other violent misdemeanors can buy whatever they want. The rules also don’t apply to private sales, which one study estimates as 40 percent of the market.
Again where did these numbers come from???
–Disease patterns, observing how a problem spreads. Gun ownership — a precursor to gun violence — can spread “much like an infectious disease circulates,” said Daniel Webster, a health policy expert and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research in Baltimore.
Say WHAT??? If it’s a disease, then ever military man should be killing everybody they can shoot as they get older!!!
“There’s sort of a contagion phenomenon” after a shooting, where people feel they need to have a gun for protection or retaliation, he said.
Umm… Maybe because they might NEED it???
That’s already evident in the wake of the Colorado movie-theater shootings. Last week, reports popped up around the nation of people bringing guns to “Batman” movies. Some of them said they did so for protection.