The Most Epic Response to the #ThisIsMyLane Battle Between Physicians and the NRA

Authors Columns This Week Will Dabbs
The Most Epic Response to the #ThisIsMyLane Battle Between Physicians and the NRA

Gun violence is the result of bad behavior. Physicians inevitably have to clean up the mess. (Photo: Dr. Dabbs)

(Editor’s note: This is Dr. Dabbs’ response to the ongoing battle between the National Rifle Association and various medical professionals from around the country.  It all started when the NRA told “anti-gun doctors” to “stay in their lane” (see tweet below).  Outraged by the implication that a degree in medicine does not make one an expert on firearms and effective policies to reduce violence, doctors who generally support tougher gun laws started weighing in on Twitter using the hashtag #ThisIsMyLane. Given that Dr. Dabbs is both a medical professional and a firearms enthusiast we figured he’d be able to lend some perspective that is lacking in the current discussion.)

There is an ancient Indian proverb about blind men encountering an elephant. One grasps the trunk and thinks it a snake. Another mistakes the leg for a tree. A third assumes the trunk is a spear, while yet another declares the tail a rope. The moral is that valid conclusions cannot be drawn without context. The same can be said of gun violence.

I no longer work in an urban ER, but I served my time. I have had to leave my blood-soaked sneakers in the garage so the dog wouldn’t chew on them, and I have told grieving moms that their young men were gone. However, most but not all of the gunshot wounds I encountered in the ER were thug on thug. If you really want to impact the problem then deal with the underlying causes. Shrieking about the tools is like treating a pneumothorax with a Band-Aid.

Gun ownership is essentially nonexistent in the UK, so London is experiencing a gory epidemic of knife violence. You cannot legally buy a firearm in Chicago, yet the place is a war zone. The lamentable reality is that there are no legislative remedies to gun violence. If indeed the point is to save lives then we need to accept that reality.

The Most Epic Response to the #ThisIsMyLane Battle Between Physicians and the NRA

21st century Americans are not innately superior to 1940’s-era Germans. Ausch-witz would be a quaint though unremarkable Polish village today if Germany’s Jews had been in possession of 10,000 AR15 rifles in 1936. (Photo: Wikipedia)

The Cold Hard Numbers

There are nearly 400 million guns in America. Between 3 and 20 million of those guns resemble military rifles. If we outlawed all private gun ownership tomorrow and punished violators with death then well-armed criminals would remain a menace a century from now.

The legislative gun control ship has sailed. The horse is out of the barn. The cat is out of the bag.

Gun control by governmental fiat could have worked in 1940. In the 21st century it is a mathematical impossibility. I hate cancer, but acting like cancer is not real does not make it go away.

The World Has Changed

The Most Epic Response to the #ThisIsMyLane Battle Between Physicians and the NRA

The detritus of gun violence in American hospitals is absolutely heartrending. However, as a society we seem unwilling to embrace the root causes of the problem. (Photo: Piron Guillaume/Unsplash)

The limiting reagent in every single mass shooting in America is the time it takes to get a good person with a gun into the fight. I wish that wasn’t the case, but it is. The Israelis figured that out and learned to cope. We have not.

I was a soldier before I was a physician. Most of my well-intentioned medical colleagues have never known a world without laws, structure, and civilization. The only thing worse than school shootings is six million dead Jews. America needs private ownership of firearms as a hedge against tyranny today more than we did in 1776.

We are never more than one personality away from despotism. President Obama said, “I have a pen, and I have a phone” when our constitutional system of government did not give him what he wanted. President Trump opined, “I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” I don’t frankly trust either of them.

This deep into the Information Age the government wields unimaginable power. The only thing that guarantees the freedom of future Americans is privately owned firearms. We have systematically deconstructed the family, men have forgotten how to be fathers, and we daily ogle murder, rape, and butchery thinking it entertainment. Is it really so surprising that our children shoot each other?

If saving lives really is the goal then meaningful social reform, not ineffective legislative placebos, is the answer. Do we care enough about children to admit that they need dads? Will easier access to marijuana really make things better? The status quo is insanity. If we are serious about solving society’s problems we should treat the disease rather than the symptoms.

The Most Epic Response to the #ThisIsMyLane Battle Between Physicians and the NRA

Blaming guns for society’s ills is easy but fruitless. Addressing the underlying causes is politically suicidal but can legitimately save lives. (Photo: Samantha Sophia/Unsplash)

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  • mikeM November 20, 2018, 9:53 pm

    Analyzing medical death rate data over an eight-year period, NONE OTHER than the Prestigious Johns Hopkins patient safety experts have calculated that MORE THAN 250,000 DEATHS PER YEAR are due to medical error in the U.S. Their figure, published May 3 in The BMJ, surpasses the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) third leading …May 3, 2016!!!!!!!
    NOW here’s the REST OF THE STORY;
    Gun violence in the United States results in tens of thousands of deaths and injuries annually. In 2013, there were 73,505 nonfatal firearm injuries (23.2 injuries per 100,000 persons), and, you READY????—-HERE IT COMES——-, ONLY 33,636 DEATHS DUE TO “INJURY BY FIREARMS” (10.6 deaths per 100,000 persons).


    • Willie-O May 22, 2019, 10:25 am

      Preach on brother. Amen. Sadly, you included several things that will prevent those on the left from hearing today’s sermon – namely FACTS. When you counter their hysterical, emotion-driven rhetoric with factual information, they will simply get more hysterical and emotional. They have no time or use for facts or common sense.

    • Darcie October 12, 2019, 9:12 am

      Well said.

  • andy November 17, 2018, 10:01 am

    Too many of my posts are censored by this GunsAmerica site… just want to get that out there.

    I get that solutions for some things are impossible because we didn’t know enough a hundred years ago or so. I think gun control in the 1940s would have been as effective as prohibition… but that is my opinion and i can’t go back in time to do a study.

    Why aren’t we talking about the real problem? The radical left democrats that would rather have all gun owners dead than alive, however, they would still demand that police treat the armed criminal with great care. They will still ask, “why did you have to shoot him?” as he skips around in a zig zag pattern not knowing what direction he will launch next… oh… or SHE… how dare I not include the females, who have been known to stab cops… 300lb females at that, referring to an incident when I was growing up in NYC. But why did they have to shoot her?

    The real problem is radical leftists. They are using this issue as a weapon against what I call True America… which has nothing to do with race or ethnicity but operates on such simple common sense that it might offend some people if I try to explain it. But more to the point, the radical leftists are trying to get gun control pushed into the minds of the weak so they could reproduce and instill gun control in the minds of their inherently weak children. Causing veterans and gun owners to fear going to the doctor because it might lead to their gun rights being targeted is not considered health-care suppression. But if you demand that someone present an ID to vote, in the same manner they present it to apply for their food stamps and welfare and OBAMAphone, well, that i is considered VOTER SUPPRESSION, VOTER INTIMIDATION. One proves who you are so you can prevent voter fraud, and the other infects the minds of the weak to intentionally cast a stigma about gun owners who might need medical attention.

    So what is the real problem with this whole issue? Is it really that doctors should stay in their lane? Do you honestly think that there is a single demagogue out there, pushing this as their agenda, doesn’t already know that this is wrong? They know better… this is an ideology, plain and simple. The same way they were pushing propaganda in Germany about how the Jews were dogs and should be annihilated… do you think those people working on that propaganda and enforcing the Final Solution came up with the idea to help out and take part because they thought about it carefully and weighed all the pro’s and con’s to persecute or not persecute, to kill or not to kill? No… it was taught… it was learned. The democrats and radical leftists are using this psychology of slow walking time bomb issues on our own American people. And we always say, year after year, “you couldn’t make this idiocy and lunacy up if you tried” referring to Obama’s last year that was mostly spent on demanding the right of Transgendered Students to go pee pee in the bathroom of their choice. Well we had 8 years of idiocy and lunacy and it hurt and weakened our military more than al Qaeda and any terrorist organization could have dreamed of. Obama and the democrats took delight in it and didn’t think the destruction they wreaked on our military was even enough.

    So back to, are doctors that can’t stay in their lane the real problem? What about school administrators, teachers, who are even the target of the most sensational shootings over the past 10 years? You can’t even get a human being that survives a mass shooting that has been infected with democrat and radical leftist propaganda to concede that they would have rather had people with guns on site to respond to the gunman. Instead you have these stupid radically infected drones passing legislation to even further ban guns so that the CRAZY idea of having an armed teacher in a classroom or two to defend the children can’t be implemented. Can you even make up this lunacy on your own? Why even have Cops ANYWHERE? I get distressed thinking about, will there be a day when I am that stupid to think that armed guards or armed teachers ON SITE will be a bad idea. Will I ever be that stupid… I hope not.

    This psychological warfare that has been used to disarm populations to help facilitate their ultimate goals of total control are being slow walked in some areas of the US and they are in full force in other areas. And you can mostly tell these areas by the incredibly high crime rate… yes… the democrat led urban areas… big surprise. I would argue that these radical leftists believe gun control is necessary in these areas to help protect their voters, rather than to protect the law abiding citizens. But by all means censor my post… I am ridiculous.

  • Vic November 17, 2018, 8:55 am

    Was Mengele a doctor?

    • Chris Baker November 17, 2018, 12:25 pm


  • Terry November 17, 2018, 7:29 am

    I am not a physician but I worked the streets for 25 years as a paramedic. The remainder of my career was spent as a Registered Nurse in emergency departments. I am also a war veteran. I have seen the human body murdered and mangled in most every conceivable way. I am also a multi-gun owner and proud supporter of the 2nd Ammendment. In this country we have got to stop taking the easy route, blaming an inanimate object, and start treating the underlying causes.

    • andy November 17, 2018, 11:35 am

      The problem is that people who have succeeded in getting gun control into the daily business of medicine, could not care less about real underlying issues. All these underlying issues fall at the feet of failed democrat policies that have undermined common sense solutions.

      What they did in succeeding with this form of gun control is the same as getting the environmentalist to blame republicans for all the forest fires in California as they are taught that the lands must be protected from greedy republicans trying to make a buck… like the contractors that would be hired to conduct sensible forest management of the dead fall. This is what they are taught. So they get some stupid kid in college that makes this their sole life’s mission, (at least till they discover Vaping), the way they now want to infect the minds of liberal leaning doctors that might somehow get a teeny bit of praise from a co worker or demagogue pushing this agenda. You give these weak minded people any praise whatsoever and it becomes a drug. They need more, they need to do more. And if they access the part of their brain that might have some REASON left, they will be disappointed to find out that the circles they run in, and are surrounded by, not only have no interest in whatever reason is left in their head, but will actually now consider them THE ENEMY for simply raising a common sense thought… “well, maybe they should have thinned out these areas a long time ago, maybe this fire would not have wrought so much death and devastation?”. NO… they are trained not to have any common sense sound waves utter out of their mouth. They learn this by tolerating this and not being able to say anything sensible. I grew up with these people in my family and they still think the same way with their stupid pink hats. They love higher taxes cause it will ensure their safe suburb stays safe from the ghetto people. Higher taxes is an investment to the successful leftists, it is like a supplement to their ADT systems.

      Anyway, the underlying solutions are well thought of by these people and they have their trained responses to them and ultimately, after they utter their dumb counter response, you are quickly condemned for not realizing that simply banning and confiscating all guns from law abiding citizens is not the answer.

  • Nicholas Loux November 16, 2018, 10:00 pm

    If one is interested in minimizing preventable deaths in the US, then one might consider that although there are approximately 10,000 US homicides per year, there are an estimated 300,000 US annual deaths from medical mistakes per year.

    Clearly, preventing deaths from medical mistakes would potentially be 30 times more effective than preventing deaths from homicides.

    • andy November 17, 2018, 11:41 am

      Thanks for that info. That is an amazing number.

      Something tells me that Giffords and her retarded and retired astronaut husband and Al Sharpton will not focus one millisecond on preventing any of those deaths.

  • DocLoch November 16, 2018, 7:24 pm

    Until Medicine gets it’s head in the game they need to keep their heads low as they are the 3rd leading cause of ALL DEATH in the US. At 442,000 deaths by medical error ALONE, they are not even in the same ball-park with guns. Guns don’t kill people DOCTORS DO!

    • adam koltun November 18, 2018, 12:26 am

      you cant just be posting facts here bro

  • Alex E. Acle, M. D. November 16, 2018, 5:12 pm

    Gentlemen, I have been an Emergency Physician for just about 35 years now… all my colleagues are pro-Second Amendment. Don’t be fooled by the vocal minority. Most of us are Patriots, not fools. I am proudly a life member of the NRA and my local militia, as well as Oath Keepers. I support many pro-gun groups such as SAF, GOA, CALGUNS, DRGO, etc. I will not be disarmed… PERIOD. We owe it to the next generation to fight any and all who wish to in any way repeal or limit the Second Amendment. An unarmed man is a victim waiting to happen.

    • adam koltun November 18, 2018, 12:25 am

      You sir, are for the win.

  • Mr. Sparkles November 16, 2018, 4:31 pm

    I would not ask Wayne Lepierre for medical advice and while I will listen to anyone who can put forth a sound arguement, I will not take the advice of a doctor regarding firearms as holy writ. These are some of the same who are practicing abortion and so are protected at home by a gated community and at work by armed security guards.

    • Chris Baker November 16, 2018, 6:06 pm

      You seem not to have read the article. He’s NOT calling for more gun control. He’s calling for bringing back the 2 parent family and teaching people not to be savages. He pointed out that gun control doesn’t work. He also pointed out that if somehow the government could completely eliminate guns that other implements would be used instead. The last time I read any statistics on the UK and also Aus. their gun crime rates have more than doubled since they outlawed gun ownership-. HE SAYS AS MUCH. Please read the article again and actually read it with an open mind, Many doctors are not in favor of gun control and say so.

  • Martin Buck November 16, 2018, 4:17 pm

    Physician, heal thyself!

    • Chris Baker November 16, 2018, 6:07 pm

      Please read my comment to Mr. Sparkles. What or why do you say for him to heal himself when he’s on our side?

  • Michael LaFemina MD November 16, 2018, 4:03 pm

    Excellently written. As an emergency physician in Los Angeles, former USAF flight surgeon, shooter & collector I could not agree more. The only problem, however, is that the anti-gunners don’t care about what anybody else says or thinks. They have their agenda and will not be swayed. They will believe and espouse what they want to and to hell with what anyone who feels differently thinks. After all, it’s the liberal way, isn’t it?

  • Stan November 16, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Great article by Dr. Dabbs. I enjoy his many magazine articles, also. Instead of attempting to aid in the ongoing attempts to infringe on the 2nd Amendment, these physicians associations should work to clean up their own records of death and destruction. From their friends in the gun control movement at CNN: “In fact, the study, from doctors at Johns Hopkins, suggests medical errors may kill more people than lower respiratory diseases like emphysema and bronchitis do. That would make these medical mistakes the third leading cause of death in the United States. That would place medical errors right behind heart disease and cancer. Through their analysis of four other studies examining death rate information, the doctors estimate there are at least 251,454 deaths due to medical errors annually in the United States. The authors believe the number is actually much higher, as home and nursing home deaths are not counted in that total.” …
    Annually, 251,00 deaths from medical errors – and they are pushing gun control? Are you kidding me? Go stick your nose in your own business!

  • Matt November 16, 2018, 11:51 am

    *I am afraid that many of us give medical professionals too much credit for their opinions, thinking that they , being well schooled and of a generally higher intelligence to meet the demands of medical school must also be the type to avoid being caught up in a purely emotional arguments and beliefs.

    **Such is not the case** I have a friend in his third year of medical school. As expected, he is a very intelligent young man. He is also a critical thinker and well rounded in his beliefs. Overall, he is what most would consider “conservative minded”

    ***In a recent conversation he confided that if he were to share his conservative beliefs (not just concerning gun ownership) with the other medical students or his professors…… he would be labeled
    “A MONSTER”,
    stripped of all he has accomplished to date and be run out of the medical program as unfit to be a medical doctor!

    * These future doctors and ‘intelligent” people reveal themselves to be completely intolerant bullies.

    *I knew the bullying of conservatives was generally prevalent in our Colleges and Universities. Some how I thought our future doctors were above that.

  • mike snow November 16, 2018, 11:46 am

    Good article but the author fails to note how organized government is versus the average citizen. Yes, citizens (and non-citizens) have guns, however, the average citizen will have no support from neighbors when or if the police or some other government agent(s) come knocking whether it is 5 a.m. or during the day. A neighbor will have no idea why the police are next door battering the door down. Secondly, even if the neighbor did know something is amiss do you really think he is going to come out to help his neighbor carrying his own gun when there are 10-20 police and SWAT officers storming a house? The only way, in my opinion, guns will be used as a recourse for citizen resistance to government overreach is when there is a total breakdown of our society when an apocalypse has occurred. Perhaps the belief that citizens will rise up as a group is a good disincentive for government to at least appear to adhere to constitutional rights and laws but in reality government has the ways and means to take meaningful resistance away from most citizens one household at a time.

    • Common Sense November 16, 2018, 2:57 pm

      You’re right about citizens being disorganized and essentially unprepared for such a thing; but keep in mind that was the case leading up to the American Revolution. And when the fighting did start, very few men (and fewer women) fought in the actual war – some studies suggest around 3% of the population. The vast majority of Colonists stayed out of the conflict.
      The British troops also did the house by house search, targeting individuals and families for various “crimes” (“traitorous” speech, gun ownership, “illegal” pamphlets, etc). I have no doubt people can and will pull together and act accordingly if such a time became necessary once again.
      If a bunch of farmers, shopkeepers, doctors, lawyers – civilians in other words – banded together during tough times in the late 1700’s, so can Americans today. We have many military vets – combat vets too – that have actual experience to lead them, just as it was for General Washington and other vets of the British military.
      We also share a commonality with militias as the Colonists did in the past. There are plenty of militias today that take their training seriously. They’re well-trained, smart and active – many led and organized by combat vets of Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam. Many are very different from the Hollywood stereotypes of drunken, racist rednecks bumbling through the woods….but let them understate the potential of the modern militia, the British Crown did the same and for the first half of the American Revolution, militias fought the bulk of the war.
      It’s been done before…it can be done again; let’s pray it’s not necessary though.

  • Will November 16, 2018, 11:16 am

    >21st century Americans are not innately superior to 1940’s-era Germans. Ausch-witz would be a quaint though unremarkable Polish village today if Germany’s Jews had been in possession of 10,000 AR15 rifles in 1936
    Itz interdasting that all anti-gun laws from 1968-present have been written or sponsored by j-ws. Even more interdasting is from 1917 and onwards when j-ws did have weapons they created the Bolshevism and killed 66,000,000 gentiles, aka Red Terror. Historically illiterate politically correct redneck bible thumpers will lose the 2A piece by piece because they are too cowardly to say forbidden things.

    • Full Moon November 16, 2018, 7:36 pm

      Absolutely correct

  • mikeM November 16, 2018, 11:12 am

    EVERYONE JUST PRAY that Ginsburg RETIRES as WELL SHE SHOULD!!!! One way or another! She can HARDLY HOLD HER HEAD UP. NOW she’s falling down. She MIGHT EVEN BE DEAD ALREADY and they have her in the freezer to keep her seat tied up. THAT’S NOT ABOVE THE LYING, CHEATING, TREASON COMMITTING PILES OF SWAMPDOGSHIT to do either! I think she should be monitored to check for life at LEAST 4 times per month!! Then POTUS puts ANOTHER CONSTITUTIONALIST in place and VOILA, ALL we need to do is stick with “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”!

  • Clint W. November 16, 2018, 10:50 am

    Going to be bloody here, but doctors speak with forked tongue. The same doctor profession that is complaining about gun crime, injuries, and demand more gun control, are also in the same profession that draws an unborn child part of the way out of a womans womb (did not say mother), and sticks a pair of scissors in his or her neck. They can take another method and inject saline solution in the womb and burn the unborn child alive. The Hippocratic Oath is as dead to them as critical thinking abilities.

    • Pat M. November 16, 2018, 3:12 pm

      Can’t burn anything with saline. It has the same PH as our own body fluids (which we are mostly made of). Matter of fact, if a fire should start on the operating table we are trained to douse the patient with sterile saline.

      • Clint W. November 16, 2018, 4:57 pm

        Don’t want to go down this wormhole, but to refute: Instillation abortion is performed by injecting a chemical solution consisting of either saline, urea, or prostaglandin through the abdomen and into the amniotic sac. This is not at a normal PH body level for the unborn, bottom line about all this was to point out the hypocrisy of those using their medical profession as a diploma of expertise in gun control, while their track record since 1973 is 60 million dead.

  • Frank November 16, 2018, 10:06 am

    If banning firearms is an effective method to ending gun violence, let’s solve the opiate crisis by making heroin and illicit narcotics illegal.

  • Joe Spartan November 16, 2018, 9:38 am

    I’m certain ER docs see far more automobile related injuries, fatal and non-fatal, than gunshots. Did I miss their hue and cry to outlaw vehicle ownership? Perhaps cars are ok, despite the carnage that cause, because the good doctors own and utilize them responsibly. The vast majority of g owners do the same with firearms – own and use them responsibly. Are a small percentage of gun owners who are irresponsible and reckless and their guns cause injury and death? Yes, just like a small percentage of auto owners. As every thinking author has written – it’s how the tool is used by the person using it and the degree of training, safety and care they exercise that dictates whether that car or gun lands someone in an an ER.While I have great respect for medical practitioners and the good work they do, they are not gun experts nor traffic experts, nor any other kind of expert. Doctors bear witness only to the effects of violent injury, not the causes, and as such have little insight into the remedies needed – no more, no less than ordinary folks. As individuals, they are entitled to their opinion as we all are. But when doctors present themselves as gun control experts who, by virtue of their ER experience, possess the knowledge and understanding to remedy the problem, they are indeed out of their lane.

  • Joe Spartan November 16, 2018, 9:37 am

    I’m certain ER docs see far more automobile related injuries, fatal and non-fatal, than gunshots. Did I miss their hue and cry to outlaw vehicle ownership? Perhaps cars are ok, despite the carnage that cause, because the good doctors own and utilize them responsibly. The vast majority of g owners do the same with firearms – own and use them responsibly. Are a small percentage of gun owners who are irresponsible and reckless and their guns cause injury and death? Yes, just like a small percentage of auto owners. As every thinking author has written – it’s how the tool is used by the person using it and the degree of training, safety and care they exercise that dictates whether that car or gun lands someone in an an ER.

    While I have great respect for medical practitioners and the good work they do, they are not gun experts nor traffic experts, nor any other kind of expert. Doctors bear witness only to the effects of violent injury, not the causes, and as such have little insight into the remedies needed – no more, no less than ordinary folks. As individuals, they are entitled to their opinion as we all are. But when doctors present themselves as gun control experts who, by virtue of their ER experience, possess the knowledge and understanding to remedy the problem, they are indeed out of their lane.

  • Cal November 16, 2018, 9:01 am

    There are only two points I’d like to add to a good article on this subject.

    First, I really doubt red-blooded Americans would have been any more amenable to government confiscation of personal firearms in the 1940’s. In fact, there would probably have been more of a bloodbath if overreaching government political hacks and bureaucrats had tried such an unconstitutional move back then, as evidenced by the Battle of Athens Tennessee in which citizens had to ‘borrow’ firearms from a National Guard Armory to root out local corruption.

    Second, “six million dead jews” is just the tip of the bloody iceberg resulting from government control of citizens’ firearms. In reality, more than 100 million people died in the 20th century alone, due to government subjugation and disarmament of citizens. Some estimate the real number is closer to 170 million. In all cases, confiscation of firearms was part and parcel and a necessary first step to government tyranny. The formula is simple: Hatred + government + disarmament = genocide

    • Rick November 16, 2018, 10:16 am

      Both are excellent points, Cal, especially point two. When Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Tojo, Hirohito and Khan’s murderous reigns are added to the total, it is indeed staggering.

  • Carl J. Forster, D.O., Ret. November 16, 2018, 8:58 am

    The brief treatise by Dr.Dabbs is right on target. Researched resources reveal 11-13 thousand murders are caused by guns a year but 43 thousand are killed in auto accidents. Anti-gun proponents argue these can’t be compared because guns are designed to kill, cars are not. They ignore that dead is dead. A mass shooting occurs and the first reason to explain it is a psychiatric possibility that provides a barrier for the perpetrator to hide behind that blocks resolution. We need to start focusing on the users of the tools, not the tools.

    • Dr J B Boren November 16, 2018, 9:49 am

      The problem with the anti-gunner argument is, guns are NOT designed to kill. They are designed to launch a projectile. And when either projectile, bullet or automobile, comes in contact with a body, death may result.

      Another way to show the fallacy of their false premise: There are demonstrably more guns in existence than cars that have never killed anyone or anything.

    • AJ November 21, 2018, 11:52 am

      One of the bigger issues that makes their argument invalid is that they have made it law for pedestrians to have the right of way… Now, anyone with sense knows that anything mechanical can fail, like breaks, for instance. But that still doesn’t stop them from enforcing the stupid shit. Driving is also not a constitutional right…

  • Benedict J. Straka November 16, 2018, 8:54 am

    Great article: It would be hard to summarize the whole situation. But I will try in this small space.
    I was born and raised in a small mining town in Pennsylvania. Growing up we were first exposed to BB guns
    then when I (we) were old enough to hunt, we would inherit 22 single shots. Later as we worked and at age 18
    I bought a British 303 military rifle. Cleaned up the cosmoline from it and could afford only $3.00 worth of ammo. We, my friends would also purchase the same because a good 30 30 would cost about $50.00. We had
    no intention of shooting anyone we did not like. I have that same 303 today, I cherish it because it may have been carried by some Brit during WW I. Over the years (58) I have accumulated several more WW I
    rifles and pistols. I have a Colcealed Carry permit that I have had for over 40 years, and have never used it
    to take a life. It (my semi auto) will only be drawn to preserve my life or the life of my loved one.
    It is my opinion that since the 1950’s much communisim has spread into our society. That communisim has
    tainted many opinions and is used to make many or most of us equal in nature. There are many people
    both in Government and Business that would like to have more communisim and they are working hard to
    spread the movement. Many politicians have embraced communism and are advancing their careers by
    spreading this mental disorder. Many Americans think we should all be equal, and rightly so. But there
    is nothing but social inequality in Communism. Look at its history, only the people at the top prosper.
    Everyone below the top is in poverty. Looking at this country the history of Poverty begins with the
    Rosevelt Administration. Since the great depression Democrats have been able to get elected and re
    electd because of the large number in poverty. The great Depression would have been over in several
    months or a year if Rosevelt had followed the advice of Herbert Hoover. But Rosevelt used the Great
    Depression as a Political tool the keep getting elected. Today you can see how democrats are doing their
    best to get rid of this prosperity so they can bring back poverty and keep on getting elected.
    If gun controls worked we would still be subject to the King or Queen of Britian. But the americans that
    settled this country were not about to be subjects of another country. For those who do not know the
    definition of Subject, you are the property of the king or queen. For those who do not know the definition
    of a citizen., You are owned by your self. Thanks for allowing me to share my opinion. Ben

  • johnnyraygun November 16, 2018, 8:53 am

    Cut and paste this and pass it around.
    The gun legislation has left the barn. Too late to pass pointless firearms control. We need to talk more about mental health and mental health should play a larger part in our overall healthcare plans. Stop the crazies and mass shootings will diminish. Thug on thug, and intercity shootings,who cares? It is the innocent who need protection. A firearm in the trained hand, is what we need more of, not laws that the criminals do not follow.

  • John Smith November 16, 2018, 8:21 am

    Every time I read something like this it is always the Jews crying the blues about the holocaust and never about the other 22 million++ people who were culled out over the years. Go back through history and read real data and you will see the Jews are not the only people who were hated. Ask why these people were hated and you will see why there are wars. We live in an very over crowded world and it will get worse. Population control of the useless eaters and the war gods is paramount, else we face mass extinction sooner than you think!

  • David Donley November 16, 2018, 8:10 am

    Amen, Sir.
    Allowing scientists, entertainers and children to establish our moral framework, then using politicians to enforce it is largely why we have the social illnesses described.

  • Rick November 16, 2018, 8:08 am

    Generally good, as are all your pieces. It will obviously take a generation or two to reverse the societal aspects of the devaluation of human life, but that would run counter to the [apparent] wishes of the Statists who believe that government has all of the answers.

    Not to quibble, but please put quotation marks around the media term “gun violence”. Guns don’t do anything and crimes committed with knives (NB, London) aren’t called knife violence.

    Also, the Nazi’s Final Solution (which, thank G-d, wasn’t final) managed to murder about 7 million undesirables besides Jews. Almost all Jews that I’ve heard or read don’t include the non-Jews. For me, it lessens the lessons. (Sorry.)

  • Bret November 16, 2018, 7:39 am

    Well said brother. Fellow physician, veteran, and father.

  • Kerry Jennings November 16, 2018, 7:37 am

    You do know your going to hate mail for telling the truth do you not

  • Wayne Hynes November 16, 2018, 7:31 am

    …exceptionally articulate, clear, concise and on point. I love this guy!

  • Brian Webb November 16, 2018, 6:08 am

    Dr. Dabbs, that is possibly the most sensible, logical response to the anti-gun crowd I have yet read, and I have red hundreds if not thousands of similar thoughtful pieces. If the rabid left were to sit in a quiet room and be forced to SLOWLY read this article a few times with honest attention, they would be hard pressed to argue their gun control rhetoric any longer. Alas, the odds any of them will decide to look at the issues with an open mind are……! I pray I’m wrong on that point.

  • Eric S. November 16, 2018, 5:38 am

    One of the largest obstacles in this debate is the consistently shallow and knee-jerk “analysis” of mass shootings by the media, liberal politicians, and elements within the medical profession. The 1999 Columbine High School mass-shooting gave rise to this now commonplace occurrence within American culture.

    Accordingly, it’s asinine to blame this 19-year-old phenomenon on a not-for-profit organization that has been around for 147 years and on semi-automatic gun technology that has been around for about 120 years.

    Examining the age-range of the mass shooters, we can comfortably conclude that changes in American culture which began in the mid-1960s to mid-1970s are the largest contributors to the problem. What might a few of the most influential cultural changes be?

    Courts outlaw pre-emptive institutionalization.

    Prior to the mid-1970s, adults who noticed strong traits of potentially violent mental illness in a family member had the ability to pre-emptively commit that potentially dangerous individual to mental institutions against their will. In the mid-1970s, court decisions began siding with the rights of the mentally ill. Struck down were laws which allowed pre-emptive institutionalization.

    Parents of teens like the Sandy Hook shooter could do little to pre-emptively get him off of the streets despite their strong convictions of his potential for extreme violence. Yes, more could have been done to restrict his access to firearms. However, this person appeared to have been intent on acting out extremely malicious violence towards young children whom he may have believed were competition for his mother’s affirmation and affections.

    Pre-emptive institutionalization must yield to U.S. Constitution interpretations which forestall sequestration until there are victims who have been maimed or killed.

    Glorification of violence.

    Starting in the late 1960s or early 1970s, it seems that the amount of gun violence and its level of realism in movies and television shows became more and more prevalent. During the same timeframe, for example, cigarette commercials on television disappeared. It was thought that banning television commercials which glorified smoking would result in fewer children being influenced to take up the cancer-causing habit.

    Amazingly, those who recognized the influence that a 15-second T.V. cigarette advertisement would have on a young child’s thinking have utterly failed to recognize how watching gratuitous, realistic violence on television would also influence children’s thinking and behavior. News media pundits steadfastly refuse to associate all-too-realistic violent content within online media and video games with what has become commonplace among young-adults on schoolgrounds and college campuses.

    Connecting the dots.

    I recall a “Law and Order” T.V. show episode where a Chicago medical doctor testified that inner-city children who personally witnessed gun violence were statistically more-likely to later commit acts of gun violence themselves. Well, what about the impact on those same children of witnessing realistic virtual-reality murder-after-murder while binge-playing violent video games?

    How can the media so readily note the correlation between cigarette ads and kids choosing to smoke and fashion ads which glorify “perfect-bodied” women and a rise in teenage girls with negative self-images? Yet, the media “intelligentsia” is so blind to the connection between glorified, in-your-face realistic violence in digital entertainment outlets and how young adults act-out horrendous violence at their schools.

    The name-in-lights generation.

    Finally, the rise of social media appears to have produced far too many young-adults whose personal identity is closely associated with their level of Internet notoriety. These young adults also appear to lack coping and relationship-building skills. Sixty years ago, a young-adult who encountered a personal failure, loss or tragedy would be shaken; however, those individuals didn’t choose to vent lethal rage at their schoolmates. And, oh-by-the-way, many high schools had gun clubs 60 years ago.

    For too many contemporary young adults, who face similar failures, losses, or tragedies are motivated to find ways to publicly spew lethal rage (it’s all about me anyway), make a lasting statement to the world (literally, “world”), and become a “somebody” (a narcissistic, unhealthy mind cannot distinguish between famous and infamous). Why not, they think, perpetrate a mass-killing and grab at least one of the planet’s news cycles… “Now, I’ll be a somebody”, they think.

    • Frank November 16, 2018, 10:03 am

      You should post this narrative to #thisismylane. It’s great.

    • Mikey November 17, 2018, 6:25 pm

      Very well stated!

  • Mike Birky November 16, 2018, 5:11 am

    A very good article, and as pointed out there is not going to be an easy solution for gun violence; yet starting with what is accessible via tv or streaming has a strong correlation to ididolizing violence.
    gov’t is never the right answer, laws that limit ones rights and freedom will not solve the problem. However, tougher laws on those that are violent offenders, with publicity of the punishment may have a small impact. Potentially, saving lives, changing courses, providing a venue that the consequences matter for violent lawbreaking actions.

  • Salty American November 16, 2018, 4:04 am

    This is the most concise, reasoned opinion piece that I have read on gun violence. I am going to forward it to my friends and family. Dr. Dabbs, thank you for all that you have done and continue to do fir your community. Warmest regards to your dog, Dog.

  • Rangemaster11B November 16, 2018, 2:21 am

    Well said. Always enjoy your writing, Will.

  • Mark N. November 16, 2018, 12:39 am

    Ahem. You CAN legally buy handguns in Chicago. Chicago lost its battle over its 20 year hand gun ban law nearly a decade ago. And you can get a “shall issue” CCW unless the CPD objects. Now you probably still can’t go to a gun range in Chicago, but only because Rahm Immanuel tried like the dickens to zone them out of anything but the ugliest industrial zones. (But he lost that battle too.)

    A much better response was republished today on TTAG, and article that begins:

    By Dr. LateBloomer

    Let’s play a little game, just between us physicians, shall we?

    Are you offended by the implication that you, as a lawful prescriber, are to blame for the opioid epidemic? Are you tired of the government telling you how you should practice medicine–all because of the actions of the criminal and the irresponsible? Are you tired of being asked to jump through hoop after hoop in order to “prove” that you are a responsible and competent physician?

    Are you guilty of nothing, but absorb the blame for everything that goes wrong in your profession, including the hundreds of thousands of deaths by medical misadventure every year? Are you annoyed by every essential oil peddler and idiot who went to Google University acting like they know how to practice medicine?

    Welcome to the world of the responsible firearms owner!

    • Kane November 16, 2018, 11:29 am

      There were several great comments but I chose this one to briefly mention the \”psychotropic pharmaceuticals\” that have also had a devastating impact on the US public health and safety that could be laid at the feet of the medical community.

  • Harry November 15, 2018, 8:02 pm

    As a physician, surgeon, proud American , jewish, father of three, and owner of two dogs.. could not have said it more eloquently.

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