This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 18, 2018:
At its annual meeting in Chicago last week, the American Medical Association (AMA) expanded on its list of proposed “common-sense solutions” to the problem of “gun violence” that it has been proposing for years. AMA’s former president, David O. Barbe, M.D., claimed that gun violence is a public health crisis:
People are dying of gun violence in our homes, churches, schools, on street corners and at public gatherings, and it’s important that lawmakers, policy leaders and advocates on all sides seek common ground to address this public health crisis. In emergency rooms across the country the carnage of gun violence has become a too routine experience. Every day physicians are treating suicide victims, victims of domestic violence, and men and women simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. It doesn’t have to be this way, and we urge lawmakers to act.
Inexplicably missing from Barbe’s comments was any mention of victims of car crashes being treated in emergency rooms (more than 37,000 die every year as a result of them in the United States), poisoning (more than 47,000 a year die from overdoses), or unintentional falls (more than 33,000 deaths). Perhaps it’s because automobiles are already registered, bottles of rat poison are commonly available at Amazon and recipes for making it are available on the Internet, and ladders aren’t considered “assault weapons.
But the AMA persists in offering its anti-gun “solutions” anyway, including 1) expanding ERPOs (extreme risk protection orders) and GVROs (gun violence restraining orders) to include not only family members but household visitors and dating partners; 2) prohibiting anyone under a domestic violence restraining order, convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence crime or stalking from possessing a firearm; 3) those under such orders have their data entered into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System; and 4) demanding that every school in the country be a “gun free zone” while opposing any school board’s requirements or incentives offered to teachers to carry weapons on campus.
But the biggest expansion of previously recommended incursions into precious rights is this: Delegates at the annual meeting supported banning “the sale and ownership to the public of all assault-type weapons, bump stocks and related devices, high-capacity magazines and armor-piercing bullets.” The AMA’s House of Delegates (HOD) went even further, demanding the licensing of every owner of a firearm in the country, and the registration of every firearm owned in the country.
Not content with these egregious breaches of Second- and Fourth Amendment-protected rights, the AMA’s HOD supported banning the possession and use of firearms and ammunition by “unsupervised youths under the age of 21.” Finally, the HOD opposed “concealed carry reciprocity” bills pending in Congress.
Back in 1973, the AMA had a fairly reasonable position on violence committed by criminals using a firearm. It proposed strict penalties on those using the weapons and not on the innocent law-abiding owners of firearms not involved in the commission of the crime: “While the increasing number of homicides by use of handguns is a depressing reality, and there is little evidence that new Federal gun control legislation will ameliorate this situation, the American Medical Association urges the enactment of strict penalties for the use of firearms in the commission of crimes.”
By the 1980s, the AMA had reversed its position and began supporting various gun-control schemes. In 1988, for example, the AMA called for a ban on the new polymer Glock pistols because they were allegedly undetectable by metal detectors. It also called on the Consumer Products Safety Commission to regulate the manufacture and sale of firearms, which many saw as a precursor to shutting down the industry altogether.
In the 1990s, the AMA called for a seven-day waiting period for handgun purchases along with a ban on all semi-automatic rifles and hollow-point self-defense ammunition. In 1992, the AMA Journal called for a national “system of gun registration and licensing for gun owners and users.”
To top off its expanded list of “solutions” to “gun violence,” the AMA has proposed more taxpayer funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct “research” on the causes and cures for “gun violence” and “the concept of gun buyback programs” as a way to get firearms out of the hands of criminals. The National Rifle Association calls this “the most blatant example of where AMA’s politics have trumped their reason” in light of studies going back decades showing that such voluntary buyback programs have been utterly useless in reducing gun violence by criminals.
The AMA aligns itself with other anti-gun groups such as the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Police Executive Research Forum, which the NRA characterizes as also having “lengthy histories of opposing the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.”
In its expanded version of its previous “solutions,” the AMA is in lockstep with other anti-gun groups, proposing legislation that, if enacted, would move the Republic significantly further down the road to a police-state tyranny.