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Doctors kill more people per year than guns

Nathan Tabor,

January 4, 2005

Back before the November election, many mainstream media pundits--trying desperately to get John Kerry elected--began to harp on President Bush’s unwillingness to stop certain federal gun control laws from expiring as scheduled. But their propaganda efforts came to naught because this issue was a non-starter with the American people.

The fact is, in this day of post-9/11 increased security consciousness, most average Americans simply don’t want more gun control. They want more guns on hand to defend themselves and their loved ones in the face of possible life-threatening danger. Soccer moms are now taking handgun proficiency courses down at the local firing range.

Liberals are always complaining about getting to the root of the problem--unless it deals with gun rights. Then they abandon all logical analysis and resort to hysteria, distortion and downright lies.

Today I want to set the record straight and dispel a few of the more common myths with some hard facts.

First, according to statistics provided by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, there is an interesting correlation between accidental deaths caused by guns and by doctors.

Doctors: (A) There are 700,000 physicians in the U.S. (B) Accidental deaths caused by physicians total 120,000 per year. (C) Accidental death percentage per physician is 0.171.

Guns: (A) There are 80 million gun owners in the U.S. (B) There are 1,500 accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups. (C) The percentage of accidental deaths per gun owner is 0.0000188.

Statistically, then, doctors are 9,000 times more dangerous to the public health than gun owners. Fact: NOT EVERYONE HAS A GUN, BUT ALMOST EVERYONE HAS AT LEAST ONE DOCTOR. Following the logic of liberals, we should all be warned: "Guns don't kill people. Doctors do."

More seriously, Dr. Glen Otero of the Claremont Institute has published an enlightening article entitled Ten Myths About Gun Control. (This entire article can be found at the website of Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws www.dsgl.org.) Here are just a few of his well-documented findings.

• Approximately 80 percent of all adult American citizens own firearms, and a gun can be found in nearly half of American households.

• Between 1974 and 1995, the total number of privately owned firearms in America increased by 75 percent, to 236 million. During the same period, national homicide and robbery rates did NOT significantly increase.

• Less than 1 percent of all guns are involved in any type of crime, which means that 99 percent of all guns are NOT used to commit any crime.

• In 1987, the National Crime Victimization Survey estimated that about 83 percent of Americans would become the victims of violent crime during the course of their lifetime.

• The National Self-Defense Survey found that between 1988 and 1993, American civilians used firearms in self-defense almost 2.5 million times per year, saving up to 400,000 lives per year in the process.

• Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens deter crime. Where U.S. counties have enacted concealed-carry laws, murder rates fell by 8 percent, rape by 5 percent, and aggravated assault by 7 percent. Urban counties recorded the largest decreases demographically.

You get the picture: Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. But sometimes law-abiding citizens with guns can save the lives of other innocent people.

It’s time to restore some common sense to the hysterical debate over gun control. When Cain killed Abel with a rock, God didn’t ban all rocks. He dealt with Cain personally. We need to enforce our criminal laws against murder, robbery, and assault.

I will cite the testimony of just one more expert witness. No, it’s not another politician or media pundit. Here’s what former Mafia underboss, self-confessed hit man, and government informant Sammy "The Bull" Gravano had to say: "Gun control? It’s the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I’m a bad guy, I’m always gonna have a gun.

Safety locks? You pull the trigger with a lock on, and I’ll pull the trigger. We’ll see who wins."

It’s time for Liberals to go out and buy a gun. And maybe get a life or at least protect one.

Copyright © 2004 by Nathan Tabor

Nathan Tabor is a conservative political activist based in Kernersville, North Carolina. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in public policy. He is a contributing editor at: www.theconservativevoice.com, and his 60 commentaries are heard on over 250 stations daily.

Nathan can be reached at: Nathan@NathanTabor.com

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