Celebrating The 2nd Amendment One Fine Firearm At A Time

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by pgg, Nov 25, 2013.

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  1. periopdoc

    periopdoc Cardiac Anesthesiologist Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Indeed. I purposely used the generic term retirement to avoid potential misunderstanding.

    Personally, I think Kennedy voluntarily retires after this term, essentially leaving the future of the Court in the hands of the mid-term voters. How long Ginsburg can remain on the bench is anyone's guess, but I don't see how she has 7 years left ;-).
     
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  3. Hamhock

    Hamhock 7+ Year Member

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    The thing about the whole gun debate that drives me nuts, is that there isn't even agreement on the "problem" we are are trying to discuss.

    Both sides first have to agree that there is a problem with gun violence in the US before the cost or benefit of potential solutions can be studied and then potentially implemented.

    This is as close as I have seen to defining a "question" to be debated recently:

    The Difficult Question at the Heart of the Gun Debate

    HH
     
  4. periopdoc

    periopdoc Cardiac Anesthesiologist Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Why can't authors like this be bothered to do 5 minutes of research before spouting nonsense. No, Dan, in fact it is perfectly legal to own a tank. It may be expensive, and it may take several months before you can take possession, but it is perfectly legal if you are a law abiding citizen with a clean record. Finding ammo for it will be difficult to impossible, and each round will require a significant amount of paperwork and cash, but it is legal.

    This is actually easier than both sides agreeing to a number of acceptable deaths, a consensus that will never be reached. Simply being honest about the numbers would go a long way to focusing the debate on the important issues, rather than the superfluous areas we spend all our time fighting over.

    First, and easiest, we need to stop commingling the death statistics. Making a gun control argument from commingled data is like trying to fight cancer by lumping together all the different types. Obviously what works for prostate cancer doesn't work for lung cancer doesn't work for leukemia etc. Yet, the pro gun control side refuses to divide up the data into suicide, homicide by handgun, homicide by rifle, justified homicide (self-defense/ police), accidents etc. I find it personally abhorrent that the murder of 2 of my family members, and the suicide of the 3rd, with a single shot 22 long rifle, is used by gun control advocates to garner sympathy in their quest to ban so-called assault weapons. Even more abhorrent is using the bodies of inner city victims of handgun violence in that argument.

    Second, we need to be honest about the numbers, and where the deaths are coming from. Unfortunately, every time I bring these numbers up, I am immediately met with howls of racism. I don't mean it that way, but the vast majority of homicides come from gang violence in the inner city, and solutions that might reduce violence in my part of the country are vastly different from solutions that might reduce violence in the inner city. And the gun control focus du jour, banning so-called assault weapons, won't make a dent in either.

    Finally, we need to stop focusing solely on the numerator of the risk/benefit fraction. There is a definable benefit to gun ownership, but we never talk about it. It is like talking solely about medical errors without considering the lives saved from medical care. Of course, it is much simpler to measure the costs, but it is imperative that we correctly calculate the benefits to draw any real conclusion. To totally ignore the benefits in the calculation is wrong.

    We don't need to agree on some acceptable number of gun deaths, but we do need to understand exactly how many there are of each type, and how many lives are benefited and saved by gun ownership, before we can have meaningful discussions on approaches to reducing gun violence.
     
  5. Hamhock

    Hamhock 7+ Year Member

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    periop -- I have edited your post for brevity in my response. I feel like I have done so favorably to you, as the risk of dismal of my post is too great if I err too much. Please point out any editing errors that misrepresent your post and I will change my edits in a new post to keep this going.
    ----
    Briefly, I support most of your post; especially those parts quoted.

    However, I think we need to take one step back.

    Before we can even start a discussion (one that includes the benefits of gun ownership), all parties must first define and agree on the problem to be addressed. That is, we must all agree that the United States (I chose my entity carefully here) has a problem with gun violence.

    One we all agree that we have a problem with gun violence in the US, then we can objectively study it and then propose solutions (that don't go to far; that don't erode too far into the benefits of gun ownership). These solutions will have to balance the benefits and harms of gun ownership.

    I just wonder if we could even get everyone on this forum, never mind every participant in the discussion to agree with the statement:

    "Gun violence in the United States in a problem that should be studied and addressed."

    HH
     
  6. pgg

    pgg Laugh at me, will they? SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

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    No.

    Why didn’t you write “violence in the United States is a problem that should be studied and addressed” instead?

    You’ve already assigned blame and implied a solution in your statement of the problem.
     
  7. Hamhock

    Hamhock 7+ Year Member

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    I can write that and agree with it. In fact, I feel that violence in the US is a problem that should be addressed and studied.

    ...but gun violence is part of the overall problem of violence in the US; and in a thread containing a discussion about "gun control" and guns, it seems that a discussion about gun violence is much more pertinent than other subcategories of violence; eg pugilism.

    Just as we must separate and identify the types of gun violence (perhaps by suicide vs. homicide; or rifles vs handguns), 'violence' must be separated into component parts to get a better understanding and study.

    Since this thread is about guns, the subcategory of 'gun violence' seems appropriate. No?

    HH
     
  8. Urzuz

    Urzuz 5+ Year Member

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    Usually I stay out of these discussions, and I don't mean to take sides, but this response is just flat out weak and doesn't make sense. You're a physician and you know the basics as to how to conduct a clinical study/trial.

    Before conducting a study you first have to identify what you want to study! The poster before you wants to "study" gun violence, and therefore wrote what he did. Now, you may contend that gun violence isn't an issue, which you can certainly do, but it would make more sense to back that claim up with statistics and data. Changing "gun violence" to just "violence" would be analogous to a cancer researcher saying "I want to study mortality rates in lung cancer because lung cancer is a problem" and someone saying "Why did you write lung cancer? You should want to study mortality rates in all types of cancer"
     
  9. pgg

    pgg Laugh at me, will they? SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

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    Fair enough. You are both correct.

    I didn't articulate my objection very well. What I dislike are the very phrases “gun deaths” and “gun violence”. Words and phrases have literal meanings as well as idiomatic, implied, and common use meanings.

    When a person uses the phrase “gun violence” in a discussion about gun control, the meaning is typically “guns are the problem, guns are the cause, and violence is the result” ... this is not a good way to start a discussion or study, unless you have a conclusion and remedy in mind already and are going fishing for supporting data.

    In the context of a gun control discussion, a phrase like “violent crime in which a firearm is used” is more neutral than “gun violence” and doesn’t carry the baggage I mentioned (assigning blame and implying a solution in the assertion of a vaguely defined problem). Words are powerful and can subtly or overtly steer a discussion or research toward a preferred answer.

    The people calling for “study” are universally passionate gun control advocates, so I am especially sensitive to and picky about the words they choose.
     
  10. Hamhock

    Hamhock 7+ Year Member

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    I've actually worried about the same thing. However, I don't have the vocabulary necessary.

    The phrase "violent crime in which a firearm is used" seems inefficient at best and misleading. Although I can not just now accurately quote the percentage, a ?majority, IIRC (I will google later and update this post), of gun deaths are not crimes but suicides.

    I think this highlights my primary concern: until we can agree on that there is a problem that needs to be studied and addressed (and that includes definitions of the terms and problem itself), I think we will get nowhere.

    Currently, the issue is defined by the "gun control" side and so the language most commonly used is "gun violence". Perhaps the NRA or a sportsman's organization or other could join the discussion and help define the problem and terms.

    HH
     

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