More data would help in quest to reduce gun violence

Why would anyone be afraid of data and information that would help to peel away the veil of ignorance? Treating gun violence as a public health initiative means studying the incidence, mapping the outbreaks and starting programs to contain the violence. Cure Violence is one program among others which does not seek to take guns away or fix everything wrong with the world, just try to reduce the injury and death from gun violence.

We can do this … we studied the heck out of automobile safety and realized that you can change culture (i.e. try to get into a car with kids and not buckle your seat belt) and engineer safety (i.e road rumble strips, middle brake lights, proximity warnings which will automatically brake the car) all which have led to reductions in injury and death rates in first world countries. We have studied the heck out of breast cancer and the mortality rates have dropped over the last 20 year.

That is why I applaud Pennsylvania Medical Society members in York for taking a lead role in supporting more research into the sources of gun violence and causes from a medical perspective. Kudos to Dr. D. Scott McCracken, president-elect of the York County Medical Society, who has helped raise awareness in several recent media interviews.

Since the late 1990s, the CDC has been prohibited from using federal funds to study gun violence ostensibly because gun freedom supporters are convinced that the research will be shanghaied by gun control interest group which are disproportionately represented on the organizations who would do the research. Personally, I think that blaming guns is like blaming the hammer when you hit your thumb. We need to study the problem dispassionately and begin to support programs that have been demonstrated to be successful and to engineer safety in our firearms. We can do this.

More information

Delaware County Times editorial: Gun violence not just a social problem but a medical problem

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2 comments on “More data would help in quest to reduce gun violence
  1. Cathy Scott says:

    Thank you Dr. MacLeod for your rational approach to injury, illness, and disability that have resulted from violence involving guns.

  2. Dr. Spelt says:

    Dr. MacLeod

    You state that we should “support programs that have been demonstrated to be successful” in reducing gun violence. OK, let’s see if you’re word is any good. Concealed carry has been shown to reduce violent crime. Are you willing to support concealed carry or are you going to ignore that data while you look supposedly look for “solutions” (I.e., taking guns)? I think we know the answer. You can’t support concealed carry because it’s not the answer you want.

    Let me remind you that a scientist presents the truth regardless of whether it fits his political agenda. You may be a physician, but you’re no scientist.

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