I recently took my son to the pediatrician for his shots. One of the "health related" questions was regarding weather I have firearms in the house. I live in the United States and our Constitution grants certain rights and among those rights are the right to possess a firearm. Questioning the possession of a firearm as a health-related issue is disingenuous. The National Institute of Health (NIH) has some interesting statistics regarding knives. There were 1190 knife related injuries requiring emergency medical treatment per day between 1990 to 2008. There were an estimated 8,250,914 (95% confidence interval [CI] 7,149,074-9,352,755) knife-related injuries were treated in US EDs from 1990 to 2008, averaging 434,259 (95% CI 427,198-441,322) injuries annually, ... . The injury rate was 1.56 injuries per 1000 US resident population per year.
When you look at firearm-related injuries and the statistics
: "A firearm-related injury is defined as a gunshot wound or penetrating injury from a weapon that uses a powder charge to fire a projectile. This definition includes gunshot injuries sustained from handguns, rifles, and shotguns but excludes gunshot wounds from air-powered, gas-powered, BB and pellet guns, as well as non-penetrating injuries associated with firearms (e.g., “pistol whipping”). ... More than 32,000 persons die and over 67,000 persons are injured by firearms each year."</a> This translates to a daily injury rate of 184 injuries.
Reading the firearm mortality and injury statistics is this revealing statement
: "the findings in this paper are subject to a few limitations. First, while the data sources are well-suited for capturing the burden and epidemiological profile of firearm injury and death in the U.S., they are limited in the extent to which they offer information about the context and circumstances surrounding firearm violence, including information about the
relationship of the victim to the perpetrator."
That is to say, that there is no data regarding how many deaths and injuries were caused by self defense.
Given that there are far more injuries by knives than firearms requiring emergency medical care, why are knives not being questioned? It seems to me that knives are a far more dangerous tool.
The other issue I object to is the following statement in the conclusion: "firearm injuries are an important public health problem in the United States contributing substantially each year to premature death, illness, and disability."
I disagree with the premise. Firearms are NOT a health issue. The misuse of firearms and the reason why are the issue. Possession of a knife does not make me a Jack-the-Ripper or likely to commit suicide. My children's pediatrician is a woman complete with breasts and vagina (presumably). Does this make her a prostitute even though she is fully equipped to be one? No. She is a doctor. Possession of a hammer does not make one a carpenter. Are you getting the picture?
Firearms are not a health issue, but the issues causing their misuse might be.