Decreasing deaths from gun violence

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

Drunk driving has always been a problem. In 1980, Mothers Against Drunk Driving was founded. Overall, alcohol-impaired deaths have decreased by 63 percent since their founding. Alcohol-impaired related deaths in the under 21 age group have fallen by 80 percent.

Perhaps we need a similar grass roots organization against gun violence. It could be called Mothers Against Guns and Armaments. They could all wear hats that say MAGA. After all, it would not cost them anything extra to get them made.

As a pediatrician, I cringed when I heard that a four month old baby was one of the victims in El Paso. That baby did nothing to deserve that fate.

The gunman in Dayton, Ohio fired 41 shots in 30 seconds. Those 41 shots killed nine people and wounded 14 others. That is more than 50 percent of the bullets finding a human target. Fortunately, nearby on duty police killed him after that 30 second spree. He had over 250 bullets in his weapon. That would extrapolate to over 125 victims.

There are those individuals who would make you think gun laws have no effect on crazy people. They would make you think this is just related to the individuals involved.

However, that is not what history would suggest. I have already mentioned the effect of laws on drunk driving. We have seen many instances of this throughout U.S. history. Infant car seat laws have saved thousands of lives. Seat belt laws have saved thousands of lives.

Even with the fact that Prohibition was a terrible law, it still saved lives from cirrhosis of the liver during the time it was in effect. The Pure Food and Drug Act at the turn of the 20th century caused a marked decrease in drug addiction. None of these laws made the problem go away completely. However, they did have an impact on reducing the extent of it.

History tells us that we could expect a similar reduction in incidents if common sense laws were in place. For example, why would anyone need a gun with 250 bullets that can fire 41 of them in 30 seconds?

Try eating a deer riddled with that many bullets. You would be a pretty poor shot if you needed that many bullets to defend yourself from an attacker.

The misperception that even a single logical gun law is the first step toward removing all Second Amendment Rights is simply a rallying cry. It is not realistic.

We still serve alcohol. The laws put on the books to protect us from drunk drivers were sensible.

There is no reason that we cannot address the current situation with the same logical approach. I wouldn’t mind seeing one more four month old spared from a tragedy.

2019-08-15T09:47:32-05:00 August 15th, 2019|HEALTH|