Two Profiles in Hoplophobia

Deborah Prothrow-Stith
Deborah Prothrow-Stith
Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership
Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership

USA –  -(  The public health culture war against gun owners started a quarter century ago and shows no signs of letting up.

The steady surge in support of the civil right of gun ownership seems to have spurred medical hoplophobes in universities and in government to renew their efforts to prohibit gun ownership.

The big academic gun-grabbers enjoy support from a fawning media and from sympathetic activists in government.  Mainstream media accounts always portray them as heroes fighting “gun violence.”  In this blog entry we expose two of these prominent public health figures for what they are – gun prohibitionists masquerading as legitimate scientists.

If you scratch the surface of the public health campaign against gun ownership, you’ll see it’s rooted in emotions, not in science.  Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith was a dean at Harvard when she wrote this passage on page 198 of her book Deadly Consequences:

“I hate guns and I can’t imagine why anyone would want to own one. If I had my way, guns for sport would be registered and all other guns would be banned.”

A public declaration of prejudice like this should have been a career killer, but earlier this year Dr. Prothrow-Stith was appointed dean of the Charles Drew University College of Medicine in Los Angeles.  It is simply astonishing that a career academic would be appointed as a medical school dean after literally declaring her hatred for one of our enumerated civil rights.

Prothrow-Stith’s book is full of references to “young men of color” joining gangs and getting involved in illegal drug trafficking, and their choice of guns as weapons.  As far as she is concerned, the tens of millions of American gun owners who aren’t violent criminals don’t exist.  She obviously has zero concern or even recognition of gun ownership as a civil right, a glaring irony in an African-American.

Dean Prothrow-Stith goes on to attack the National Rifle Association, writing “we need to selectively choose our fights with the NRA.” She apparently assumes that any reasonable person considers the NRA an enemy.  But the five million Americans who are NRA members find that attitude extremely insulting.  And gun owners in general, who far outnumber NRA members, tend to agree.

Prothrow-Stith dishes out effusive praise in her book for a rogue’s gallery of academic gun prohibitionists, people who have declared their contempt for gun owners and their complete disregard of the Constitution’s guarantee of the civil right of gun ownership.

One of her heroes (see the Acknowledgments section) is then-director of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Mark Rosenberg.  Rosenberg propelled the CDC into a planned campaign against gun owners that eventually caused Congress to pull their funding.

Prothrow-Stith gushes over another colleague, writing “I am very intrigued by and I heartily support the gun-control [sic] efforts of two veteran gun opponents, Garen Wintemute, M.D., MPH…and Stephen Teret, J.D., MPH, who is the director of the Injury Prevention Center at Johns Hopkins University [in what is now the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health].”

Garen Wintemute, MD. From:
Garen Wintemute, MD. From:

Wintemute has been a prolific and well-publicized researcher of firearms for well over 20 years, operating out of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California-Davis.  We recently covered his involvement in procuring funding for “gun violence” research through Sen. Lois Wolk’s SB 1006, which gun prohibitionists see as a remedy for a presumed lack of tax money funding for their gun control advocacy research projects.

What the California taxpayers may not know is Wintemute’s irrational and very unscientific abhorrence of the civil right of gun ownership. As we’ve noted before, it’s hard not to conclude that Wintemute has some deep-seated personal animus against guns. Stephen Teret, one of the “gun opponents” praised by Dean Prothrow-Stith above, is the former trial lawyer who tutored Wintemute in how to sue gun manufacturers.

Teret was responsible for encouraging a flurry of baseless lawsuits against gun manufacturers, not because their products were defective and had caused injury, but because criminals used them to commit crimes.  Big city mayors, academic gun prohibitionists like Teret, and gun prohibition lobbying groups all colluded to bring these nuisance lawsuits in a strategy that they confessed was intended to drain gun companies’ finances from the costs of defending them.

The lawsuits were tossed out by courts all across the country as the frauds they were, but not before inflicting the intended financial damage on the gun companies.  Congress stopped the gun-grabbers’ abuses with the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

It was this kind of strategic abuse of government power against gun owners that Garen Wintemute, MD, MPH learned during his mentorship by the anti-gun rights lawyer Stephen Teret at Johns Hopkins.  Wintemute picked up early in his career that there’s nothing like the threat of government force to back up his anti-gun rights prescriptions.

Wintemute’s specialty in anti-gun rights advocacy research is smearing gun owners as a group by association with some possibly violence-related factor—excessive drinking, suicide, or simply being young—and ending the article with a call for more regulation of gun owners. By which he means laws, backed up by threat of government force.

It doesn’t help Wintemute’s claims to be just another humble scientist looking for answers when he occasionally slips and lets his true contempt for gun owners show.  Here Wintemute was quoted in the April 2001 UC Davis medical school’s newsletter, the Matrix:

“…there was a huge, amply funded political organization that basically said, ‘Guns are a good thing and we don’t care how many people die…’”— Matrix (UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center), vol.8, no. 3, April 2001, page 1.

The article makes it clear that Wintemute was talking about the National Rifle Association, a loathing for whose members he evidently shares with Dean Prothrow-Stith.

In the same article Capitol insider Patsy Kurokawa, chief consultant to the California Assembly Speaker effused:

“As far as California is concerned, it’s safe to say that every bill related to gun control has originated with Garen.”—Matrix (UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center), vol.8, no. 3, April 2001, page 3.

Timothy Wheeler
Timothy Wheeler

None of the barrage of major media articles will give any hint of the hatred that anti-gun rights ivory tower types like Dr. Garen Wintemute and Dean Deborah Prothrow-Stith harbor for gun owners.  After all, they are all on the same gun-grabbing team, on first-name terms with each other, united in their contempt for gun owners.

But at DRGO we will relentlessly expose them for what their own words tell us they are—anti-gun rights extremists using their lofty university positions to attack our very civil rights.



—Timothy Wheeler, MD is director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, a project of the Second Amendment Foundation.

Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, a project of the Second Amendment Foundation.

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Any article that exposed these [self censored] is a good article.


Hoplophobes that try to violate a gunowner’s civil rights should be charged with a hate crime.


“Guns for sport” should be registered, but they are otherwise OK? REALLY?! I have always been surprised at the readiness of so many in the media and the public both, to accept without the slightest question, the patently idiotic meme that somehow guns used for target shooting or hunting are acceptable, but those used for self-defense are not. In what conceivable way is any mere sport more important than self-defense? Is it only OK to become a Golden Gloves boxer, or a Karateka, if you never use your striking or blocking skills to defend yourself when attacked? Is Judo acceptable… Read more »


Thank you so, so much for this article. This needs to be published far and wide. I once met a Lady who worked in the Optical Department a at a local Walmart, who after I shared that I needed my new eyeglasses made a certain way so that they would work better with my Iron Sights, and Scopes, shared that she has a phobic fear of all firearms. Just the sight of a gun causes a severe panic response in her. Her husband owns guns. You can imagine what life must be like for him. This said, I do not… Read more »

Bob Cloninger

Being pro-gun is actually the career killer in academia today. For me, it’s alright because academia is a second career anyway, and promotion is less important, but if I were younger, with an eye on my career path, I’d stay very, very quiet about enjoying guns. On the other hand, I would like to see the NRA take a leadership position in the academic study of gun violence – remember, academics can only run studies if they can get outside funding. The University sure isn’t going to pay for it; since they get a cut of every grant, they depend… Read more »


It would be nice if they crawled back under their rocks with the rest of the slime and worms.


I wander if this is the reason you can no longer get a single shot .410 or home defense shotgun at a Walmart or other sporting goods store.

Bill in Lexington,NC

Yep. Such firearms cause alcoholism, racism, rape and adult-onset zits.


Are Prothrow-Stith and Wintemute members of the ‘Monochrome Coalition’? That would explain a lot.


The reason Prothrow-Stith was promoted was because she is an Affirmative Action “double”, meaning minority and female. She’s valuable in meeting their quota. At least she doesn’t have any patients to murder with her ineptitude. I’m also jealous of her having a better mustache than mine.


Thank heaven she wasn’t a LGBT Black Oriental Female with a Latino surname! Millions of us who support the 2nd Amendment served in the armed forces, and we took the same oath public officials take. The anti-gun people don’t seem to mind that millions of young Americans have served to defend their rights, including 2A, which they are free to use or not. Members of the armed forces are relied upon to defend the nation with arms. At 18 I was responsible for the protected of nuclear laden B-52s, among other weapon systems, the people who flew and maintained them,… Read more »

Wild Bill

Yeah, Dave W, a course is a great idea. Why isn’t there a mandatory and annual Civil Rights of the American People class (including a test) for all government employees, from the president (congress, and not so supreme court), every SES and general officer, down to the newest GS1 (or military private), and some penalty for violating the oath of office? Why?

peewee henson