American Medical Association versus America

Opinion by Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership's Robert B Young, MD

Gun Control Safety Cap Medicine
American Medical Association versus America

USA –  -(  The American Medical Association or AMA just announced that it will make an “unprecedented” push for more gun control laws through resolutions presented at its House of Delegates at its next annual meeting June 9-13 2018.

This is not really unprecedented, as the AMA has been advocating anti-gun measures for three decades now, along with many co-conspirator specialty associations. But it is a way for it to jump on the current popular bandwagon for restricting guns since some of the teenagers from the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Valentine’s Day shootings have become media celebrities.

Jumping aboard progressive bandwagons is the main tactic left to the AMA to wield influence, since it now includes no more than 25% of America’s physicians as members, even though it claims to represent us all.

Its leadership has left most physicians behind by focusing on politics more than medicine and undercutting physician autonomy by supporting Obamacare. In this case, they continue denigrating the vast number of Second Amendment respecting health care providers by continuing to back gun control—as if anything short of full civilian disarmament would substantially reduce “gun violence”, let alone affect violent crime. (Regarding eliminating scary “assault rifles” see the latest school shooting at Santa Fe using a pump-action shotgun and a .38 caliber revolver; regarding the consequences of handgun prohibition, see the United Kingdom—or anywhere.)

The AMA has a very long history of attacking guns and gun ownership as too dangerous for commoners. Rarely, members with other views get a hearing (which is then ignored); more typically, even that doesn’t happen, as its governance seeks to justify positions, not develop them.

It quotes manipulated data, like all anti-gun rights groups, basing this outcry on an inflated list of 2018 school shootings making the rounds, even though only a fraction of those events qualifies as attempts at mass shootings on students during school. (PolitiFact occasionally gets it right.)

From the Forbes article:

“This year, here are just some of the measures doctors want the AMA to back:

  • Ban the sale of bump stocks. AMA delegates will consider supporting “a ban on the sale of any device, including bump stocks, that converts a firearm into a weapon that mimics a fully automatic weapon.”
  • Strengthen the background check system for firearms. AMA delegates will consider supporting legislation that requires “all gun sales and transfers” to “fall under strengthened regulation.”
  • Ban on semi-automatic assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines. AMA delegates will consider supporting “a ban on the sale, transfer, manufacturer and importation of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines to the public.”
  • Increasing the legal age of purchasing ammunition and firearms from 18 to 21. AMA delegates will consider supporting “increasing the legal age to purchase firearms and ammunition.” ”

Some corrections are in order here.

First of all, “here are just some of the measures the AMA wants doctors to back.”

Then, regarding the claim by AMA President David A. Barbe, MD, that “Gun violence in America today is a public health crisis”, DRGO has repeatedly debnked that untruth (e.g., here). Continuing it is “one that requires a comprehensive and far-reaching solution” such as:

  • Ban the sale of bump stocks. This may be a device implicated in the fewest shootings of all, only in Las Vegas last October, which wasn’t even necessary to inflict all the casualties the gunman caused.
  • Strengthen the background check system for firearms. They mean, of course, universal registration of all firearm transfers, as of the effective date of universal background checks. That is not consistent with individual freedom in our country.
  • Ban on semi-automatic assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines. This suggests the next step would be to ban all semi-automatic weapons, since there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the function of the Ruger Mini-14, the Browning [semi-]Automatic Rifle and any AR-model semi-automatic weapon. All pistols, gas-operated shotguns and even most .22 caliber plinkers would be gone. But this is “a good start”, to quote any anti-gun activist, including outlawing what have always been standard magazine capacities up of to 30 rounds.
  • Increasing the legal age of purchasing ammunition and firearms from 18 to 21. This is self-evidently discriminatory, as we rely on 18 to 20-year-olds’ judgment in most states about drinking and consider them able to decide to join the military and die in war zones without question. Wonder how most would vote on this question of their older betters intent to deprive them of a constitutional right?

Legislating morality has always been impossible in a diverse polity like the United States. They’ll have no more luck with this than the abortion, capital punishment or immigration battles have had in uniting American opinion about them.

To quote William F. Buckley, Jr.’s National Review mission statement, DRGO “stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.” There’s progress (like ensuring a well-educated, ethical populace enjoying all the rights of individual liberty) and then there are progressives (the opposite). DRGO stands for progress.

Let’s not let them get away with it!

Robert B. Young, MD
Robert B. Young, MD

About Robert B Young, MD

— DRGO Editor Robert B. Young, MD is a psychiatrist practicing in Pittsford, NY, an associate clinical professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

All DRGO articles by Robert B. Young, MD.

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

  • 24 thoughts on “American Medical Association versus America

    1. IT was my wife , my son’s mother yes she would not have survived then with out the blood. she lasted 10 years. But the Dr. bungled the delivery is what caused the hemorrhage they had to go back in to correct it . Her mother refers to my daughters mother .

    2. The bureaucrats at the AMA can “think” whatever they like. The earth remains round, not flat, square or triangular. That said, who died, leaving them boss. Otherwise put, why might be the source of their “wisdom” is a question that remains unanswered.

    3. Contrary to what many people believe, the AMA does not represent the views of the great majority of US physicians, nor does I have any regulatory or licensing authority (as is frequently implied by the writers of tv shows and movies). Roughly 15% of physicians are members, mostly academics or those who are new graduates, and the number is declining. Back in the Jimmy Carter era the AMA was able to arrange a very lucrative contract with the Dept of HHS to provide and maintain a medical coding database. Because they had this exclusive contract the insurance companies started paying them for the same service. This provided a significant revenue stream so the AMA was no longer dependent on member dues. Before this happened nearly 100% of US physicians were members and the organization had to follow the directives of the majority of physicians, which tend to be overwhelmingly conservative. With the new revenue stream the academics, the only subset of physicians which tend to lean left, were able to take the organization and push a much more liberal agenda. This is why the AMA was able to endorse the ACA (Obamacare) even though the vast majority of physicians were opposed to it. Just remember, any time this organization endorses a political candidate or policy that endorsement is coming from a very small group which is generally not representative of the views of physicians as a whole.

      1. @Bonniesdad, Once again the federal govt, through its agency, is the problem rather than the solution. The bureaucrat that honchoed that contract probable got a bonus, a promotion, and a raise.

        1. The concept of a consistent method of coding medical conditions is a good one, and the coding database itself, which is constantly being updated, is actually quite well done. The problem is in the implementation. There is also the issue of having a private entity (in this case the AMA) being given such an exclusive contract and the government backed clout that goes with that exclusivity. The coding was initially used to automate billing with Medicare, Medicaid and eventually all medical insurance carriers. Since the Clinton era there was an increased push to automate medical rcommunity r encores as well. While this is good in concept, and absolutely can help improve care, it is once again the most implementation that is the problem. Medical records systems are rushed to market and consistently have security flaws. Even when they work as intended individual records are far less secure and pretty much anyone working for a practice or on a hospital can view records, even if they have no business doIng so. There is also the matter of communication breakdowns, particularly in bigger facilities. Doctors and nurses no longer inform other caretakers what is going on with a patient, they simply type a short note and expect everyone else to look it up and understand what they meant in that note. An approach with great potential has become a tool for lazy people to avoid actually doing their job properly. There is also concern, particularly with the ACA (Obamacare), that government has significant access to private medical records. with the push by the Obama administration to include questions about gun ownership in medical records questionnaires there were great concerns about the use of this information and who had access to it. Fortunately, the medical community fought back (but not the AMA, which supported collecting this information). As a result, practices and hospitals do not ask such irrelevant questions (though there are rare exceptions).

    4. We know, if not exactly, then pretty closely how many people die as a result of being shot. That information is made available, quite happily it appears, by media outlets, print and broadcast. While perhaps not exactly correct, they are close. What is less well publicized, oh so much less well publicized, how come this, is the number of people who die from, putting it politely, Medical Misdventure. How come the disparity in publicity, one wonders, indeed how come the disparity? Where oh where are the bloodhounds of media?

    5. We took our one year old son to three different doctors because we KNEW something was seriously wrong. The first two said “He is no sicker than any other kid I have seen this week”. They did nothing. The third one IMMEDIATELY suspected what was wrong and ran two specific tests. The results came in within hours and my son was hospitalized that morning. The Children’s Hospital staff told us he probably would not last a week. He lived longer but had the THIRD doctor not acted right away he would have died much sooner. As it was the third doctor gave us a few years with our son. If we listened to the TWO DOCTORS who were RESPECTED PEDIATRICIANS he would have died within days. I know now these two were educated idiots but it was my son. Those doctors FAILED and my son died. ALWAYS double or triple check the opinions of ALLEGED EXPERTS.

      1. @circle8 sorry to hear of your loss, it can be very hard to reason with. We had four kids and raised them all but when they got sick there were times when it was a scary situation. You never know if the doctor knows what they are talking about.
        Remember, the guy that graduates at the bottom of his classes is still called……. doctor.

      2. Circle, sorry to hear of your loss. My condolences. Luckily you sought a third opinion and subsequently had more time with your son.

    6. If “gun violence” considered epidemic by the AMA, requiring (in their minds) the elimination of guns, then what should they do about the deaths due to medical errors by doctors that occur at a rate of 20 times that of deaths due to “gun violence?” Should they also be lobbying for the elimination of doctors? Or are they just another group of hypocrites?

      1. They would say that doctors do more good than harm. Of course by the CDC’s own estimates, firearms do more good than harm as well. So yes, they are most definitely hypocrites. Any argument that can be used against guns can be used against any number of everyday things which no one wants to ban or control. And any argument for those everyday things can be used to argue in favor of guns as well. Hypocrisy epitomized.

        1. Remember that this is the view of the AMA, which only represents about 15% of physicians in this country (even less than the 25% claimed in this article). The vast majority of physicians tend to have more conservative views. It it primarily academics who make up the membership of the AMA.

    7. “…as if anything short of full civilian disarmament would substantially reduce “gun violence”, let alone affect violent crime. (Regarding eliminating scary “assault rifles” see the latest school shooting at Santa Fe using a pump-action shotgun and a .38 caliber revolver; regarding the consequences of handgun prohibition, see the United Kingdom—or anywhere.)”

      The AMA needs to contact Dr. Who since a time machine is needed to go back about 800 years and poison every chemist, blacksmith, or any other person who might have invented any technology that might lead to th and e invention of projectile weapons.
      Bow and arrow have been around thousands of years, but Robin Hood, the Sheriff oh Nottingham the Romans and Huns killed a lot of people before knives and arrows were outlawed. Oh, wait, they are trying to outlaw knives now in Merry Olde England now, just 10,000 years late.

      1. The reality is that some of the bloodiest battles in history were fought by the Romans, using primarily lances and short swords.

    8. The AMA needs to clean-up their own house first. I speak from experience when I say Doctors and Hospitals kill more people than guns. If it was known you would find out there are more deaths in one month from Doctors and Hospitals than all year from Guns, and that includes Chicago. Just think of the lives that could be saved if Bloomberg would dig into that. They do not want your guns to protect the public, they want your guns so they can slide the country into socialism without resistance. If they take the guns away from the good guys all that will be left are the bad guys with guns, the left can’t disarm the bad guys or do they want to. The bad guys are on the side of the left and will protect them when the time for socialism to be implemented. Capitalism has given the elite millions and millions of dollars and now they want to buy a country with it because they have run out of things to buy to make them happy. And, of course, they will be protected by armed guards.

      1. And socialism has almost always been followed by facism where government runs everything in your life.

      2. @rc, Yes, the medical community kills more people, by error, each year than the combined armies of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan did intentionally in four years. By AMA logic they should eliminate themselves first.

        1. But, but, but “everybody knows” that doctors are ‘necessary’ for society, just like cars – so ‘obviously’ we as a society can’t ‘ban’ them – so let’s go after guns instead since they are inherently ‘evil’ – after all, the ‘only’ reason they exist is to murder people. Or something.

          1. First off, as i’ve Posted here several times, the AMA is composed of only a small fraction of the physicians in this country and in no way represents the views of the medical community as a whole. Second, if you have such a low opinion of all physicians you are certainly free to not go to one.

        2. Your numbers are extremely exaggerated. There are no where near even a small fraction of the number killed in WWII dying from medical malpractice. You should also note that the AMA do s not represent the medical community as a whole by any measure. Their membership is made up of roughly 15% of the physicians in the US and they are mostly academics (who tend to be out of touch with the real world).

      3. Comment…Back in 1969 when my son was born , an inept “Dr.” Caused his mother (RIP) to hemorrhage . She was given blood from which she contracted Hep C . (I use the terms his mother and her mother because I remarried when my son was 16 ). Chalk another innocent up to Dr’s .

        1. Sorry you lost your mother, but in the late 60’s there was no way to test blood for hepatitis. In cases of hemorrhage the correct protocol was still to transfuse blood since not doing so was a much greater risk for the patient than the small chance of getting a disease from the blood. Your mother was clearly one of those few who were unlucky, but that in no way is an indication of any type of medical malpractice. As for her diagnosis, Hep C is usually not that serious in the short term and is generally no t a complete McEnroe in transfusing next. It can take many years to cause any significant issues complications. Even so, a test was finally developed in the later part of the 80s allowed for the blood supply to be screened and infected units to be removed. In the 60s the concern in transfusions was from Hep B, which is a far more aggressive and serious disease. It wasn’t until the mid 70snthat a test was developed that could screen blood samples for Hep B, at which point the risk for getting hepatitis from a transfusion became nearly nonexistent.

          1. IT was my wife , my son’s mother yes she would not have survived then with out the blood. she lasted 10 years. Her mother refers to my daughters mother .

      4. As I have previously posted, and is mentioned in this article, the AAM represents only a small fraction of physicians (around 15%, mostly academics, and much fewer than this article indicates). They DO NOT represent the medical community as a whole by any measure.

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