AMA uses Study to Push Gun Control, Note Media Role in Mass Shootings

Doctors and Guns
Doctors and Guns

U.S.A. -(Ammoland.com)- The AMA published a study of the effects of “Mass Shootings” on gun sales. The authors found gun sales were about as likely to decrease as to increase after the events.

Instead of the traditional FBI definition of a mass murder as killing four or more people in a single incident, not including themselves, the study published by the AMA uses the more wide ranging “Mass Shooting”, which they define as an incident in which 5 or more people are injured or killed. Not surprisingly, this increased the number of incidents substantially. The researchers found 124 incidents from November 1998 to April, 2016.  That is the period the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) has been in effect.

Here are the results, as published. From jamanetwork.com:

Main Outcomes and Measures Identification of major mass shootings significantly associated with changes in gun purchases, and the identification of event-specific factors associated with changes in gun purchases.

Results Between November 1998 and April 2016, 124 major mass shootings and 233 996 385 total background checks occurred. A total of 26 shootings (21.0%) were associated with increases in gun purchases and 22 shootings (17.7%) were associated with decreases in gun purchasing. Shootings receiving extensive media coverage were associated with handgun purchase increases (odds ratio, 5.28; 95% CI, 1.30-21.41; P = .02). Higher-fatality shootings had an inverse association with handgun purchase decreases (odds ratio, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.53-1.00; P = .049).

In other words, after 21% of the incidents, gun sales increased. After 18% of the incidents, gun sales decreased. There was no change for 61% of the incidents.

It is important to report the negative results of scientific studies. This is one of those cases.

When there is a “mass shooting” as defined by the study, sometimes gun sales increase. Sometimes they decrease. Most of the time, they stay the same.  It is hard to conceive of a less surprising outcome. Studies often confirm the obvious.

Some credit must be given to the author of the article about the study. She includes the information that “mass shootings” are likely increased by the excessive media coverage of “mass shootings”. From the AMA article about the study:

In an April 18 letter to CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD, AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James L. Madara, MD, noted research suggesting “that a mass-shooting incident increases the probability of another mass shooting in the immediate future.” He added that “analysis of media coverage of mass shootings followed by imitation or copycat incidents of mass shootings indicate a possible media contagion effect.”

Dr. Madara wrote that “the AMA agrees that the way the media reports on an event can play a role in increasing the probability of imitation.”

None the less, the author worked hard to act as if this study was evidence to promote more restrictions on gun ownership. The article mentions AMA support to require government permission to purchase a firearm (background checks) and links to a large number of infringements pushed by the AMA. The items could have come directly from the major anti-Second Amendment groups.  They include:

  • Red Flag Laws
  • Adding people convicted of “stalking” to the list of prohibited possessors
  • Adding dating partners to the list of prohibited possessors by restraining orders
  • Requiring States to establish processes to actively confiscate guns
  • Advocate to keep schools “gun free zones”
  • Oppose allowing teachers to have the ability to protect children under their care
  • Support banning the possession of firearms by adults between the ages of 18 and 21
  • Support banning the sales of firearms and ammunition to adults between the ages of 18 and 21
  • Oppose concealed carry reciprocity to allow adults with the legal right to carry concealed weapons in their home state to carry in other states.

The AMA qualifies as an anti-Second Amendment group in its own right.

This study did not give them any leverage to promote more infringements on the Second Amendment.

The AMA works hard to convince people that crime and suicide are “public health” issues. By this reasoning, everything is a public health issue, because everything affects health in one way or another.  Taxes? Public health issue. Environmental concerns? Public health issue. Crime? Public health issue. Gun ownership? Public health issue. It is hard to think of something that isn't a “public health” issue in this formulation.

Doctors are not experts on crime, economics, pollution, or guns. Declaring everything a “public health” issue is a way to leverage the public respect for doctors to push policy objectives that have nothing to do with medicine.

Progressive politics place “public health” above Constitutional rights. It is simply another way to say “general welfare” or “the greater good”.  Progressive ideology declares experts should decide what policies promote “public health” or “general welfare” or “the greater good”.  But there are always experts on every side of an issue.  Progressive ideologues just pick the experts they agree with.

Progressive ideology detests the idea of limits on government. Thus, Second Amendment rights are attacked by Progressive medical organizations such as the AMA.

What you will not find in AMA publications, is information about positive uses of guns. Self defense with guns, defense against animals, contributions to the common defense, undercut the narrative that guns only have negative consequences. It is as if doctors were evaluating a medicine, but never considered the cures the medicine produced, only its side effects. That is bad practice.


About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 20 thoughts on “AMA uses Study to Push Gun Control, Note Media Role in Mass Shootings

    1. How about we take away the Dr. – patient confidentiality clause and require Doctors to report on people that are being treated for mental health issues and put these people on the not able to obtain a firearm list. It seems quite a few of these people are involved in mass shootings. Maybe we should restrict access to first person shooter video games which desensitize younger people to violence. Yes, there alot of sensible things we could do instead of taking away 2nd amendment rights for everyone else.

    2. Why dont they .mention the public health crisis of doctors killing people and allow drug testing of doctors

    3. The AMA is just a good ol’ boy’s club for people with an M.D. pasted after their name. That doesn’t mean they’re qualified to shape our political landscape. It doesn’t even mean they’re necessarily intelligent. I have worked with many stupid docs, and a lot of them are just flaming Aholes. As always there are exceptions, but the AMA is a collective stupid Ahole.

    4. If the study and databases were to create a standardized definition across all organizations, media, government, Congress, federal agencies, etc, these studies may shed some light. However, the focus cannot be limited to the gun. The gun did nothing wrong: a human created the I/O interface that results in bullets leaving the barrel.

      A mass shooting event should be defined as four or more people being shot during an action by one shooter, who has no direct toes to the victims, or multiple shooters acting in concert to take out members of a group. This count does not include the shooter. Deaths and casualties should have their own analysis. Immediately following these events, the police need to secure the scene and impose a media blackout. The media needs to refrain from the endless speculation that morphs into facts because it is repeated so much. Media outlets breaking the blackout lose credentials for that area for a month for the first event, a year for the second, and lose all credentials for the third.

      The police need to monitor each broadcast and cause the producers to air a sports saying they misinformed the public and set the record straight.

      These are common sense controls that we need to ensure bias free reporting. No more quoting A who quoted B from XCR agency. Some name has to be attributable.

    5. Libturd stupidity? Public health issue. Leftist treachery? Public health issue. Ruling elite’s arrogance and entitlement? Public health issue. Slanderous democrat legislators? Public Health issue. Lying media propagandists? Public health issue.

    6. Did these enlightened elites bother to look at whether there was a public campaign to ban one or more firearms following their “mass shooting” events? I would bet for a 100% correlation of loud and long ban campaigns with the increased sales following an event. People will rush to buy that which they may not be able to get tomorrow.

    7. Simple answer to ANY doctor that asks about guns – Do your job and stay out of my business! PEROID!
      As to all the people killed by doctor, they call it a practice because they have not gotten it right yet! And that’s a fact!

      1. It becomes their business when they are repeatedly repairing the damage incurred whenever a patient presents to the ER with a gunshot wound.

    8. First, if you increase the number of victims in a shooting from 4 to 5 you decrease the number of incidents, not increase; you cannot move to a more inclusive definition and gain more data. Second, after reading the abstract and the majority of the paper on the website provided, the authors of the “study” (lets be honest with ourselves, it wasn’t a “study” someone just gathered pre-existing numbers and did some simple math) switch between the use of the word “gun” and “handgun”. Third, their hypothesis isn’t “Do mass shootings have an effect on gun purchases?” it is “Why do mass shootings increase gun purchases; victimization or fear of not being able to buy guns later.” and they are unable to make that determination because they never asked the right question in the first place, not to mention the insane bias their hypothesis introduces. Anybody who tries to use this article to prove gun control is necessary can be fact checked quite easily just by looking at the D grade science used to complete this study.

      1. The number of incidents increased because the AMA included injuries, rather than just fatalities, in their definition.

      1. Well said! The AMA needs to clean up it’s own act before trying to “fix” what they perceive as a “problem”, which doesn’t actually exist. It’s like banning the hypodermic needle in an effort to cure malpractice.

    9. The AMA should concern itself to the field of health and mental health and why people commit violence. A gun is a tool , how it’s used, properly or improperly, is dictated by the user. As a disabled vet, a gun is an equalizer against someone who means me harm.

    10. In regards to guns the AMA has a negative agenda and therefore anything they say or support should be taken with a large grain of salt or just outright disregarded.

    11. I wonder if the AMA considered the number of defensive gun uses (DGU’s) in the study. They probably only looked at one side of the issue which will always look bad since it isn’t balanced against the other side of the issue. Any “study” that does not consider both sides is flawed the minute it starts.

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