The American Medical Association is one of those names people are conditioned to trust. Their recommendations guide so much of our lives, from what we eat to how much we sleep. People take AMA recommendations seriously, even if they don’t hear about them from their physician.
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However, the AMA is also a political animal. They seek to push an agenda, which would make sense when they’re looking at the overall health of the American public.
Unfortunately, they’re also pushing an anti-gun agenda, one the Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership want to counter.
The 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. 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.)
The op-ed features some examples of the items the AMA wants doctors to try to push, and it could just as easily have come from Moms Demand Action or some other dedicated gun control group. It includes a ban on “semi-automatic assault rifles,” an increase in the age to purchase long guns, and a ban on bump stocks.
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If this were really about curbing gun violence in relation to national health, shouldn’t their focus be on handguns? They are used to kill six times as many people as long guns every year. Why is the focus on rifles?
Oh, because it’s more politically palatable to go after long guns at the moment. That’s it.
In other words, I no longer have any reason to listen to the AMA about much of anything. If they can be this blatantly political on this topic, what is it mishandling because the truth makes someone feel icky.