April 6, 2001
Medical Sentinel: Gun Violence Studies Based on Flawed Methods, Political Agendas
Most gun violence studies of the past two decades are based on flawed methodology and unduly influenced by political agendas, leading to biased and incorrect conclusions..
Those are the findings of a new two-part paper published in the Spring issue of THE MEDICAL SENTINEL, The Official Journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, special edition titled "Doctors and Guns (Part II) -- A Failure of the Public Health Model."
Author Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D., editor-in-chief, makes a compelling case that many studies are prejudiced by the public health establishmentís 1979 stated objective of the total eradication of handguns in the United States.
He debunks a number of incorrect, widely-accepted claims promoted by anti-gun interest groups based on tainted studies, instead proving:
Dr. Faria blames "...those in public health with the proclivity toward the promulgation of preordained research such as the gun and violence research conducted by many investigators with a gun control agenda and disseminated in the medical journals...Much of this information is tainted, result-oriented and based on what can only be characterized as poor science."
For example, studies on women and handguns claim that a woman is up to 100 times more likely to be killed by handgun than to fire one for protection. "But they ignore the most important use of firearms -- protection. In 98 percent of cases, all you have to do is brandish a firearm. But these studies donít take those incidents into account. All they do is count women who have been killed in criminal acts and compare it to the number of women who have used a gun in self-defense."
Dr. Faria has recently chastised a number of physician organizations, including the AMA and the American Academy of Pediatrics, that urge doctors to ask patients about gun ownership. "This is playing politics."
Dr. Faria concludes, "We have an obligation to reach our conclusions based on objective data and scientific information rather than on ideology, emotionalism, political expediency, or budgetary consideration.
"Public health should not be subverted and medical science should not be perverted."