Harvard pediatrician spreads dangerous ‘gun safety’ advice

Lee’s note: This is the second guest column from Timothy Wheeler, MD, director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership (DRGO), a project of the Second Amendment Foundation.

Floridians are becoming depressingly familiar with pediatricians pushing a gun control agenda, as we talked about last week in connection with Florida’s Docs vs. Glocks law. Another example is an article making the rounds, authored by Harvard Medical School pediatrician Dr. Judith Palfrey. Dr. Palfrey was recently the president of the notoriously anti-gun rights American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which urges doctors to pressure their patients to get rid of their guns.

Dr. Palfrey’s article is titled “How We Can Keep Kids From Shooting People.” She begins her article with a news video reporting the accidental shooting of a six-year-old child by a four-year-old, an awful but rare occurrence. Already Dr. Palfrey is setting her readers up to believe such terrible accidents happen routinely, when in fact there were only 155 firearm deaths of children nine years and younger in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For the same year 666 kids in the same age group died from drowning. I use the term “only” not callously, but descriptively. In that year the U.S. population was over 308 million. I’m betting the average reader can’t really comprehend how small the number 155 is compared to 308 million. It is very, very small, thankfully.

Dr. Timothy Wheeler

As the article progresses Dr. Palfrey expands her definition of “kids” to include 24 year olds. This would include seasoned gangbangers, whose firearm injuries are generally inflicted not accidentally, but intentionally. The child mortality statistics she quotes are inflated by the radically different demographic of career adult murderers.

Welcome to the world of public health gun control advocacy.

All that is the standard AAP anti-gun propaganda that the organization has become famous for. But in the same article this self-appointed expert on gun safety manages to preach dangerously bad advice on gun handling and storage:

“Never allow your child access to your gun(s). No matter how much instruction you may give him or her, a youngster in the middle years is not mature and responsible enough to handle a potentially lethal weapon.”

Really? This would be news to all the kids around the country in junior shooting competitions, not to mention their parents and coaches. These programs are run by the Boy Scouts, 4-H, and numerous state rifle and pistol associations, as well as even more numerous local gun clubs and ranges. Support for youth shooting activities is provided by the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. A U.S. Department of Justice study showed that kids who learn about firearms from responsible adults are less likely to become delinquent that kids who have no exposure to guns.

But Dr. Palfrey, as well as her organization the AAP, ignore these programs and their successes. The AAP refuses to collaborate with any of them. And we’re supposed to believe the AAP’s real concern is gun safety and not gun control?

“Never keep a loaded gun in the house or the car.”

This sweeping dictate ignores any considerations of home defense or tactics. Many keep a gun in the home or car for self-defense. Keeping an unloaded gun for self-defense is worse than having no gun at all. But this advice makes sense once you realize that the AAP doesn’t consider self-defense a valid use for a firearm.

“Guns should be equipped with trigger locks.”

A clear violation of Rule 3, which states “Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.” This means keeping all objects outside of the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot. People have caused accidental (in this case negligent) discharges by putting a trigger lock on a gun. Blindly trusting mechanical devices to take the place of a proper safety mindset is a hallmark of ignorance. And ignorance in handling guns gets people killed.

American gun owners are up against a medical establishment foreign to them.  That establishment’s leaders are by culture and disposition both ignorant of and hostile to guns. They abhor the entire notion of gun ownership. They dress up their disgust with scientific window dressing, and their Ivy League origins lend them undeserved credibility.

But average American gun owners will not be fooled by Harvard degrees and political advocacy dressed up as a doctor’s concern about gun “safety.”  Doctors get no training in medical school and residency about guns, so they fool no one about their real expertise. They should stick with what they know and stop using their positions to preach gun control.

Timothy Wheeler, MD

Director, Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership

A Project of the Second Amendment Foundation

Via: The Herald-Tribune http://thegunwriter.blogs.heraldtribune.com/11898/harvard-pediatrician-spreads-dangerous-gun-safety-advice/


Dr. Tim Wheeler

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

All DRGO articles by Timothy Wheeler, MD.