4/00 Beware Of Pediatricians

Beware Of Pediatricians
Larry Pratt

If there were a Chutzpah of the Year award, I would nominate the American Academy of Pediatrics.

As physicians, pediatricians are part of the profession that kill through medical malpractice 95,000 people per year according to the Harvard University Medical Practice Study.

Perhaps to draw attention away from a statistic that reveals physicians kill through malpractice 80 times more than those killed in firearms accidents, the Pediatrics group has called for banning handguns from homes.

Whatever the case, the Pediatrician group issued a call in April of the new millennium for banning handguns to protect the children.

The AAP labels handguns a significant public health problem justifying a ban to stem what these doctors label an epidemic.

The doctors claim that each gunshot injury costs $17,000 each, or $2.3 billion for the 134,445 gunshot injuries in 1994.

The AAP totally overlooks the lives saved and the injuries avoided by firearms. The Clinton Justice Department (obviously not trying to produce material helpful to gun owners) found that guns are used nearly 3,000 times each day in self defense.

A truer figure is nearly 7,000 — a figure produced from the research of Dr. Gary Kleck of Florida State University. Kleck’s work is so substantial that his fellow criminologists awarded him the coveted Hindelang award.

If only half the 7,000 people a day would have required medical treatment, then $22 billion is saved by guns — ten times more than the criminal costs of gun use doctors want us to focus on.

The doctors refer to the discredited study done by Dr. Arthur Kellerman used frequently by the anti-self defense crowd. Dr. Kellerman supposedly found that we are 43 times more likely to be injured by a gun than to kill an intruder with that same gun.

The trick in his statistic is “kill an intruder.” He completely eliminated all the other times a gun is used to frighten away an intruder. Only occasionally is a gun used to wound, much less to kill an intruder.

As far as I am concerned, I would rather be one of the 7,000 who use a gun daily in self defense than one of the 95,000 killed by incompetent doctors each year.