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CELTIC-L  June 1997

CELTIC-L June 1997

Subject:

Gun Debate

From:

Bette Tomlinson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.

Date:

Fri, 13 Jun 1997 22:06:32 -0600

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (86 lines)

Here is an article that a friend forwarded to me.  (Who is that masked
man?)

I assume that it is in line with this discussion, and to Celts, since they
were known as fierce warriors, and rational about the need to be able to
protect themselves.

You can't conceal carry a shotgun, only a handgun.

Bette
---------- Forwarded message ----------

   The following article is reprinted by permission of
   California Physician, copyright 1997. California Physician
   is the monthly magazine of the California Medical
   Association. It goes out each month to about 30,000
   doctors in California. This article was printed in the
   January 1997 issue.

   Science and Sentiment:  Balancing the Firearms Debate
   Timothy Wheeler, MD

   "False is the idea of utility that would take fire from men
   because it burns, and water because one may drown in it;
   that has no remedy for evils, except destruction.  The laws
   that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature.
   They disarm those only who are neither inclined nor
   determined to commit crimes."

   Two centuries after criminologist Cesare Beccaria wrote
   those words, modern criminologists are now reaching the
   same conclusions.  In a landmark study to be published in
   the Journal of Legal Studies, and already available on the
   Internet (http://law.lib.uchicago.edu/faculty/lott/guns.html)
   University of Chicago researchers John Lott and David
   Mustard found that allowing citizens to carry concealed
   weapons deters violent crimes and it appears to produce no
   increase in accidental deaths.  The authors studied 3,054
   counties in the United States using controls for time
   periods, demographic differences, and changes in firearms
   laws over the study period.  In states which passed liberal
   shall issue laws for concealed carry permits, the murder
   rate fell by 8.5%, and rapes and aggravated assaults fell by
   5% and 7% respectively.

   Physicians who follow the public health firearms debate
   may be shocked by these statistics.  But the Lott study is no
   surprise to those who read the criminology literature.
   Similar studies go back as far as the Carter administration,
   which funded an extensive literature review on weapons
   and violent crime, published as the book Under the Gun:
   Waepons, Crime, and Violence in America.  Authors James
   Wright, Peter Rossi, and Kathleen Daly's summation was
   that there is no compelling evidence that the private
   ownership of firearms among the general population is, per
   se, an important cause of criminal violence.

   More recently Northwestern University's Journal of
   Criminal Law and Criminology published Kleck and
   Gertz's national survey showing as many as 2.5 million
   annual uses of firearms to defend against imminent violent
   crime.

   How can it be that doctors have not learned the whole truth
   about guns and crime?  The answer is simple.  Most
   doctors have never considered gun crime to be germane to
   medicine, and have therefore not studied the subject.  But
   the large body of research amassed by criminologists
   during the past 20 years mostly confirms what typical gun-
   owning citizens know intuitively: Gun violence is the work
   of a small minority of criminal aberrants, most of whom
   have a lifelong history of violent and antisocial behavior.

   This perspective is now accepted by many in the academic
   community outside of medicine.  Charges against the
   National Rifle Association or the gun lobby fail to address
   the scientific issues raised by these reputable researchers
   and therefore contribute little to our understanding.

   There are physicians who believe that criminologists have
   something to teach physicians about crime.  They want to
   hear all the evidence and make up their own minds.  The
   evidence increasingly tells us that gun ownership by good
   citizens is not only safe, but is a positive benefit in that it
   helps protect innocent human life.

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