Here we go again.
With the Tasmania Firearm Inquiry about to get underway, doctors have continued to play the public health fear card:
“Shooters Union Tasmania has labelled comments from a coalition of health professionals against the state’s proposed gun reforms “ill-informed emotionally charged hearsay.”
Medics for Gun Control last month launched a campaign against the Liberals planned changes. The group includes health professionals who responded to the 1996 Port Arthur Massacre.
Shooters Union Tasmania president Alistair Shephard said doctors should leave recommendations on firearm legislation to the experts.
“While I have the utmost respect for our doctors, this is not their area of expertise and their campaign is based on emotional rhetoric and has no basis in fact,” he said.
“The Liberal government’s proposal will not make it possible for just anyone to buy a gun: Tasmanians can be assured that the appropriate checks and balances will remain in place.”
Medics for Gun Control spokesman Phill Pullinger said health workers were at the frontline in dealing with issues with gun violence.
“Good regulations to minimise deaths and injuries from guns are as basic and critical a public health measure as vaccinations, smoking regulations and driving laws,” he said. “Health professionals have every right to voice their concerns about good laws that protect public health and safety.”
Spot on from Shooters Union.
No-one is disputing doctors’ right to an opinion, that’s not what is being discussed – it’s whether it’s a valid one is in dispute, and on the basis of the above it’s a firm no.
If Phill Pullinger wants to go on about laws, perhaps he can explain Melbourne or Sydney this past weekend?
Just because you “treat victims of gun violence” doesn’t make your voice any more relevant to the debate. In comparison to the volume of treatment for victims of non-firearm violence, drug and alcohol abuse, tobacco, motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents and the rest (all of which are already heavily regulated), firearms are not and never have even been on the radar, even before 1996. And let’s not get started on prescription drug abuse.
Furthermore, how many victims of violent crime do doctors treat every year that were unable to protect themselves from assault or worse, due to Australia’s ridiculous firearm and self-defence laws?
We’ve had plenty of doctors and medical professionals who are also gun owners/hunters contact us disgusted by comments made by Medics for Gun Control and the AMA towards gun owners, that are not representative of everyone in the medical field.
If doctors want to stand behind any kind of reform to the current proposals, they would support the motion to deregulate suppressors to save on the millions of public health costs to the hearing of shooters and farmers.
With an estimated 18,000 cases of medical malpractice in Australia every single year, Phil Pullinger and Medics For Gun Control are best focused on their own backyard.
Do you see firearm owners dispensing medical advice? No, it’s not our remit.
Stay in your lane and butt out of the debate unless you have something worthwhile to bring, other than playing the “muh public health” card.
Given that on average 250 people die a year from firearms (across all of Aust) and aprox 18,000 a year die from medical mistakes, I’d suggest that “doctors for [insert any cause here]” would be achieving far more if they addressed their own professional failings rather than pretended to have expertise that they clearly lack.
If their campaign reduced gun deaths by 10% that is 25 people, if focusing that energy on their own and their colleagues professional failings reduced deaths from medical mistakes by just 2.5% that is 450 lives saved.
It might be more productive to focus on getting what you do right rather than telling everyone else what to do Phil.