How do we solve this problem?

To the best of my knowledge they do not back these conclusions up with data yet we have this from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

The best way to keep your children safe from injury or death from guns is to NEVER have a gun in the home.

  • Do not purchase a gun, especially a handgun.
  • Remove all guns present in the home.
  • Talk to your children about the dangers of guns, and tell them to stay away from guns.
  • Find out if there are guns in the homes where your children play. If so, talk to the adults in the house about the dangers of guns to their families.

Presuming there is no factual basis, which I’m virtually certain there is not or the CDC would have mentioned it, what is the best way to encourage them to recant? My guess it has to come from pediatric physicians but I’m open to suggestions.

15 thoughts on “How do we solve this problem?

  1. The biggest problem is they started from a true statement and reverse engineered an answer. They started from the idea that zero contact with firearms would equal zero injuries; this is true. In the same way, zero contact with germs equals zero illness; its true, its just not feasible. Abstinence IS the best contraceptive: the widely accepted effectiveness level of most contraceptives is 99%. The commonly accepted effectiveness of abstinence is, historically, all but one.

    I think one way to reframe the debate would be to present safety training as inoculatory (prob not a word). That would give us platform to push for knowledge, rather than avoidance, as the more effective tool. Just as people get a flu shot to help them resist influenza, safety training covers both if AND when a child comes into contact with a firearm. If it helps reframe the language, its a start.

  2. How can you disagree with this?

    “The best way to keep your children safe from injury or death from X is to NEVER have X in the home.”

    That’s a pretty much a fact. It doesn’t really matter what X stands for.

  3. Malpractice: failure of a professional person, as a physician or lawyer, to render proper services through reprehensible ignorance or negligence

    Sounds right to me.

  4. I’d change the statement in one small way:
    “The best way to keep your children safe from injury or death from X kept in your home is to NEVER have X in the home.”

    Then I’d point out that it is an argument in the form of a reductio ad adsurdum. Not having a fire extinguisher in the home keeps you safe from fire extinguisher accidents, but if you have a grease fire on the stove, you have another type of problem that you are not equipped to address.

    Actually, logical argument won’t work at all with pediatricians. My wife is a pediatrician and she reports that her coworkers are all Obama supporting, very liberal, irrational people who, outside of being able to diagnose an infected ear (sometimes), should not be trusted with a car jack and tire iron when their tires go flat. Sad, but true.

  5. +1 Mikee. Step one to being anti gun is ALWAYS ignore that guns can and are frequently used to defend from violent assault.

    That is the elephant in the room for them, because once you get that out of the way their arguments actually make some sense.

    But add in that HUGE factor, suddenly the arguments are dangerous.

    JD also nails it: My wife needs medication to live. She stops taking her medication her life will be cut short (given that she’s epileptic it also means that as long as she lives she won’t be able to maintain her job, or much of the lifestyles we take for granted.)

    Now when we have kids there will certainly be a risk that kid will mistake pills for candy and like most medication it is very toxic in bad dosages, and adult meds don’t take much to kill kids.

    But like guns, simple safety precautions (not even to the extent of what antis legislate, I grew up in a house with unlocked guns in it, as well as just about everybody I know. Precautions were taken, but nothing to the anti-rights extreme of “locked disabled guns with ammo locked in a separate container in a separate room”) gun accidents are more common than even prescription drug accidents.

    But its never like Ubu wants to discuss the issue…she just wants us to suddenly agree with her. And we want her to acknowledge reality, but that’s the LAST thing any committed gun control advocate would EVER want to do.

  6. This all comes down to the substitution game. Joe, the best way to handle this is probably to point out something along the following (linked to provide context for where I came up with the idea).

    Combine the substitution game and point out that the way to protect your children from medical mistakes from a pediatrician is to not see a pediatrician. It’s quite simple.

    ubu, Apply some serious logic to this problem. If you create a statement so wide you can’t argue against it but substitution shows how weak the argument actually is. Try any of the following. Have a toaster in your house, your child can get severely burned, get rid of your toaster for the children. Get rid of your car because you may run over your child. Get rid of your electronics because your house may burn down. Do I really need to continue?

    I grew up in a house with a loaded rifle on the wall, it was never a problem. Many of my friends grew up in the same kind of house. Again, not a problem. The problem comes when all you do is try to scare your kids into thinking “X” is bad and not educating them about it.

  7. The problem, of course, is that we sometimes have to leave our homes. We go into public spaces, and into the homes of others, and into the wilderness. Keeping them ignorant and fearful of guns will not help them when they leave home – indeed, things being mysterious, powerful, and forbidden make them VERY attractive – the perfect recipe for accidents.

    Also, use the “hygiene hypotheses” example – no germ exposure means a higher chance of auto-immune disorders, because the body hasn’t got the immune system properly tuned. The wealthy and clean got polio at higher rates, and with worse effects, then poor working class kids. Why? Different immune system development because of exposure to different levels and types of germs. Expose kids to guns as tools makes them more immune to their draw as a magic talisman to solve all problems.

    And, point out the parallels with other dangerous things, like swimming pools – they kill people, but most would agree that learning to swim is a valuable skill. You can cut yourself with a knife or burn yourself on the stove, but pretty much every kitchen has them because they are very useful.

    To ignore the benefits of something because of a potential danger involved in the definition of paranoid.

  8. Shortly after my Dad died from falling down some stairs, in my grief, I had the thought: “We should ban stairs!” In my grief, it was a reasonable thought to pop into my mind…after all, without those stairs, my Dad would still be alive! How many people throughout history have died by falling down a flight of stairs?

    Come to think of it, those stairs are dangerous to mischievous children, too: when I was very young, my siblings and I would throw couch cushions down the stairs, and jump from the middle landing to the bottom. (It’s a split landing.) For that matter, as a teenager, I would jump from landing to landing, without the benefit of cushions to cushion my fall. I stopped doing that after my head once hit the top of the staircase, and I found myself on my back with carpet-burn scrapes on my arms. At least, I think I stopped jumping down those stairs shortly after that…but I can’t remember.

    Before you say that this is evidence that, as a teenager, I shouldn’t have had access to guns, consider this: that teenager stupid enough to do that had been using power tools for years. He had safely used a .22LR rifle and a bow and arrow at Scout Camp. While he didn’t have a license to drive a car at the time, he was probably old enough to have one, and if not, he was going to be soon. I had a more healthy respect for power tools and cars, though, than I had for stairs, because I was taught early on that these things are dangerous, and that special safety precautions absolutely needed to be kept. And, because I had used them, and heard horror stories about when they weren’t respected, I knew they had to be respected.

    While I didn’t grow up with guns, the same concepts certainly apply to them: to be properly safe with a gun, you need to learn the safety rules, practice with them, and learn what a gun can do to ruin your day. And you ought to do that at as young an age as possible. I wish I had grown up with guns: I shudder to think of what could have happened to me, had a friend pulled out a gun and said, “Look at this!” without the proper understanding of gun safety.

    (And considering that I had an aunt who was a cop, and for all I know, any one of my friends could have been children of cops or criminals, claiming that “guns should be banned except for Government Officials” seems a bit hollow to me.)

    I apologize for a long post, because I went off on a tangent on the point that I was going to make: the same stairs that killed my Dad also served my family for years, by helping us go from one level of the house to the other; this, in turn, helped us have a bigger house than we otherwise would have had, had the house been built flat. And with four brothers and three sisters, we needed as much house as we could get!

  9. Here’s a fun one – in some jurisdictions peace officers are expected to be armed at all times.
    All of the police I know have homes, where they do things like sleep.

    Does this mean that police are to be banned from having children? There WAS an episode (Florida?) where a single-mother state patrol (officer?) was asleep and her child had a misadventure with her service weapon.

  10. “The BEST WAY to keep your children safe from injury or death from X is to NEVER have X in the home.”

    This is straightforward. It doesn’t say it’s the “only way.” It says it’s the “best way.”

  11. According to CDC data, accidental firearms deaths in children 1-12 are fairly far down the list – accounting for only 1.4% of accidental deaths. Unfortunately I can’t link directly to my WISQARS query as it has a session ID, so here’s a copy of the result:
    http://www.impsec.org/~jhardin/gunstuff/data/wisqars_accidental_deaths_children_1999-2008.gif

    The vast majority of accidental deaths in children is due to motor vehicle accidents, drowning (of which 58% is explicitly due to swimming pools or bathtubs), and burns.

    ubu, if the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with a recommendation that anyone with a child should sell their car(s), remove their bathtub(s) and kitchen ranges, and fill in their swimming pools, would you as eagerly defend that?

  12. Somewhere is somebody who followed their doctor’s advice, and their kid got hurt because of it. Finding that person and funding their lawsuit might make a difference. The first medical insurance company to pay a $500 million penalty for the malpractic inherent in this advice would make sure this nonsense was stopped.

  13. I’ve seen this with my own children, all under 10, do not hide the guns, do not make them out as any more dangerous than the power tools in the tool shed, hiding them is like a “Pandora’s box”, they will want to seek them out, they will want to fool around with them.
    My children routinely see my firearms, if they ask to see them, I will show them. Within a few minutes the children are bored and they move on, they do not ask about them again. No mystery here folks.

    BTW: I do have them put away under lock and key if they are not immediately on me, no storage issue there.

  14. Dogs are a well known vector of childhood injury & death.

    “The BEST WAY to keep your children safe from injury or death from dogs is to NEVER have dogs in the home.”

    While technically true, it generates some problems. First off would be all the homeless dogs that happen every year as new parents ignorantly follow their doctors advice and get rid of the dogs. Second, it robs children of the pleasure of having a dog in the home as a companion & playmate. Third, it creates a generation of children unable to interact with dogs safely because they have no idea how to read canine body language & behavior, which is bad, because those kids will eventually leave the home.

    Let’s rephrase the original statement:

    “The BEST WAY to keep your children safe from injury or death from X is to EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT X in the home.”

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