The medical scholarship does a reasonably good job of quantifying firearms deaths. But the literature is so full of ignorant statements about how guns function, hostility to the notion that guns might sometimes have a pharmakopic effect the victim's gun serving as a "remedy" to the criminal's gunvicious denunciations of gun owners, and a complete incomprehension as to why anyone would actually own a gun as to be of very limited value in formulating gun control policy.
There is no effort to enter the world of the gun owner, to see guns as gun owners see them. Accordingly, the medical literature regarding guns is generally as flat and sterile as would be research about wines written by a hard-shell Baptist preacher whose lips have never tasted a drop.
As Blumer observed, "the scholar who lacks firsthand familiarity is highly unlikely to recognize that he is missing anything" Fujimara's description of "doable problems" in scientific research helps explain in part why there has been such an explosion of mediocre research about guns in the medical research community.
The data from the official records is already present, needing only to be quantified and analyzed. The research is also doable in that there are abundant resources for such studies provided by grants awarded by the federal Centers for Disease Control to researchers seen as likely to support the CDC's strict gun control agenda.
And the research is doable in that unlike the vast majority of ordinary medical researchprospects are high for publication in prestigious professional journals like the New England Journal of Medicine; the researcher may also enjoy laudatory interviews on National Public Radio, and find his research reported uncritically in the news media, restated in newspaper editorials, and turned into an enduring factoid of the gun control argument.
Although the medical literature takes the form of ordinary medical research, the analysis often fails to conform to basic principles of common sense that are applied to ordinary disease research Suter, For example, the fact that there is an inverse relationship between the prevalence of the suspected disease vector guns and the "disease" firearm fatalities --in that rural or wealthier populations have more guns per capita but far fewer firearms fatalities than do core urban areas with lower gun densities--ought to but does not lead medical researchers to question whether the cause of the disease involves something other than just guns such as the collapse of family and community.
InLouis Pasteur discovered that he could make chickens sick by injecting them with cholera germs. But a few years later, Max von Pettenkofer a professor of hygiene in Munich drank a cup of pure cholera germs, with no ill effect.
Pettenkofer is credited with establishing that germs by themselves do not cause infection; there must also be a susceptible population and a suitable environment. In the case of inner-city male minority teenagers, there is plainly a population and environment susceptible to the "disease" of p.
Yet the medical research about the disease looks almost exclusively at guns, and pays little attention to the factors that have made one particular portion of the population immensely more susceptible to the violence disease than every other part of the population.
But to point out the illogic or methodological deficiencies of the public health approach to violence control is to miss the whole point. Medicalization of the social problem of violence has less to do with curing violence than with expanding the sphere of medical control of the rest of society.
Indeed, the public health program of attacking ideological opponents rather than proposing useful disease reduction programs is hardly new to the late 20th century.
In the 15th century, the "public health" community of the day put its effort into burning witches whose practice of herbal and other folk remedies threatened the male-dominated medical and religious systems' ideological monopolies and ignored disease-reducing programs such as rat control.
Today, the Centers for Disease Control makes the funding of firearms-related research a top priority, but accords a far lower priority to domestic violence, even though the CDC's own research shows domestic violence to be a far greater risk factor for death and injury Blackman, What is most striking, ideologically, about much of the medical research is the tone with which it is presented.Additional notes.
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