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Surgeon General Nominee is a Gun Owner

And he’s right:

Guns and gun owners arent inherently a public health problem, but the violence that results absolutely is

17 Responses to “Surgeon General Nominee is a Gun Owner”

  1. Lyle Says:

    Parsing that sentence then; you’re saying that violence results from owning guns and therefore gun ownership is a problem.

  2. Ron W Says:

    If that is true, then the government is the biggest problem. Let them, our employees, disarm and LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

  3. JTC Says:

    Lyle, that’s not parsing, that’s editing. He never said gun ownership is a problem. And his car parallel that we’ve all used ourselves, is apt.

    “Guns and gun owners aren’t inherently a public health problem, but the violence that results absolutely is,” he said, likening the difference to car crashes being a public health issue, even if cars themselves are not.

    He didn’t say car ownership is the problem either. For a little more clarity I think we could parse his words as meaning the misuse of either is the problem.

    Very different problems with very different solutions, as the solution to ownership is the elimination of ownership, while the solution to misuse is…well, we haven’t figured that one out yet, for guns, cars, or ladders for that matter.

    You can’t fix stupid. There are those who would try by taking my gun, my car, and my ladder. But he ain’t one of them.

  4. Weer'd Beard Says:

    AND a Surgeon General who’s actually worked as a Doctor.

    Funny world where that’s a thing to make note of.

  5. mikee Says:

    MS-13 popularized machetes as weapons of gang warfare. They could have chosen pointy sticks, Tactical Stones, lengths of pipe or bricks in socks. The tool of criminally violent people does not matter nearly as much as the criminally violent people. Same with all gun crime, all criminal violence involving guns.

    Violence, even “gun violence” is a public health “problem” only when it is criminal violence directed against innocent people. So I would like to see the addition of the adjective “criminal” whenever “violence” is cited as a problem.

    “Criminal violence is a public health problem” now directs the people interested in solving the problem towards the criminals and their violence, which has been argued as the only way to actually solve the problem, rather than demonizing a tool used by the criminals.

    Words mean things.

  6. Lyle Says:

    JTC; taking the OP quote in isolation, it is, in fact, actual parsing;

    “The violence that results (FROM) GUNS AND GUN OWNERS absolutely is a public health problem.”
    (emphasis mine of course, to make the point)

    Yes; words do mean things. If he wanted to say that gun owners and their guns are not a problem, but CRIMINALS ARE a problem (no shit?), then he could have said so more clearly.

    I do NOT believe that he meant it the way I parsed it, but that is what he said nonetheless – big difference. And so I am saying that he was being inarticulate.

    Words still mean things.

  7. richard Says:

    Neither violence or auto accidents are a public health problem. The medical profession doesn’t have any expertise in dealing with either. How about they stick to disease.

  8. JTC Says:

    Lyle, agreed about inarticulate, I thought I said that.

    Words have meaning, just have to be careful we don’t infer an unintended latter from someone’s ambiguous former.

  9. JTC Says:

    Richard, propensity to violence and reckless criminal behaviors are not mental disease? Lots of medical professionals would disagree with that. So do I. But their treatment of it and mine probably differ.

  10. Deaf Smith Says:

    “but the violence that results absolutely is” that sounds like he DOES blame the guns.

    He should be saying CRIMINAL VIOLENCE, by any cause, is a health problem.

    See anytime you do violence to stop bad guys that is not a problem but instead a virtue. They make no distinctions and THAT is a problem.

  11. Ron W Says:

    When “gun violence” is used in lawful self defense of oneself or others, it is GOOD gun violence. Good gun violence prevents health problems and premature death. And it is a basic human RIGHT to acquire, keep and carry the means to engage in good gun violence.

  12. Tim Says:

    Good to see you here, Weer’d. I enjoy the podcasts!

  13. Richard Says:


    It is defensible to say that propensity to violence is a mental illness at least if we are talking about criminal violence. As Ron W says, it depends on what kind of violence. There are two problems, if we define it so, we are letting all the criminals off, at least under current law. The second problem is that the medical profession has a very poor record in treating mental illness or even defining it. For example, until 1987, homosexuality was defined as a mental disorder, then it wasn’t. Homosexuals didn’t change, doctors did. And it wasn’t like there was some research breakthrough either. So which is it, doc. So I don’t want doctors involved in any way.

  14. JTC Says:

    Criminal violence is the only kind there really is. Self-defense is not violence but prevention of it. That’s what I meant by my method of dealing with it differing from those of “medical professionals”…

    Your opinion and mine of the efficacy of the medical profession in general are probably similar; their pre-emptory efforts at identifying mental disorder before it manifests in criminal violence is so lousy that gov resorts to the honor system on 4473’s. That never stops actual wackjobs from doing what they do but does present a real danger to anyone who has been accused of anything that is refereed by the courts, or anyone who ever took a toke, of being stripped of their rights.

    Still, propensity for violence to innocent others often is organic in nature -mental disease- and definitely can be construed as a threat to public health…it’s just that innocent others mostly have to take it upon themselves to prevent it or end it in the moment as it were.

    Another kind of violence also doesn’t exist; “gun violence” is a term that really galls me. Its core etymology intends to psychologically anthropomorphize a simple tool with ill will, but even we ourselves have adopted it…Ron W repeats it four times in four lines. Guns are not violent, they are just effective tools that are used by evil -or crazy- people to commit violence, or by innocent citizens to stop it.

    Incidentally, homosexuality of course is a mental disorder, and in some contexts could even be called a threat to public health…but like most other human disorders, is not violent as a rule and mostly irrelevant to me and this discussion. But talk about a bad track record, they’ve been trying to deal with that one for so long they finally said ya know what? It’s perfectly normal. Only not.

  15. Ron W Says:

    “Ron W repeats it four times in four lines.” @JTC

    Yes, I was repeating that phrase to use it in an opposite context to contradict what the anti gun rights rights ilk say in the way they use it. I agree, guns are “effective tools”, the discharge of which is violent, but a good violence when used for the right reasons. They use it to blame the gun as though their existence caused the bad violence. It’s like “guns falling into the wrong hands”. The gun fell, rather than the criminal picked it up and did evil.

  16. JTC Says:

    Yes I know what you meant Ron, I wasn’t being critical, just making the point that the phrase itself is evocative in a way that negatively affects guns, gun rights, and gun usage in the minds of 2A agnostics.

    When I realized it was often being used by our own side (regardless of context the aspersion is cast), I vowed not to use it at all, ever, and I don’t.

  17. Ron W Says:

    @JTC, yes, I agree with that too. I only use it, as I described, to turn their bigotted talking points 180 degrees…right back at them.