By Trevor Burrus Trevor Burrus
In a purely political stunt, the American Medical Association has decided that it is time to declare gun violence a “public health crisis.” American gun violence is “a crisis unrivaled in any other developed country” that requires further research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to “help us understand the problems associated with gun violence.”
By definition, however, gun violence is not a “public health crisis,” and a group of physicians, especially those in a political trade group like the AMA, cannot invent a “public health crisis” by simply declaring one.
Properly understood, “public health” deals with the provision and distribution of public goods, that is, commonly owned or government-owned resources over which no one person or group of people have control. Mostly this includes air and water, which are the primary transmission mediums for most diseases. Since those resources are truly “public,” no one has sufficient interest in maintaining their cleanliness. Thus, one person pouring tainted water into a well can start an epidemic that can kill hundreds, if not thousands.
By wrongly declaring that gun violence is a “public health crisis,” the AMA and others have put their biases against guns on the table.
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Source:: Cato Institute