What kind of war does Spain anticipate fighting in which a submarine would play a useful role?
No, as I said above, my problem -- and the problem of doctors -- is the injury, particularly the deaths, not the violence.
Would you rather be beaten up or killed?
The experience of doctors who treat injured people is that guns are more likely to kill than stabbing or beating.
That makes sense. Guns are designed to kill. If they weren't more efficient at killing, people wouldn't use them.
The ER doctors and surgeons tell me that removing the gun significantly reduces the injury and likelihood of death.
The rocket pioneers were always one step ahead of the cops.
I know I was.
This is the kind of thing that chemistry books in the 1950s and 1960s encouraged kids to do.
One of the 19th century classics was Faraday's Chemical History of a Candle, which showed you how to make a paint can blow its top with lycopodium powder. (Still a great book for kids, now open source.) My chemistry teacher used that one in class. There was one British popular science lecturer who said that an indoor explosion is a good way to get peoples' attention.
The big difference is that back then, making bombs and rockets helped us fight our enemy, the communists. Now, making bombs and rockets is the kind of thing our enemies, the muslim terrorists, do.
You gotta admit, we beat the Russians to the moon. OK, they beat us into space. But putting a man on the moon is what really counts.
If you consider getting shot to be violence, then taking away guns reduces violence.
I had a couple of friends who wrote for Reason, and they even gave me a free subscription, so I read it for a few years. We had a few discussions about gun control, so I heard the basic arguments, which left me unconvinced.
I think the Nature article quoted a researcher who said that there is not now enough evidence to demonstrate whether gun control would save lives, and that may be true.
I don't think it contributes to a rational resolution to have politicians decide which scientists are biased and cut off their funding, as they did in this case (and as they did for research on marijuana, another product that Reason is sympathetic to).
Even worse, I don't think it contributes to a rational resolution to have politicians pass laws that mandate that data not even be collected, when somebody uses the data to come to conclusions that you don't like. There were studies that concluded that people who bought guns were more likely to use them to commit suicide than use them in any reported self-defense. I'd like to see somebody try to refute that conclusion, but now they never will. Now the names of people who buy guns are no longer available to researchers or even collected. So we're having a data-free debate.
I am skeptical of the claim that all peer-reviewed academic journals are biased against guns. Back in the days when the federal government was funding those studies, I would always see letters in JAMA etc. from pro-gun people, including doctors. Even today, many researchers, including doctors, say that they did or still do own and use guns.
I used to use the library at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and they had shelf after shelf of criminology journals. If some academic researcher did discover the truth, I'm sure he could find someplace to publish it, and they can fight out their arguments in that literature.
I enjoy reading law journals as much as the next guy, but I am no longer spending time going through the firearms debate. I know there isn't going to be any new data. Besides I just got the latest NEJM on my desk and I have to read it. So this will have to serve as my courteous reply.
Lead investigator Dr William Jacobs, professor of microbiology and immunology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University, said: "We have only been able to demonstrate this in a test tube, and we don't know if it will work in humans and in animals.
Not true. One of the leading researchers who publishes in peer-reviewed journals has repeatedly criticized studies supporting gun control when they went against the evidence.
None of the firearms researchers was ever accused of falsifying evidence -- merely of coming to conclusions that the NRA and their supporters disagreed with.
Perhaps you're thinking of John Lott, who didn't back up his hard drive, and lost his paper documentation, and couldn't remember the names of any researchers, and who created an online meat puppet named Mary Rosh. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lott#Controversy
They were publishing plenty of peer-reviewed articles about their research in the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Public Health, etc., until the NRA lobbyists forbid government agencies from funding their research.
If you don't believe in peer-reviewed research, then you have a bizarre idea of facts and reality.
It's a lot easier to take away guns from irrational people than it is to get them to control their impulses. When you figure out how to get irrational people to control their impulses, let me know.
I don't know where you get the idea that gun banners don't care about addressing the base cause of violent crime. The people who led the effort were doctors who got tired of having people dying from gun wounds in the emergency room. They were happy to reduce violence any way they could do it. The easiest way was to start by taking away the guns.
They're the same people who are trying to reduce poverty, increase education, etc. but that's a long, indirect path.
I've been told a lot of things, and I can't keep track of them all. I don't want the responsibility of being an informed patient. I want my doctor to make the important decisions. Health care is too important for me to take a chance on making a mistake.
That's not what happens, though. My insurance company sent me a post card to remind me to get my seasonal flu shot. I called my doctor's office and they didn't have them in yet. No coordination at all.
Public health decisions should be made by public health authorities. Unfortunately we have a very uncooperative society. The US Preventive Health Task Force recommends that breast cancer screening start at age 50, and they ran into a firestorm of people who were using or exploiting it to make political or philosophical points, or just to preserve a profitable income stream.
It would probably be good to get it bundled with your zoster shot, since zoster is fairly common among older people, it's quite painful, and it can often lead to permanent painful neuropathy.
This isn't something that I should worry about. My doctor should take care of it for me. I don't have time to read a stack of literature on every disease I might get. It would be like trying to watch every video on Youtube.
I went to a conference on vaccines several years ago where somebody gave a talk on whooping cough vaccine. He said that there was a problem with the vaccine made from the whole bacterial cell, and it did have a small number of adverse effects, not as bad as whooping cough itself but more common than the other standard vaccines. At that time they were working on a new acellular vaccine, which wouldn't have as many or as serious adverse effects.
Now they have it. That's the tradeoff. Fewer adverse effects but less effectiveness.
None of this is unproven. It's well proven. You can look it up in the textbooks.
If we didn't have so much resistance to vaccines in general, they could have gotten away with a more effective vaccine that had more common adverse effects. It would have been less comfortable but with fewer deaths.
The utility of cars is far greater than the utility of guns. So is the utility of doctors.