I apologize – I should have blogged about this earlier, but between my business trips and jetlag, I have dropped the ball. A week ago, a fellow Johns Hopkins alum and public heath professional Vik Khanna penned an essay that gave some doctors and other health professionals a bit of heartburn, because unlike many health professionals, Vik actually understands and appreciates firearms and the right to keep and bear arms.
In his essay, Vik addressed the so-called “gun problem” from a health care perspective, advocating for public education, training, and giving gun owners the benefit of the doubt that they are, for the most part, responsible, peaceable citizens. He was respectful, and he linked to credible studies and statistics to bolster his view.
Interestingly, and perhaps unintentionally, Vik also predicted pretty accurately what the response from the medical community would be to his essay.
Ironically, public health academics happily assert that there is a clear Constitutional right to privacy, even as they vilify a right that is actually expressed in the document, and they merrily condescend to its adherents, whom they regard as pathetic rubes.
Enter this arrogant, fat fuck.
Meet Art Caplan, MD. Art heads the bioethics program at the University of Pennsylvania, but judging from his snide, sarcastic, arrogant writing, he doesn’t know a whole lot about actual ethics, human interaction, or effective, respectful communication.
Instead of refuting any actual facts in Vik’s essay, Art simply proceeded to sneer out a “you’re a paranoid gun nut” reply, and in the process showed his absolute ignorance not just about firearms, but about current technologies, training opportunities, and laws.
Vik, buddy, no one and especially the roughly 28 folks in public health not completely distracted by their lack of funding and inability to secure tenure is capable of doing anything that will pry your gun from your warm-blooded grip. There is no political movement to take away anyone’s guns. The NRA is the mightiest lobbying outfit in these United States and the best Mike Bloomberg or Bill Gates are going to be able to do is to get the anti-gun lobby a few more op-eds and soundbites.
See that? No one wants to take your guns away. You’re paranoid. And by the way, GIVE US MORE MONEY!
My reply to Art’s patronizing gibberish is below. I also posted it in the comments section. The bolded text is my additional comments added in this blog post. I wonder how long it will last before it’s deleted…
Wow… condescending jerk much?
Someone offers an alternative view to your “kale crunching, fitbit wearing hordes of public health types” who cannot help but hysterically ascribe human traits to an inanimate object, and you have to come back with snide derision?
To be sure, Art, “buddy,” no you are not capable of prying anyone’s guns from their warm blooded grip. But make no mistake – when you “public health types” parade your medical authority as credibility on the gun issue, people who genuflect at the altar of your so-called “eruditeness,” will cite you as authorities on the issue.
So, to refute some of your histrionics…
1) Carnage is not CAUSED by guns. We analysts understand that using the passive voice in this manner serves those with an agenda well to obfuscate the problem. If you can’t determine the culprit, you will focus on the tool. The carnage is caused by criminals, and those who are ignorant and irresponsible on the proper handling of firearms.
2) “There is no political movement to take away anyone’s guns.” – Actually, you’re wrong there. There was a federal assault weapons BAN, which, even by the New York Times’ own admission, served merely to ban cosmetic features that had nothing to do with actual fatality rates. Until very recently guns were BANNED in certain cities such as Washington DC, and in many other locales, you have to ask permission from sometimes unwilling government authorities to exercise your basic right to keep and bear arms.
3) “Do public health folks have anything to offer that might reduce the mayhem while letting you hunt deer or shoot partridge or blast targets or whatever it is you and your son like to do with your guns?” — The Second Amendment is not about hunting, Art, “Buddy.” If you have any doubt about this, you should read the documents written by the men who founded this nation. (I would refer Art to Federalist 28, and this passage in particular: If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.)
4) “How about encouraging doctors, ministers, sporting goods salespeople and other community leaders to learn about and then talk about gun safety?” — The key here is LEARN about gun safety. Most doctors and other public health professionals with whom I have spoken don’t know which way the business end of a rifle points. When you learn the intricacies of using these tools, I might give some credibility to you when you discuss them. Otherwise, it’s much like turning to your plumber for a vasectomy. It might be cheaper, but I don’t recommend it.
5) “How about greater efforts to get gun owners to lock up their guns and ammo properly.” — Do tell me about proper storage for a tool of self defense, Art “Buddy.” Tell me how long it takes to unlock your pistol and load it during a home invasion. Have you ever experienced such an event in your safe, lily-white community? Didn’t think so.
6) “How’s about getting hunters to wear the right high-visibility gear.” — I’m all for it, but much like with seat belts, there are some folks who just don’t wear it, and won’t. You going to fine them? Throw them in jail for violation of safety rules?
7) “Is there any merit to making guns safer including ‘smart’ guns?” — The fact that you even ask that question shows your ignorance on the issue. There has been plenty of discussion on the topic, and there are some serious safety concerns with your “smart guns.” Until you get properly educated and informed on the topic, you have no credibility to speak on the matter, and yet here you are, hiding behind your “medical professional” shield and bloviating about things you obviously know nothing about. (There’s a good article in Forbes magazine on smart gun technology you should probably read, if you haven’t already)
8) “Can we teach people to call the cops when they know there is a gun in the house of someone who is mentally ill or under a restraining order?” Oh, so everyone is now a mental health professional? Everyone knows who is under an RO, or are we relying on ESP to tell us when is a good time to report your neighbor?
9) “A little training for kids about what to do if they find a gun?” – It’s called Eddie the Eagle. Look it up, “buddy.”
In other words, Art. You obviously have no credibility on this issue, and your little sneering note toward Mr. Khanna shows you to be a supercilious, arrogant wad.
Have a nice day.
Hey, I didn’t even curse. Are you proud of me?