SCOPE NY

SCOPE BLOG

  • 11/09/2018 10:50 AM | Anonymous

    By Shawn DuBois

    Our culture of the past few decades is the reason for our current social problems. The degradation of our morals, ethics, and personal accountabilities has us at the end of our rope. Respect was the first loss to our character. By not recognizing that the stern hand of our parents and elders was not only a punishment, but a glimpse of the pain that we would succumb to in a lifetime of making bad choices, the easy way out if you will.

    I know first hand of this road. In my youth I was rebellious of all forms of authority, be it my parents, school, or the law. I would seek out confrontation on all fronts to prove that I was capable of making choices. Turns out that they were all the wrong choices.

    Integrity, that too has become lost from us over the course of time. We let things go and make excuses like, I don't have the time, I'm too tired, or I just don't feel like it. We allow the little things in our composure to give way to convenience and don't do the right thing when it presents itself.

    The greatest loss to our collective citizenry has been honor. Honor has been replaced by a false sense of pride. This illusion allows some people to walk through life thinking they deserve your respect. Somehow this qualifies them as being honorable. In my youth I was guilty of this belief. I'm glad to say that I wised up and took into account all of the things my elders preached over the years. Encompassing all their sacrifices and hardships, I have come to realize what real Honor is; that silent strength of personal accountability.

    Our society has been enveloped in an apathetic culture of senseless tragedy. This has been played out over and over again against a backdrop of forgotten values. The core of reasoning has yielded to the paper pride of an antagonist who feels that they were somehow stepped on. Their need to lash out with vengeance was to fill their empty vault of honor.

    Pride comes before the fall. In the case of mass shootings, pride comes before the fall of others. I look at all the shootings and I wonder, was it just plain cold blooded murder? Was the senseless act of killing random people to satiate a practical hunger for violence or was the killing of innocent people the byproduct of a criminal who didn't get what they wanted?

    When you add in the mental instability of an individual you will have consequences that lead to random acts of evil perpetrated by nothing more than a selfish madman who wants to play the part of the Joker. Those on the left side of this argument may or may not recognize the unstable minded individual as partial cause of being an active shooter.· With that being said, am I to believe that those who seek to abolish all guns would rather see an unstable minded individual walking around in a society free of guns, than a stable minded person with guns?

    The anti-gun establishment also tend to lump all those with guns as "owners." Criminals are not gun owners. They simply possess a firearm by some means of a past crime, be it from a theft or an illegal purchase. Both are illegal. A true gun owner is someone who exhibits ownership of responsibilities of having a firearm. It is this same responsibility by the gun owner to prevent a firearm from falling into the wrong hands.

    All of the shootings do have one thing in common, it took a person to pick up a firearm, point it at somebody and pull the trigger. Those are the human actions required for a firearm to expend a round in the manner it was so designed. A firearm itself is incapable of such an act alone. Therefore, a gun alone cannot harm anyone, until it has been picked up and used in such a wicked fashion. Often Firing Lines page 9 this puts false blame on those who are responsible gun owners.

    Where does all this false blame come from, that's right, the liberal media. The misinformation machine that condemns everything that does not fall unto their irrational minded scheme. By repeating half-truths with the intention, of not only relying on a populace who are accustomed to being fed instant results, but for the sole purpose of saturating the masses with a quick one sided conclusion to distract them from the slow process of ascertaining the truth.

    The willing capitulation of free thought and the erosion of intellect has become the most disturbing casualty of American sovereignty. Individuals of modern civilization quietly chooses to surrender their own common sense and allow themselves to be led into the corral of mass hysteria. This is where the anti-gun establishment lay. Penned in and reinforced by a false sense of security from, they howl and lament at every opportunity to diminish the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. They have no respect for the great and proud history of whence it came.

    Benjamin Franklin once said, "If you allow yourself to become a sheep, the wolf will surely eat you." 

  • 11/09/2018 10:43 AM | Anonymous

    By Michael Caruso 

    " ... the State 'has the supreme right against the individual, whose supreme duty is to be a member of the State ... for the right of the world spirit is above all special privileges."' Author/historian William Shirer, quoting Georg Hegel in his The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1959, page 144).

    After every mass shooting, we hear the cries for more gun control from the statist and the faint cries to address the real issues. Presidential Candidate Donald Trump said during an October 4 appearance on This Week With George Stephanopoulos that, "Politicians who push gun control do not understand the problems they want to fix." The truth is far from what Tromp thinks. Trump also stated on October 7th that "a lot of people in this room say there is another agenda". He went further to state ·1 think they are stupid people honestly".

    Any politician that pushes gun control is doing so not as a naive participant attempting to address the problem of violence in our culture. They do not want or intend to genuinely address the true issues from which our country suffers. They do so knowing what the true secret goal of gun control is: to slowly evolve into an unarmed society. This can be said regarding every leader of groups that calls for more gun control in the name of saving lives.

    The common principle at play is a dialectic, often called the Hegelian Dialectic. It is a triad of propositions understood as thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Once synthesis has been reached, the process starts all over again. In layman terms this is known as problem, reaction, and solution. Again, once the solution has been reached the process starts anew. This process is at play in nearly every decision we as a society make. Unbeknownst to many, the solution or synthesis has already been formuIated.

    We also see this at work when it comes to the manufactured immigration crisis that is afoot The populous is yearning for a plan, desperately yearning for action to be taken. The desperation is so extreme that they will cheer when someone proposes building a wall to keep people out. Cheering, but not realizing that these proposals attack our freedoms. Cheering, yet not thinking of the consequence of walls, to keep people out and also within. Or they may cheer when someone says they would close certain Mosques. Cheering on and not fully knowing what is within the First Amendment: freedom of speech is just being just one part; freedom of religion being another. Proposing to close certain Mosque, such as Tromp has done, is a full blown violation of the First Amendment They would rather have the extreme dialectic solutions, instead of looking at the real issues.

    The statists' / establishments' ultimate goal or end game for · this ever persistent attack on the Second Amendment is the repealing of it A land where you do not have the right to bear arms is a land where your rights are reduced to privileges with the chance of them being taken away. The goal is the same for any crisis. It is not to solve the issue; it is to have the public willfully hand over their being aware of doing so. I have heard many people question if politicians are stupid and say they don't understand the issues, or even that they have never read the US Constitution. They have read the US Constitution, maybe it was a long time ago though. They are not stupid and they do understand the real issues. They just don't want to solve the problems, the real problems. To do so would be to relinquish the control they have over the populace. In regards to the US Constitution, they view it with disdain, yet in public many of these same officials praise the virtues of it.

    What we are seeing is a full out war on our rights, which are endowed upon us, not by one person, nor by a group of people, but by our creator. We are seeing the movement to reform our country into one where we have privileges, not rights; a country where you could lose your privileges due to the politically driven reason of the day. We already saw this with the Sedition Act of 1918, which Wilson used during World War I. It forbade the use of "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language" about the United States government, its flag, or its armed forces or that caused others to view the American government or its institutions with contempt. Those convicted under the act generally received sentences of imprisonment for five to 20 years.

    Our Founding Fathers and Mothers envisioned a country where we all have rights. But more and more those rights are being reduced to privileges. Not a country where a citizen is imprisoned for voicing an opposing opinion to the government, Schenck Vs United States, nor a country where you are tracked daily, be it through your cell phone or on the internet Not a country where a select few are granted "permits .. to be armed in NYC and other cities.

    Understand that what we see occurring is not due to naive politicians, nor officials being "stupid". "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you super-add the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority." Lord Acton

  • 11/09/2018 10:33 AM | Anonymous

    By Timothy Wheeler, M.D.

    Gun prohibitionists have raged since 2008 over the astounding setback they suffered in 2008 with the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion District of Columbia v. Heller. No sooner had they picked themselves up off the mat than the court delivered the second punch in the form of the 2010 decision McDonald v. Chicago. Heller affirmed the individual right to own guns for self-defense, and McDonald clarified that Heller applied also to the states and lesser jurisdictions.

    Together, they are the two landmark Supreme Court decisions that restored the right of armed self defense to crime-plagued District of Columbia residents and to Otis McDonald, a retired African-American maintenance engineer in Chicago threatened by neighborhood gangsters. They have reformed and fundamentally redirected the course of American legal proceedings regarding firearm ownership.

    Gun prohibitionists have fixed their hopes on language in Heller that allows for some regulation of the right to keep and bear arms. Now comes the New York State Bar Association with its Task Force on Gun Violence Final Report, a user-friendly how-to book for gun-grabbing politicians. It amounts to a brief for gun control, a guidebook for policy makers who are looking for ways to skirt the protections of the law. With its blatant utilitarian appeal to the gun control movement, it has earned a place on the bookshelf alongside the original notorious gun control playbook. http://drgo.us/? F418.

    The Bar Association's partisan support of gun control reminds me of my own experiences in my state's professional organization, the California Medical Association (CMA). In the 1990s, when the public health gun prohibition movement had gained momentum, activist leaders in the CMA eagerly sought harsher gun control laws for Californians.

    Brushing aside concerns about legality, including California's constitutional protection of "defending life", the California Medical Association adopted policies calling for "cities and counties to enact [gun control] laws more restrictive than state laws", mandatory handgun licensure and registration, and "a state excise tax on sales of ammunition and firearms" (Actions of the House of Delegates 1994 and 1995, California Medical Association).

    The organizations claiming to represent America's lawyers and doctors almost uniformly adopt militant gun prohibitionist positions, often pushing those agendas in the statehouses and in Congress. In the case of the California Medical Association, at least, they claim to represent their members through a representative process. But that organization's leadership at times has resorted to dirty tricks to thwart the common will and push its minority agenda.

    For example, in 1996 the California Civil Rights Initiative (Proposition 209) appeared on the ballot. That initiative outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity or national origin in California's public education facilities, employment and contracting. Both the CMA's Board of Trustees and House of Delegates deliberately refrained from taking a position on this controversial ballot measure. But a few days prior to election day, a handful of leaders (the Executive Committee) announced their own opposition to it, misrepresenting it as the CMA's official position. Members complained, but it was too late. CMA social activists resorted to other unethical behavior during their anti-gun rights campaign of the 1990s. In my capacity as a delegate to the policy-making House of Delegates, I faxed documents to a reference committee considering a gun control resolution. My documents cited criminology research showing the self-defense benefits of gun ownership, in opposition to the resolution. The reference committee never considered my documents, saying they had never received them despite my sending them-three times.

    It's easy to wonder if the inner workings of the New York State Bar Association are similar, considering the raw bigotry against gun owners evident throughout their report. The reader's first clue is the repeated use of the term "gun violence", which has come to be the mutually agreed-on code word for "violent crime and suicide". Using the more accurate term would focus on the real underlying human problems instead of demonizing the tool itself, which is the gun-banners' message.

    In the best tradition of public health anti-gun rights advocacy articles, the Bar Association's report omits any hint of the voluminous criminology research supporting the social benefits of firearm ownership. It devotes pages of text and footnotes to citations of medical anti-gun advocacy research by authors from major gun control advocates like Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and the CDC. But not a word of research from criminologists Lott, Kleck, Mauser, or Wright and Rossi.

    The Bar Association report doesn't even mention that :firearms are used at all for self-defense. This calculated omission alone is utterly amazing, considering how public attitudes have shifted toward approval of gun ownership and the right of self -defense. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/17 /despite-lower-crime-rates-support-for - gun -rights-increases/ .

    The report rehashes old arguments about the wording of the Second Amendment that were resolved years ago in the federal courts. It approvingly cites examples of early gun control laws of the republic. The countervailing arguments, the ones that ultimately convinced the appeals courts and the Supreme Court, are mentioned only to dismiss them.

    Finally, the report wraps up with an entire section melodramatically titled ''Beyond the Law: Missing Gun Violence Data". In such official anti-gun rights screeds, in public health advocacy research articles, and in major media reports, it has become standard procedure to hammer away at how unjust Congress supposedly was in ordering a stop to federally funded gun research in 1996.

    The truth, of course, is never whispered. Congress ordered a stop, not to gun research, but to the ongoing operation of what amounted to a taxpayer-funded gun control advocacy factory at the federal Centers for Disease Control. The Bar Association somehow omitted the ugly details of this scandal at the CDC, but you can read them at http:// drgo.us/?p=285.

    The New York State Bar Association claims, among other things, to serve individual lawyers in the state. But its report on "gun violence" is so one-sided that it cannot be seriously considered to represent the range of legal opinion of New York's legal community. It is nothing more than a carefully constructed legal argument for abolishing the right to keep and bear arms.

    -Timothy Wheeler, MD is director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, a project of the Second Amendment Foundation 

  • 11/09/2018 10:25 AM | Anonymous

    By Ralph Esposito, Editor

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families of the terrorist attacks in Paris. Well over 100 innocents brutally murdered and hundreds more wounded by a handful of radical Islamic terrorists.

    France is a nation that is restrictive of gun ownership, including all but prohibiting legal handgun carry. Despite these laws the terrorist had fully automatic military weapons, grenades and suicide vests. The best those were caught in the killers sights could do was call the police on their cell phones and beg them to save their lives.

    I am not saying that the Second Amendment could absolutely prevent such a horror but we do know the following in the US:

    •  The police always arrive after the shooting begins, long minutes   after.

    •  Most mass shootings have happened in a gun free zone, assuring unarmed victims.

    •  Many times when an armed citizen is present the shooter is stopped   long before the police arrive. Recall the Oregon mall shooting that was stopped by an armed civilian. Upon his arrival the shooter killed himself, October, 2015. Lets not forget the security guard who shot the two armed terrorists at the Dallas area Muslim cartoon event in May of 2015. Score two dead terrorists, one wounded security officer.

    Could armed citizens in Paris have stopped have the carnage? That is something we will never know. What is clear is that armed citizens would have had a chance to stop or at least slow down the killers; perhaps saving some lives. Instead people died running away or begging for their lives. Pleas that fell on deaf ears of those callous vermin.

    It is interesting to note that in Austria and other European Union countries since the first Paris terrorist attack, where some guns can still be purchased legally there has been a run on gun purchases. Funny how that is happening in the very countries President Obama's called "civilized" because of their restrictive gun control.

    In World War II the evil that had taken control in Germany disarmed both it's own people and those it conquered. That allowed the round up and slaughter of millions of innocents to go unchallenged. I imagine many of them tried running away or begging for their lives too. Of course those who seek to disarm us today have only our best interests at heart - so they tell us, and of course that they will protect us (ask someone in Chicago about that).

    The question is, if God forbid you were in Paris that tragic Friday the 13th would you rather have had a cell phone or a gun? 

  • 08/21/2018 3:20 PM | Anonymous

    By Attilio A. Contini 

    Spare me the crocodile tears. Really, think about it. If Obama was actually concerned about the so called need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, why did he wait three years? Seven years? Why didn’t he go before Congress and plead his case with the sob story he gave us on January 5th? Why didn’t he ask Congress to sit down with him and propose a compromise solution that would actually work rather than the same old restrictions that never work? 

    He wants background checks, so do I. But they must be against a data base that only contains the names of individuals who should not be permitted to own or buy guns! He should be making sure the names of convicted felons, drug dealers, including addicts, those that have a history of mental instability and a tendency towards violence that would cause them to be a threat to themselves and others, and most important, those who associate with and have ties to terrorist groups in particular Islamic Jihadists. 

    He has put little old ladies and law abiding citizens on watch lists. How about admitting that radical Muslims are terrorists? He and his oath breaking friends such as Cuomo, are assembling a massive database that contains the names of very few individuals who should not have guns, and is of little value other than to harass, tax, and make difficult for law abiding citizens to purchase and own guns, and pave the way for the mass confiscation of our guns. 

    One has to ask, how can they be so stupid as to not realize or understand that the database they are (have been) creating is almost useless in accomplishing their alleged goal. The answer is their actual goal is not to prevent mass shootings and crime; it is to give them the means to disarm and control law abiding citizens. This is why so many of the gun control advocates are the same radical progressive, left wing people who despise our free democratic form of government and are “dramatically changing” it. This is why these same people think little old ladies who pray in front of abortion mills are criminals, but refuse to admit radical Muslims are terrorists. 

    Guns are as safe as they need to be. There is no need to create smart guns or make them difficult to use. Look at what the President and his henchmen have been doing the last seven years and tell me why we shouldn’t have reason and concern about our Constitutional rights, in particular the second amendment. It is time to stop blaming guns and ask why are the terrorist sickos committing these brutal senseless mass murders. Moral decay, the entertainment industry, mass media, and the Radical Islamic attack on our Western society are the primary reasons. 

  • 08/21/2018 3:16 PM | Anonymous

    By William R Fox Sr, Genesee County Scope Chair 

    This letter is in reference to some of our elected officials who are demanding that anyone who is on the no-fly list be blocked from buying a firearm and, possibly, have their firearms confiscated. 

    Sounds like a great idea for everyone's safety doesn't it? The people of this country really need to think about this. 

    You ask why? You don't agree with this statement? 

    How does one get on this list? Are there definite guidelines on how someone is placed upon it? Mistakes have been pointed out; such as the late Senator Ted Kennedy and even US military members being on the list. 

    Is it because you might not agree with the politicians or our leaders about how things should be done? (Note: Remember they work for us.) Is it because of your religious beliefs? Is it because of how your name is spelled or how it sounds? 

    Is it because of how many firearms you buy? 

    I don't know how it's done and that's what scares me. I don't think anybody does. 

    What are the guidelines and who sets them? 

    Ok, let’s say you find out that you are on this list. How do you get off of it? If you are able to correct the error, at what cost will it be to you and your family-both emotionally and financially? What are the guidelines for defending yourself against something you knew nothing about? People, we need to really think about this because there are so many questions that our leaders don't seem to think, or don't care to think about. 

    All of this points out one definite, dangerous fact…our Constitutional rights are unapologetically being infringed upon by the government. They are blatantly disregarding the people’s right to due process. The American Civil Liberties Union is currently suing the Obama administration because of this violation of our rights. 

    People in this country are scared of what they don't understand. 

    Please take the time to educate yourself and then let your elected officials know where you stand. 

    One man's opinion. 

  • 08/21/2018 1:45 PM | Anonymous

    By Robert B. Young, MD

    President Obama is now using executive actions to fill in certain "gun safety" gaps in our present hodgepodge of laws and regulations. One might wonder whether he is motivated not only by the possibility of "saving just one life" but also by the fact that most of the nation disagrees with him about the need for further gun control and about his right to rule by fiat.

    Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership (DRGO) works hard to cover the often discouraging intersection of health care and gun rights. This effort required watching in word-for-word, tear stained, excruciating detail the January 5 White House press conference and CNN's January 1,2016 Guns in America town hall from George Mason University. It meant reading the President's January 7,2016 opinion piece in the New York Times, ''Guns Are Our Shared Responsibility and all 56 pages of the federal Department of Health and Human Services Final Rule 45 Combined Federal Regulation (CFR), Part 164, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), published January 6, 2016. We shoulder these unpleasant tasks so you don't have to. 

    One outcome of the President's announcement is great concern that physicians and mental health care providers will now be reporting everyone's mental illness to the FBI, which runs the NICS. We all want to identify people who are prohibited from buying guns for good reason. but the prospect that anyone in emotional distress could be prohibited from legal gun ownership for life is reasonable cause for panic. It would devastate the privacy necessary to the trusting relationships that treatment requires. 

    Yet only a tiny fraction of violent perpetrators are found among the mentally ill, people who are far more likely to become victims than attackers. Half of all Americans experience at least one episode of diagnosable psychiatric illness during their lifetimes. Prohibiting all of those would vastly restrict the number of Americans who could retain their constitutional right to keep and bear arms over time. 

    The fear of their guns being confiscated could also increase the chances that many in need of psychiatric treatment, and perhaps those at highest risk of violence, would avoid it. That would reverse the gains we've made during the past century in normalizing the reality of treatable psychiatric illnesses and undermining the stigma that had made second class citizens of those suffering. The good news is that this new HHS Rule does not mandate anything. It defines a very limited change to current confidentiality requirements. 

    As things are, anyone who has been committed involuntarily to a psychiatric facility or who has been determined by a court to be "mentally defective" (i.e., unable to be responsible for themselves due to mental illness) is supposed to be listed in the NICS as a prohibited person. This information should be tracked and reported by each state. For a variety of reasons, such as variations in state requirements and despite some federal incentives, this has not happened consistently. So there are holes to fill in this reporting. 

    The new rule amends HIPPA to "permit" (it does not require) those professionals who have the legal authority to adjudicate or to involuntarily commit patients, or agencies that otherwise lawfully collect such information, to make reports on their prohibited status to the FBI for the NICS. That generally means only courts, psychiatrists, and the directors of state and county mental health departments. 

    This rarely includes other physicians. It does not include the much greater numbers of other mental health treatment providers (psychologists, social workers. counselors, etc.). It limits the information strictly to demographic identification, without any diagnosis or clinical information. So to the extent this happens, it would just make it more likely that the identities of those who are supposed to be legally prohibited will be listed. 

    "To the extent this happens" is a big "if". Physicians are historically the fiercest protectors of patient privacy, knowing the harm that can be done and embracing the guiding principle, primum non nocere ("first, do no harm"). It is not at all likely that psychiatrists or other physicians will care to provide such information routinely even though permitted to do so. 

    Along with medical ethics, HIPAA delineates in great detail under what conditions patient information can be communicated. There are very limited, emergency circumstances in which providers may have the duty to warn or protect others whom their client specifically threatens, but this has seldom caused obstacles to patients seeking or continuing treatment afterward. Whether firearms owners will selectively exclude themselves from voluntary treatment remains to be seen. 

    A much greater concern should be the absence of due process for all non-judicial additions to the NICS, as well as the lack of any routine means to be removed once on it. The same problems exist with the no-fly and terrorist watch lists; the listing by the Veterans Administration of veterans with PTSD or representative payees; and the potential for such policies to expand across the federal government (e.g., the Social Security Administration is currently considering applying the rule to Social Security recipients on disability or with representative payees). 

    None of these circumstances defines someone as impaired in the safe handling of firearms, let alone as any public danger. Yet it becomes the decision of bureaucrats, not courts, to deny these citizens their Second Amendment rights. They bear no accountability for applying these prohibitions, which are of indefinite duration. 

    For a (somewhat hopeful) example about the burden of seeking to get de-listed as prohibited, consider the story of Charles Tyler. Nearly 30 years after being committed for a situational depression relating to his wife deserting him, he discovered that he was denied the right to purchase a firearm. He'd had no further mental health issues and no criminal record, so there was no other reason to be classified as a prohibited person. 

    After a two-year legal odyssey, the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati determined that the federal law defining that prohibition is unconstitutional as applied to his circumstances. No one whose civil rights have been wrongfully revoked should have to go to such cost and effort to get their rights restored. 

    It is maddening that our laws and this administration's agenda can so readily and arbitrarily consign citizens to living without the full protection of their rights as Americans. There is no excuse for installing societal protections that, while important, leave no way out for individuals unfairly trapped by them. Such rules are blind to the harsh reality they impose on people. Cheryl Todd's recent thoughts on emotional immaturity, distorted perspective, inflexibility and narcissism of people (and hierarchies) operating in "functional fixedness" may shed some light. 

    During the Guns in America town hall, the President showed a telling pattern. When responding to questioners who were supportive of his agenda, he was animated and focused on them. When replying to people who raised criticisms, he was passive and less spontaneously empathic, and changed the subject. His eyes were downcast, and he couldn't or wouldn't meet their gaze for more than a moment. 

    This is defensive behavior. It may have to do with 7 years, or a lifetime, of isolation from mainstream America. It may have to do with having no one in his circle who would ever see these subjects differently or question his wisdom about them. It may have to do with his or his party's mindset fearing guns and blaming all gun owners for the violence that some irresponsible, criminal, and distressed people do. 

    It could also indicate some shame, perhaps for his inability to answer the fair and just questions his gun policies raise for the majority of Americans. Perhaps even shame for vilifying the very people who were brave enough to confront him on his irrational, irrelevant and ineffective answers to the problem of violence in America. 

    President Obama's executive actions, while thankfully seeming bounded by some late arriving sense of the limits of his lawful powers, are not Goldilocks solutions. They are too little and too much, too soft and too hard. They simply don't fit at all. 

    -Robert B. Young, MD is a psychiatrist practicing in Pittsford, NY, an associate clinical professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. 

  • 08/21/2018 1:41 PM | Anonymous

    By Tom Rood 

    Most shooting sports advocates are concerned about dwindling youth participation and its consequences towards the future of our Second Amendment rights. Some organizations and its members are not wringing their hands in frustration over this issue but are actively doing something about it. 

    The Yates County SCOPE chapter is already sponsoring the Yates Cornell Cooperative Extension's successful 4-H youth shooting program. However, another group has asked for Yates SCOPE for help with sponsoring a new youth shooting program to begin with the 2017 school year. It is the New York State High School Clay Target League (NYSCTL). This should not be confused with the already existing Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSL). The SSSL is active in 42 states and has 13,000 high school age participants. Generally the SSSL is sponsored by organizations not necessary connected to local high schools. 

    The new NYSCTL encourages its teams to be incorporated into the high school's existing extracurricular programs. Each team competes against other high school teams by sending their scores over the internet. Participating high school team members must first complete the NYS Hunter Safety course. 

    There is no facility or maintenance cost to the school system as all shooting events occur off school property. No firearms or ammunition are ever brought onto school property and schools are not asked to transport team members to and from the shooting range. Team members go home to get their firearms and ammunition and then travel to the shooting range. All participants including coaches and instructors are insured. The program is attractive to all students as no exceptional physical abilities are required. 

    The Pal-Mac and Marcus Whitman school systems are looking to begin their new NYSCTL league early in 2017 joining five other upstate high schools: Beaver River, Belleville-Hendersen, Carthage, Copenhagen, and Sackets Harbor. It is hoped that we can encourage Penn Yan and Dundee high schools to join . the league thus adding more high school students to the shooting clays program and increase the spirit of · friendly competition among local schools. 

    There are per-member costs associated with the program. $30 League registration $10 safety equipment ( eye and ear) $200 for ammo and clay targets for the shooting year (9 shoots@ 50 clays each).

    The Yates SCOPE chapter will assist the sponsorship for the NYSCTL program in two local high schools, Penn Yan and Dundee, should either or both schools produce a clay target team. For more information on this high school clay shooting league go to http:// nyclaytarget.com 

  • 08/21/2018 12:16 PM | Anonymous

    By Robert B. Young, MD 

    The New England Journal of Medicine doesn't like "research parasites". That's the term used in its January 21,2016 editorial Data Sharing to disparage people who, among other sins, may "use the data" to try to disprove what the original investigators had posited [my emphasis]. This is an amazing statement by what should be a preeminent reporter of medical science, but for too long has allied itself with the anti-gun movement. 

    The advance of science requires transparency. Once published, a study's design and data have to be shared so that others can confirm or correct them. Critiquing them is how conclusions gain credence.

    NEJM clearly states its motivation, less a self-serving excuse about honoring patient subjects: "What could be better than having high-quality information carefully reexamined for the possibility that new nuggets of useful data are lying there, previously unseen? The potential for leveraging existing results for even more benefit pays...tribute to the patients who put themselves at risk to generate the data. The moral imperative [is] to honor their collective sacrifice" [my emphasis].

    The moral imperative is to do the science right. Carefully reexamining information by others is how it is validated. This is about leveraging grants and protocols to generate more publications and career advancement.

    Withholding data is part of the gaming that goes on all too frequently in academic research that also includes avoiding reporting negative findings and (rarely) even making up results in order to look good. Funding depends on appearing productive. Reputation and rank come from success competing with other researchers for recognition.

    This is why we need "research parasites", professionals who can analyze and report on what academic studies really mean, which is often less than the media or even their authors claim. It's a huge problem among the "public health" research community, who have never seen an anti-gun claim they couldn't underwrite or a pro-rights position they wouldn't undercut-all while  ignoring overwhelmingly safe routine firearm use and hundreds of thousands of defensive uses that prevent harm each year. Conflicting findings are instantly discredited since they do  not come from the tight-knit community of self-validating anti-gun authorities. This is even more problematic as it comes from the social sciences that depend on assessing behaviors, not the "hard" science disciplines in which objective experimentation is the gold standard. 

    This more or less began with Arthur Kellerman and Frederick Rivara, who published "Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home" in NEJM in 1993. From it came the notorious claim that having a firearm in a home increases the risk of being murdered by a gun by 2.7. Of course, they picked 3 violent, crime-ridden urban neighborhoods to study, didn't even determine whether the firearms were owned by household members or others, and never considered that owning firearms for protection is very different from having them in order to assault. And, as far as we know, they've never released their raw data for review. 

    This pattern has continued ever since. (For an introduction, see "Junk Science as Propaganda".) More recently we have read about " ... the dominant public health issue of today: "Gun Safety", by the Chair of Family Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic in S. News,January 28, [2016] who apparently thinks so because there are "approximately the same number of [firearms] deaths a year as motor vehicle accidents." [sic] But there were less than 600 accidental gun deaths last year. Shouldn't a more "dominant public health issue" for my profession be the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused every year in the U.S. by health care provider mistakes? It's so much easier to beat up on millions of safe, responsible gun owners.  

    ....a meta-analysis ( or summation of many studies) about "The Accessibility of Firearms and Risk for Suicide and Homicide Victimization Among Household Members" in the January 2014 Annals of Internal Medicine. They discover that most suicides and homicides occur at home, the presence of firearms is notably associated with adolescent suicide, "firearms stored loaded or unlocked are more likely to be used than those that are unloaded or locked", and women are more likely than men to be victims of homicide at home. None of this is surprising. But they ignore fundamental risk factors of mental illness and criminality, and the good in firearms used to prevent victimization. Guns in a home do not draw people to kill as moths to a flame. 

    . . . "The relationship between gun ownership and stranger and nonstranger firearm homicide rates in the United States, 1981-2010" from the October 2014 American Journal of Public Health. They found a correlation between gun ownership and homicides by acquaintances, not strangers. It seemed that homicide rates change by about 1.3% with each 1 % change in gun ownership rates. Of course, there are more households with more guns than get acknowledged, so these rate relationships aren't reliable. Their cause (gun ownership) can be effect (homicides): "people may be more likely to acquire firearms when they observe higher rates of homicide". As always, no attention is given to how gun ownership may prevent more homicides than do occur. 

    . . . that acquaintance "femicide" associated with gun ownership is somehow unique. This work is from the author of the AJPH article above, an example of how academics "leverage existing results" to pad their bibliographies. "Firearm Ownership and the Murder of Women in the United States: Evidence That the State-Level Firearm Ownership Rate Is Associated with the Nonstranger Femicide Rate" finds that firearm murders of women increase 10.2% with a 10% increase in gun ownership (whatever the significance of that 0.2% is, given underestimates of gun ownership). This appeared in Violence and Gender, a journal less than 2 years old mostly studying males harming females. Its scholarly reputation is not clear. Articles lie behind a $55 per copy paywall, which makes them unlikely to be questioned but hasn't diminished their media value. 

    ... about defense against terrorists. A January 27, [2016] piece in the Bloomberg funded The Trace by two prominent anti-gun apologists points out that the odds of being hurt by an acquaintance with a gun is far greater than by a terrorist. This just a lead-in to their thesis is that having firearms is more dangerous than protective, period. Of course, their belief in defensive gun uses is limited to shootings found in police reports or the media. That is nonsense. The federal Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council estimate that there are from 500,000 to 3 million defensive gun uses annually. The great majority are not reported, don't involve shooting, and prevent many deaths, injuries, and crimes. 

    ... , finally, a new survey published in AJPH claiming that most Americans would "consider" buying a "smart gun" that is "childproof'. Well, who wouldn't? The problem is that the survey was slanted toward eliciting agreement on superficialities in younger respondents. The NSSF's 2013 survey included a broader selection of the population, impartially explained the technology involved, and didn't pretend anything is "childproof'. 

    And anti-gun academics keep complaining that there is not enough research (read: "government funding for their projects"). There are plenty of studies, too many even for DRGO to keep up with, but patterns emerge with familiarity: 

    Basic bias: Many of these academics have been open about their fear and loathing of firearms. They treat guns as independent risk factors, and then choose hypotheses and analytic approaches that reinforce that. Yet some individual is responsible for every shot fired. Firearms are tools, the means to someone's end ( even if, rarely, literally), but they are not the agents responsible for the actions. 

    Selection bias and cherry-picked data: Anytime a study is done,  choices are made about what data will be sought, from what sources and over what time periods, and then how it should be interpreted. A smart academician (and they're very smart) can skew their oiltcoines··rrom start to finish. The scrupulous ones don't. 

    Arbitrary analogies: Comparing deaths from gunshot to entirely different phenomena (vehicle accident deaths, for example). Lessons can be drawn from flawed premises that have no relationship to the ways that guns work and can harm (say, that we must have "smart guns", because autos have built-in safety devices). 

    Blame mongering: There is no interest in explaining the overall declining risks of negligence (accidents), criminal intent (violence), and mental illness (suicide). Anti-gun academics focus on blaming everyone when the wrong people wrongly use them at the wrong times. That doesn't justify restrictions on scores of millions of American families with hundreds of millions of firearms that they use consistently safely. 

    Diversionary tactics: Setting up straw men, such as proclaiming the news that being shot by someone you know is more likely than being attacked by a terrorist. This raises anxiety that can be resolved with the reassurance that we can "do something", beginning with accepting the intended conclusions. The real world work of discriminating guns owned legally or illegally, investigating who has them and why, identifying which was the injurious ones and who used them for what reasons can be avoided. 

    False attributions: Depicting correlation as causation, always. The more honest authors admit this problem, but most present gunshot deaths and injuries as consequences intrinsic to the existence of guns, rather than as aberrations from normal gun use and users. 

    Ad hominem attacks: When anti-gun exponents can't compete on the merits they disparage their pro-rights opponents, especially with a progressive liberal vs. regressive conservative flavor. See almost any mention of "the gun lobby''. 

    If you read this "research", look for those signs. There is no shortage of "gun research"-just a shortage of serious scholars willing to examine firearms and their use without antipathy. 

    We'll get somewhere when academics care to examine how to support thoughtful, responsible gun ownership instead of assailing the historic American tradition of widespread gun possession. That will be when they call for outreach, education, treatment, and stiff consequences as the answers to "gun violence", not restrictions without evidence of efficacy. It will be when the right to keep and bear arms is accepted as strongly as the right to free speech and religion. 

    If you don't choose to wade into this academic morass, we understand. We "research parasites" will continue doing it for the common good.

     · Robert B. Young, MD is a psychiatrist practicing in Pittsford, NY, an associate clinical professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

  • 08/21/2018 11:14 AM | Anonymous

    by Timothy Wheeler, MD, Director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership

    Behold this leading-bleeding scream piece from BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal and formerly a respected source of scientific information for your doctor. Medical e"or-the third leading cause of death in the US, The journal has a history of free-wheeling condemnation of American gun owners, going so far as to advocate attacking their very culture. Throwing fuel on their own fire, BMJ editors evidently have now resorted to an old if not exactly honorable practice of hack journalism-printing the shocking and the scandalous, even if the truth gets roughed up in the process. 

    Is there some truth to this article? Probably. Is truth its main mission? Not if this gleeful "report" in the Washington Post is any indication. Note the Post's helpful insertion of Consumer Report's own lurid May issue cover about the harm doctors do. Join us for a celebration of Bash Your Doctor month. 

    The article by a couple of researchers from Johns Hopkins claims that a much-cited 1999 Institute of Medicine review of hospital mortality under-counted the number of doctor and hospital-caused patient deaths at 98,000 per year. The true number, these authors deduce from reviewing more recent studies, is about 251,000. And they claim that's an underestimate caused by the limited data available from medical records. 

    No one likes to think that hospital professionals, including doctors, are human and therefore make mistakes. The 1999 IOM study, titled "To Err Is Human," launched a frenzy of soul searching, regulation crackdowns, and even heavier burdens fur doctors and hospitals in their ever-present efforts to prevent errors. Some of these efforts were needed and proved to be effective, for example, the surgical time-out, which I rigorously enforced in my operating room. 

    Others, including the attempt to apply air travel safety routines to medical care, only hamper an understanding of the far more complex challenges of health care. But we're not debating the problem of medical errors today, nor offering solutions. The goal of today's blog entry is to shine a bright light on the medical establishment' s dishonesty as it hammers away at a presumed "epidemic" of deaths caused by "gun violence," (a fabrication on several levels) while its star professionals kill many more. 

    Because as gruesomely sensational as the BMJ article is, there is some truth to it. We may debate the authors' horrifying claim that doctors and hospitals kill a quarter million Americans every year, but there is no doubt that they do kill a substantial number. And that number is almost certainly far in excess of the number killed by gun-wielding criminals. 

    The talking-point number thrown around by public health gun prohibitionists is 30,000 deaths per year caused by "gun violence." By using this figure they deliberately conflate criminal homicides with justifiable homicides, police shootings, suicides, and a small number of accidents. 

    Here's the real breakdown according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Numbers are for 2014, the most recent data available, with a U.S. population of 318,857,056, counting all ages, races, and both sexes: Homicide firearm deaths 10,945 (33% of total 32,865 deaths) Suicide firearm deaths 21,334 (65% of total 32,865 deaths) Unintentional firearm deaths 586 (2% of total 32,865 deaths) 

    Total firearm deaths from these three causes were 32,865. We exclude the small fraction of deaths due to what the CDC calls "legal intervention" and ''undetermined intent" because they are not relevant to this discussion. 

    Suicides account for two thirds of what public health gun prohibition activists deceptively call "gun violence." For most Americans the term means criminal shootings and not suicide. Suicide remains a serious problem, but solutions come from treating its underlying cause in most cases, which is mental illness. DRGO supports measures to reduce access of dangerously mentally ill people to guns. considering this a normal part of prudent gun safety measures. But the public health tactic of parading gun suicides as a justification to target all gun owners is as useless as it is dishonest. 

    We don't have room today to discuss the amazingly low 2% fraction of firearm deaths attributed to accidents, a continuation of a decades-long downward trend. Nor can we devote many words to the astonishing mendacity of public health anti-gunners who cite media reports of the rare case of a toddler shooting someone to inflate the scope of this minimal problem in uninformed minds. 

    What then, can we make of this report in the context of the public health culture war on gun owners? Medical journal editors increasingly run with controversial stories because, human nature being what it is, blood, fear. and scandal fascinate readers. 

    This trend seems to have started with George I. Amdberg, MD, the disgraced former editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Right before President Bill Clinton's 1999 impeachment trial involving sexual misconduct, Lundberg scandalously rushed into publication an article claiming that college students didn't consider oral sex to be ·'real sex." Lundberg was fired for having, in the words of AMA chief Dr. E. Ratcliffe Anderson, Jr., "threatened the historic tradition and integrity of the Journal of the American Medical Association by inappropriately and inexcusably interjecting JAMA into a major political debate that has nothing to do with science or medicine." 

    Medical journal editors consider their role to include not only organizing and presenting quality research results to doctors, but using their publications to promote their personal political beliefs. 

    They become quite indignant when challenged, brandishing lofty ideals about academic freedom and freedom of speech even as they labor to deprive Americans of their freedom to own firearms. 

    Any medical journal articles addressing politically sensitive subject - e.g. guns, sex, or race - can be assumed to be propaganda until proven otherwise. 

    Timothy Wheeler, MD is Director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, a project of the Second Amendment Foundation. 

    Doctors For Responsible Gun Ownership (DRGO)

    A project of the Second Amendment Foundation 

    Physicians and Health Care Professionals advocating for Americans' gun rights. 

    Because firearms are not a public health Issue.

    Gun Control is, at its heart, people control. While the public health assault on our fundamental human right of gun ownership is not a military assault by jack booted thugs, it is an assault nevertheless. America has been unique in preserving, and through recent high. court decisions affirming, the natural right of self defense. In the 21 years since DRGO began exposing the false scholarship of the public health gun banners we have seen a remarkable shift in public opinion. All states now have right-to-carry laws, and crime levels have dropped instead of rising. Join us in the struggle to bring honesty to the gun debate!

     OUR HISTORY: Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership (DRGO) was launched in 1994 by Dr. Timothy Wheeler, a southern California surgeon. DRGO is now a nationwide network of physicians, allied health professionals, and others who support the safe and lawful use of 'firearms.

    OUR MISSION: DRGO educates health professionals and the public in the best available science and expertise about firearms, including gun safety and preventing injury and death through wise use and lawful self defense. We teach what science shows - that guns in responsible hands save lives, reduce injuries, and protect property by preventing violent crime. 

    SOME OF OUR ACHIEVEMENTS: DRGO has participated as an amicus on several important higher court decisions that have determined the course of gun policy. Dr. Wheeler's l996 testimony to the House's Labor, Health, Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee led to the ban on funding for gun control advocacy at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    MEDIA APPEARANCES: The DRGO team has appeared on many pro-gun media and in mainstream media. We have published in numerous national media outlets and have represented our pro-rights position at medical specialty meetings as well as in the courts. 

    CALL TO ACTION: We are growing membership and building leadership teams and task forces. We are looking for health care professionals with demonstrated experience in: 

    - Published writing 

    - Analyzing research publications

    - lnteracting with the public on social media {Twitter, Facebook, etc.) 

    - Interfacing with news media 

    - Testifying about firearms before policy makers

    - Other team building and leadership experience

    We invite you to explore our website at DRGO.us and join us.

     Your $35 membership is tax deductible.

     twitter.com/DRGOSAF

    facebook.com/DoctorsForResponsibleGunOwnership 

A 2nd Amendment Defense Organization, defending the rights of New York State gun owners to keep and bear arms!

PO Box 165
East Aurora, NY 14052

SCOPE is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization.

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