Texas Medicine Inbox: January 2017

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Inbox — January 2017

Tex Med. 2017;113(1):6.

Having read and re-read "Guns and Politics: Why I Cannot Stay Silent" in the October issue of Texas Medicine, I feel the need to reply to Lauren Gambill, MD. 

My comments are from the background of a West-Central Texas boyhood, lifelong shooter and hunter, member of the U.S. Navy, 43 years of active practice (now retired), and a longtime concealed handgun license holder.

I do thoughtfully respect her opinions about firearm injury to her pediatric patients and regret any firearm injury to children. But one must first realize that "firearms do not injure people, but the people possessing and using the firearms do injure people." Possession of firearms includes responsibility for the firearms and ammunition and proper storage and use of both. 

Unfortunately, legislation will never ensure responsibility. Legislation has never produced total responsibility for the use of motor vehicles, and look at the needless deaths from traffic accidents for adults and children. Dr. Gambill cites a 2013 New England Journal of Medicine article titled "Preventing Gun Deaths in Children," but no reference is given to traffic-related deaths of children.

I agree that child health should have no "party lines," but no one ― adult or child ― can be fully and completely insulated from accidents of multiple types. Dr. Gambill also states that she knows firearm legislation can save children's lives. What data does she have to make this statement?

John Tyson, MD

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