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Awful news Friday

I wrote the post below 4 years ago…and I’m heartbroken that it’s truer now than it was back then.

Our daughter went to school near Lewiston…I’m heartened that she graduated years ago and guilt-ridden that other parents and family are terrified their kids and family members may be the next victims.

It’s easy – and completely wrong – to say it’s all random.  It isn’t.

At all.

The epidemic of death by firearm is uniquely American.

Take responsibility.

  • Demand red flag warnings.
  • Demand assault weapon bans
  • Demand universal background checks. 

Or accept the blame.

Guns and public health

Guns are a major public health and safety problem. Guns are associated with tens of thousands of deaths every year, most preventable.

And we Americans are among the world leaders in death via firearm.

Before you make any assumptions – I own guns. I hunt – although I’m a pretty poor hunter.

My dad taught me to shoot, and handle firearms, and gun safety. Among the guns I own are his service rifle – a 1903 Springfield – from WW2 and the revolver he carried while flying in B-17s over Europe. They mean a lot to me, and one day I’ll pass them down to my kids.

A couple key factoids that are worth considering.

  1.  Most Americans – and most Republicans – want background checks and “red flag” laws.  And most Americans want stricter control of gun sales in general.

2. Firearms are used to commit far more suicides than homicides.

3.  People who attempt suicide with a gun are much more likely to die than those who use other means.

4. There’s a strong correlation between higher rates of gun ownership and higher suicide rates.

5.  Lastly, every day 65 people use guns to kill themselves.

Guns are a major public health concern, yet no other public health menace gets the same public support.  As a gun owner, I’m deeply troubled by the willingness of some to advocate positions that will get more guns into more hands – which will lead to more unnecessary tragedies.

What does this mean for you?

The data is clear – people want stricter gun laws – and for very good reason

4 thoughts on “Awful news Friday”

  1. Joe,
    Warren Burger was a conservative former Supreme Court justice appointed by Nixon in 1969. He called the gun lobby’s interpretation of the 2nd amendment the “greatest pieces of fraud” on the American people by a special interest group. The 2nd amendment was written to ensure that state militias could protect the state before there was a national defense structure. The 2nd amendment now ensures that anyone, no matter how sane, can have access to weapons of war. This is insane. Hopefully this will be an issue that impacts voters next November.

    1. Thanks for the reminder Jeff. The latest example is allowing veterans with significant mental health issues to have firearms.
      This is madness.

      Be safe Joe

  2. One of the remarkable characteristics you model is thorough, thoughtful research. It is on display here along with your excellent supporting narrative. Well done Joe. Tragic issue, no end in sight,–my opinion–and a world that continues to amaze me with the abject disregard for human life.

    1. Thank you Stryker. unfortunately the research is far too robust, and far too conclusive. Yet people and politicians allow themselves to be manipulated by the power-hungry and greedy at the expense of their neighbors, their children, and their personal integrity.

      be safe – Joe

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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