Last week, I was in the UK during the Brexit vote and although I discussed that with a lot of Britons, many of them were more eager to talk to me about the current U.S. presidential election and the gun violence in this country.
At a spirited dinner discussion, one British doctor pointed out that the current AMA president, Dr. Steven Stack, spoke out about lobbying Congress to repeal the Dickey Amendment — legislation that has prevented the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from researching gun violence since 1996.
I grew up in northwestern Pennsylvania where just about everyone owned a rifle. I learned to shoot at a young age and frequently went with my father to a gun range. My wife and I own a home in upstate New York where hunting is common and our next door neighbor treats us to venison every year.
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I know from watching television that there are some real bad people that are responsible for mass shootings but I also believe there are probably some people that are just plain crazy.
I cannot really see a problem with conducting research to see if anything can be done within the health care community to prevent more gun violence.
I understand the thinking that if a crazy person comes into a theater — or a terrorist, for that matter — that having a gun means you are able to protect yourself and others. I cannot see how the AMA suggestion that the CDC conduct additional research on gun violence is a problem.
It is my understanding that in this case the AMA is at odds with the NRA and I understand that the NRA feels that any challenges to gun ownership is a slippery slope but I would be in favor of allowing the CDC to study this problem.
Phil is a member of AHRA, HFMA, AAMI and the Cryogenic Society of America. He has contributed to a number of magazines and journals and has addressed trade groups.
Phil's proudest achievement is that he has been happily married to his wife Barbara since 1989, who helped him found DOTmed in 1998.