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Wed May 16, 2012, 03:04 PM

The VA Tells the Truth About Guns. The NRA Can't Handle It. [View all]

By Dennis A. Henigan
Vice President, Brady Campaign; Author, 'Lethal Logic'
Posted: 05/16/2012 10:45 am

The Veterans Health Administration launched a public awareness campaign about gun access by dementia patients after an 83-year-old veteran pulled a pistol from his pocket in August 2000 and shot a doctor in a V.A. hospital emergency room in Salisbury, N.C. The agency later found that 40 percent of veterans with mild to moderate dementia had a gun in their homes.

In response, the VA's Office of the Medical Inspector issued an invaluable publication, "Firearms and Dementia," explaining the risks of firearms in the home. Although the focus is on the lethal mix of guns and persons suffering from dementia, the VA underscores the risk to others as well. According to the VA, "he presence of firearms in households has been linked to increased risk of injury or death for everyone in or around the home, usually as an impulsive act during some disagreement," noting that "his danger is increased when one of the persons in the household has dementia."

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Of course, this is enough to drive the NRA around the bend. In a statement entitled "Veterans Administration Overdoses on Anti-Gun Prescription," the gun lobby decries the VA pamphlet as "what the taxpayers get when people who know nothing about firearms issues take their cues from people who lie about firearms issues..." Then, intending to inflict on the VA the unkindest cut of all, the NRA suggests "that if one of its pamphleteers isn't related to the Brady Campaign's Dennis Henigan, he or she ought to be." I would be proud to be related to the authors of the VA's publication but, to my knowledge, I am not.

The VA's public education campaign is threatening to the NRA precisely because it was not initiated by gun control advocates, but rather arises from a desire by medical professionals at the VA to take common-sense steps against entirely preventable deaths and injuries to veterans from guns kept in the home. The VA has done nothing more than give sound advice based on the best medical and public health knowledge about the risks of guns. For doing so, it now faces the wrath of the gun lobby.

More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-a-henigan/the-va-tells-the-truth-ab_b_1521027.html?ref=gun-control


NRA-ILA Statement:

Veterans Administration Overdoses on Anti-Gun Prescription
Posted on March 9, 2012

"The presence of firearms in households has been linked to increased risk of injury or death for everyone in or around the home" and "Firearms in the home can increase the possibility of completing suicide." Not only that, while locking up guns is a good idea, "The best way to reduce gun risks is to remove the gun from your home. . . . The safest action is to get rid of the guns."

Sounds familiar, of course. But this time, the anti-gun propaganda isn't from one of the handful of people in the medical field that the Joyce Foundation pays hundreds of thousands of dollars to write up "studies" characterizing guns as too dangerous for private individuals to possess. Instead, it's from a federal government entity whose employees apparently read such stuff and, through some combination of na´vetÚ, ignorance and bias, fall for it.

In this instance, the anti-gun message comes from the Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of the Medical Inspector and Geriatrics and Extended Care Strategic Healthcare Group. The VA's statements appear in a pamphlet called "Firearms and Dementia," which, the name of the pamphlet notwithstanding, is directed at anyone who has a child, in addition to people who are responsible for individuals suffering from decreased mental acuity.

The VA's statements are derived from "studies" that have been discounted or discredited by so many researchers, for so many years, that it hardly bears repeating. Gary Kleck, for example, summed up serious researchers' opinions of the "studies," referring to them as "nonsense" and saying "there is virtually no credible research supporting the skeptical view" that keeping guns at home generally increases Americans' safety risks.

More: http://www.nraila.org/news-issues/articles/2012/veterans-administration-overdoses-on-anti-gun-prescription.aspx?s=&st=&ps=


Anyone here want to defend the NRA?

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