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Thu Nov 8, 2012, 02:57 PM


Is gun violence "epidemic"?

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For other uses, see Epidemic (disambiguation).

In epidemiology, an epidemic (επί (epi)- meaning "upon or above" and δήμος (demos)- meaning "people", occurs when new cases of a certain disease, in a given human population, and during a given period, substantially exceed what is expected based on recent experience.[1]:354[2] Epidemiologists often consider the term outbreak to be synonymous to epidemic, but the general public typically perceives outbreaks to be more local and less serious than epidemics


The term "epidemic" is widely used by those who oppose gun rights and want "sensible" gun laws. But there is more wrong with that than the obvious fact that gun violence isn't a disease. Even if it were a disease, gun violence is down; it's hard to see how it meets the definition of an epidemic.

Changing the meanings of words seems to be a favorite tactic of those who want to infringe rights--they use spin to deceive people into agreeing with their agenda. (Another blatant example is how DC defined ordinary semi-automatic handguns as "machine guns" in their unconstitutional law banning them.)

Can some one explain to me why an (honest) Harvard educated medical expert would allow his book to be described thus:

Private Guns, Public Health

David Hemenway

The first complete picture of the public-health approach to gun violence, and a commonsense plan for ending this American epidemic


On an average day in the United States, guns are used to kill almost eighty people, and to wound nearly three hundred more. If any other consumer product had this sort of disastrous effect, the public outcry would be deafening; yet when it comes to guns such facts are accepted as a natural consequence of supposedly high American rates of violence.

Private Guns, Public Health explodes that myth and many more, revealing the advantages of treating gun violence as a consumer safety and public health problem. David Hemenway fair-mindedly and authoritatively demonstrates how a public-health approach-which emphasizes prevention over punishment, and which has been so successful in reducing the rates of injury and death from infectious disease, car accidents, and tobacco consumption-can be applied to gun violence.

Hemenway uncovers the complex connections between guns and self-defense, gun violence and schools, gun prevalence and homicide, and more. Finally, he outlines a policy course that would significantly reduce gun-related injury and death.


Why would an (unbiased) medical expert allow a technical medical term to be used like this?

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Reply Is gun violence "epidemic"? (Original post)
TPaine7 Nov 2012 OP
ileus Nov 2012 #1
rrneck Nov 2012 #2
Simo 1939_1940 Nov 2012 #3
Remmah2 Nov 2012 #4

Response to TPaine7 (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 03:03 PM

1. Catch phrase used to scare up support for controls.

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Response to TPaine7 (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 03:06 PM

2. Money. It sells books. nt

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Response to TPaine7 (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 06:26 PM

3. No. But there is a pandemic of propaganda.


Edited to add:

I believe that a quote from James Wright is instructive here. His use of the term epidemic is forgivable IMO given the fact that this statement was made well prior to the early 90's when the national crime rate began it's steady decline. (Mr. Wright was among a group of three criminologists who delivered bad news to President Jimmy Carter - that there was no evidence that "gun control" had produced any positive results.)

"And there is a sense in which violence is a public health problem. So let me illustrate the limitations of this line of reasoning with a public-health analogy. After research disclosed that mosquitos were the vector for transmission of yellow fever, the disease was not controlled by sending men in white coats to the swamps to remove the mouth parts from all the insects they could find. The only sensible, efficient way to stop the biting was to attack the environment where the mosquitos bred.

Guns are the mouth parts of the violence epidemic. The contemporary urban environment breeds violence no less than swamps breed mosquitos. Attempting to control the problem of violence by trying to disarm the perpetrators is as hopeless as trying to contain yellow fever through mandible control."

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Response to TPaine7 (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:24 PM

4. Only on TV.


Most of us know that's pretend.

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