Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Unsound recommendation on gun safety

The NY Times reports:
These are accidents, or worse, waiting to happen, and the pediatrics academy reiterated its earlier recommendations that pediatricians talk to parents about guns in the home and their safe storage, and follow up by distributing cable locks.

To limit unauthorized access to guns, the academy recommended the use of trigger locks, lockboxes, personalized safety mechanisms, and trigger pressures that are too high for young children.

Still, the academy emphasized, “the safest home for a child or adolescent is one without firearms.”
Here is the pediatric report:
The AAP supports efforts to reduce the destructive power of handguns and handgun ammunition via regulation of the manufacture and importation of classes of guns. ...

The AAP recommends restoration of the ban on the sale of assault weapons to the general public.
Millions of people have guns for personal protection. That includes AR-15 assault weapons, as they are widely available, customizable, and have standardized parts. Since the pediatric journal is pretending to have an expert opinion on this subject, I looked to see what the support is for the statement that “the safest home for a child or adolescent is one without firearms.” There is none.

Bans on assault weapons have been tried before, so there is empirical data on the effect of such a ban. None is mentioned in the report.

This AAP report is not a report that could be published in a real science journal. Pediatricians are not trained in either firearms safety or in scientific analysis.

The NY Times article shows that firearm deaths are a very small fraction of the accidental injury deaths.

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