Although I am acutely aware that violence raises the costs of healthcare in our society, costs being borne in many cases by the providers of healthcare, I believe that MODERN HEALTHCARE's
presentation of this issue (Feb. 21, p. 26) was heavily slanted toward gun control.
Overall, your cover story attempted to present both sides of the gun-control debate; however, I found no discussion of any other ways in which healthcare providers might combat increased violence other than supporting gun-control legislation.
You report that gun-control advocates said a 1989 Bush administration ban on assault weapons had a dramatic effect: Between 1989 and 1990, the number of imported assault weapons traced to crimes dropped 45%, while the number of domestic assault weapons traced to crime remained about the same.
Lacking specific data, this statement raised many questions. Was the amount of crime actually reduced between 1989 and 1990? What percentage of violent crime was being committed with imported assault weapons? Can anyone reasonably conclude from this experience that, by enactment of gun-control legislation, there will be a dramatic reduction in the amount of violent crime?
I suggest that future stories include a thorough discussion of the numerous root causes that have led to increased violence and the wide variety of legislative choices and public-policy decisions available to address such root causes.
Regional vice president
National Emergency Services