Do I read Matt Hughes’ blog very much? No, I try to avoid the infuriating and often asinine comments made in his abortion of a journal. Personally, catching up with ol’ Matt is about as appealing as getting a deep tissue massage with sandpaper gloves. Still, it’s a pretty fucking useful tool if you just want to get all riled up about something.
It’s no surprise to anyone that Matt and I are on the opposite side of the political spectrum. Matt loves everything that I don’t. He loves his fuel deficient Truck, his Savior, and his big fucking guns. So wasn’t really that shocked when I tuned in to read this interesting nugget:
The number of physicians in the U.S. is 700,000.
Accidental deaths caused by Physicians per year are 120,000.
Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171.
Statistics courtesy of U.S. Dept of Health Human Services.
Now think about this:
The number of gun owners in the U.S. is 80,000,000. Yes, that’s 80 million.
The number of accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups, is 1,500.
The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is .000188.
Statistics courtesy of FBI.
So, statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.
To be fair, the quote isn’t from Matt. It’s actually from a shitty website that looked to have been designed in 1998. And I’m sure that he really has nothing against doctors, since one undoubtedly has to put him back together anytime he steps into the ring with GSP.
These statistics seemed pretty fucking bogus to me, especially considering the outrageous claim that errors made by physicians are actually responsible for 120,000 deaths a year. So I did something Matt’s never heard of: I did a little research. Turns out, unsurprisingly, that the majority of these deaths were actually cased by two main factors: Drug reactions, and infections incurred during a hospital stay. Only about 2000 of those were caused by something I would qualify as negligent; mainly improper surgery.
The numbers are pretty fucking misleading, and when you think about it, what the hell do they mean by “accidental deaths caused by physicians”? If a patient walks in and your doctor is unable to properly diagnose your mysterious illness, is he responsible for you croaking? I’m pretty fucking sure it was whatever infection of disease you had in the first place that did you in. That’s not to say there aren’t a few of those deaths that are caused by a really shitty, I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing moron MD.
Ok, let’s move on to the juicy stuff: guns. The number of deaths due to accidental shootings are about 1,500 in a given year. Sure, that doesn’t sound like much, especially considering how many fucking guns are out there. The only problem is that 75% of those deaths are young males between the ages of 14-25. Suddenly, that number doesn’t seem so hot, does it? And if we really want to be fair, we can’t only take accidental deaths into consideration, because the numbers really do get big when you’re talking about the actual purpose of a firearm: to kill something you want dead. Let’s consider that in 2006, of the nearly 15,000 murders, a full 10,177 of them were with a firearm. Not fucking surprisingly, 88% of those were with a handgun.
Is that to say I’m going to tell 80 million Americans that they can’t carry around their precious firearms? No. Personally, if you want to kill each other, that’s your fucking business. But at the same time, don’t turn around and pat yourselves on the back over the fact that about 1000 kids a year kill themselves by playing around with Dad’s carelessly hidden pistol. Gun safety only works if the gun owner is responsible, and considering how many fucking gun owning dumb-asses there are out there, I’m surprised it’s not more. You’ll also find that although there are a lot of victims of drive by shootings, there really aren’t that many victims of drive by physicians. You go to a doctor because you’re sick. If you don’t come back, that’s life. No one put a gun to your head.