Gun control…

gun control 8Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire, commented on the nightly news, yet another school shooting, another gang shootout in the streets of Chicago, and another giant yawn by mainstream America.  It seems the only folks to suffer are the victims and their friends and family.  How is it that we have grown to accept the status quo?  To accept the disturbingly trite and vastly ignorant “guns don’t shoot people, people do is absurd.”  No other industrialized country has anywhere near so much gun violence.  Yet every country severely limits or bans ownership of guns; they all have approximately the same incidence of mental illness; kids in all developed nations are exposed to the same violent videos; poor parents are ubiquitous in all nations.  The only feature that differentiates us from the other countries is the overwhelming availability of guns.

Yet, the tired arguments still exist:

1. “If innocent people disarm, only the criminals will have guns.” – Really?  The implication is that most gun violence is committed by criminals on innocents.  Not the case at all.  Home invasion and “stick ups” typically result without a shot being fired.  Gang shootings involve criminals vs. criminals, and most frequently drug related ‘turf battles.’  Domestic shooting (usually husband shooting wife) are committed by (previously) non criminals.  Mass murderers are typically quiet, unassuming, neighborly and expert at concealing their underlying mental illness.

2. “Better background checks will prevent guns from roaming into the wrong hands.” – This doesn’t even deserve acknowledgement as a rational argument.

3. “It is our constitutional right to bear arms.” – It has been about 250 years since these famous words were stroked on parchment.  Since that time, trains, cars, planes, personal computers, telephones and cell phones have all been invented and changed our society in hugely dramatic ways.  The right to bear arms by private citizens is arcane and totally out of context.

4. “We need to protect ourselves from our government.” – Listen, if our society were ever in a position to be worried about our government turning against its innocent citizenry, we would have far more to worry about than having a couple of assault rifles in the house.

5. “If not guns, criminals will use other weapons.” – Yep, knives or machetes perhaps?  One could certainly mow down a school room with those arms.

No matter how you analyze the issues, it all boils down to three main reasons why guns remain a part of our lives:

1. Gutless politicians, bought off by the NRA

2. Gutless politicians afraid of not being reelected

3. Americans’ love affair with guns (is it insecurity, naivete, fear?)

I have changed my stance on the issue of guns.  I have had enough of all of them.  Ban them all for private citizens, hand guns/rifles/assault weapons – put gun manufacturers out of business if that is the requirement.  And for God’s sake let’s decriminalize drug use, and eliminate the largest incentive to procure anillegalweapon in the U.S. today.

About Dr. Michael J. O'Connell, New Hampshire
Dr. Michael J. O'Connell of Barrington, New Hampshire, has forged a distinguished career spanning over three decades, as entrepreneur, physician, businessman, philanthropist and healthcare consultant. As former owner, administrator and CEO of a 225+ employee multi-specialty medical practice, Dr. O'Connell has dedicated his entire professional life to helping patients with family medicine and especially those experiencing chronic pain and all aspects of addiction. Since selling his family of healthcare businesses, he has never once contemplated retirement despite his rich and fulfilling journey, but instead has turned his focus to consulting in an industry starved for courage and creativity. Having weathered many political, technological and legal challenges, there is hardly a storm he has not confronted, a tempest he has not quelled, an urgent need he has not met. While the talking heads and self-proclaimed experts in the field have assumed the conventions and standards of the times, Dr. O'Connell does not believe in merely reflecting the herd mentality, but rather in leading the charge. Eschewing political correctness, Dr. O'Connell says and does what needs saying and doing, and not what the mindless masses expect. In addition to the continual education afforded by his variegated life experiences, Dr O'Connell earned his BS in Biochemistry at the University of NH in 1975, his Medical Degree from Dartmouth College in 1981, interned at Walter Reed Medical Center in 1982, Residency/Fellowship at UCSF in1986, and finished his Masters in Healthcare Administration at UNH in 1995. Dr. O’Connell enjoys many outdoor activities, including rock climbing, snowboarding, hiking, and golf. Through the decades Dr. O'Connell has supported many non-profit charities to include the St. Charles Home in Rochester NH, the Tri City VNA and Hospice, Hyder House, and Cocheco Valley Humane Society. To the latter organization alone Dr. O'Connell has donated over $180,000 and pledged another $250,000 in the “Bring-Us-Home” campaign for a new building. His “Matching Donations Christmas drive” has generated over $175,000 in charitable giving from the community. In addition Dr. O'Connell has participated in many dozens of other volunteer and donation efforts locally as well as in Africa and the Dominican Republic. For a listing of how I gave back to the community during my career and continue to do see:

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