CDC “Gun Research”

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 11 months ago

Hartford Courant:

Silence never solved complex national problems. Yet some spineless lawmakers put special interests ahead of the public even to the point of discouraging and shutting off discussion of important public issues.

This is nothing new. Congress imposed a gag order from 1836 to 1844 on the overriding issue of the 19th century, refusing to accept any and all “petitions, memorials, resolutions, propositions or papers relating in any way, or to any extent whatsoever, to the subject of slavery or the abolition of slavery.” It was unconstitutional, draconian and finally ended because a few congressmen fought it every day.

Gun violence in America is another critical public issue, but Congress has for nearly 20 years found a way to silence government researchers by using the power of the purse to intimidate the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After the terrible murders in Newtown three years ago, President Barack Obama signed an executive order directing the CDC to resume gun research. The CDC still hasn’t, but it must — despite congressional threats from the majority Republicans.

The bullying started in 1996, when the CDC released studies that researched the risk factors that led to gun violence.

One study found that just having a gun in the home was associated with a nearly 300 percent increase in the likelihood that it would be used to murder someone in the house. The likelihood that someone in the house would use a gun to commit suicide was even higher — 500 percent.

Then the National Rifle Association swung into action, complaining that the CDC was using public funds to push gun control and ask political questions. The Republican-controlled Congress cut CDC funds by the exact amount used to study gun-related violence and prohibited researchers from using public funds to advocate for gun control.

This put researchers in a bind: If they did open-ended, scientifically sound research that, say, examined what local regulations were most effective in keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, Congress would accuse them of breaking the rules and would punish the CDC by slashing its budget.

The threats did what the weapons manufacturers wanted, dropping a curtain of silence on guns.

This is a piece of work.  Slavery and guns are brought up as if there’s some analogous feature.  Debunked “studies” are cited, emotional, draconian terms are invoked (silence, slashing, prohibited, etc.), and then finally, the NRA is blamed for it all.

Here are the facts.  Many NRA members lose patience with the NRA because we see it as too progressive and willing to compromise in its rating system.  The real enemy of progressives is gun owners, even though they don’t know it.  They still see gun owners as a monolithic group, controlled and told what to think by the NRA.  Independent-minded thinking never occurs to progressives because they don’t work that way.

No one has prohibited anyone from studying whatever they want.  What Congress did was prohibit the spending of tax dollars for studies that first of all, would likely be used to press for political ends, and second, should never be funded by the government anyway.  Many gun owners would assert that the government has a constitutional right to raise monies for the common defense, and not much else.  The only reason such a thing comes up with the CDC is because government spending is out of control.

I strongly recommend that the folks at the CDC – and anywhere else for that matter – study whatever they want, on their own dollars and on their own time.  There is no moratorium on such studies (they’re not illegal), just on using my money for them.  I don’t get to take your money and study how to make M855 ammunition more effective, and you don’t get to take mine and throw it away on “studies” I don’t sanction.  That’s fair enough.


Comments

  1. On October 29, 2015 at 11:34 pm, William T Quick said:

    Yes, such studies certainly shouldn’t be funded by the government in the first place, but even moreso, the Centers For Disease Control is the last place such studies should be undertaken. The Second Amendment does not guarantee the right to a disease. It guarantees a basic liberty, and as such, is beyond the purview of all government agencies, but most especially, a medical agency.

  2. On October 30, 2015 at 6:22 am, Lina Inverse said:

    Except, as the recent US Eboloa experience showed, the CDC isn’t really a “medial agency” anymore, just another sinecure for SJWs to impose their policy preferences on us.

    The director is perhaps most infamous for being part of the campaign against the Big Gulp and other large sodas (although that’s been scrubbed from his Wikipedia entry), as well as a lot of other perceived “lifestyle” risks, matching the modern focus of the CDC. But when faced with a severe infectious disease threat, we saw little but incompetence. Like so much else in modern America, it’s clear were essentially on our own because our betters have more important things to focus on than our real health and welfare.

  3. On November 2, 2015 at 2:23 pm, Archer said:

    Funny thing about Wikipedia: it’s group-sourced by its users.

    Therefore, if relevant, factual information has been “scrubbed” from an entry — any entry — make yourself a user account and put it right back in there. As long as you cite your sources, it should be allowed.

  4. On October 30, 2015 at 8:35 pm, Fred said:

    I am forced to wonder if having a hammer in the home increases the likelihood of it being used to assault someone in the home. Duh. Perhaps having narcotic pills in the house would increase the chances of them being used to attempt to end ones own life? Um…yeah. I’m pretty sure having a gun instead of a hammer makes a home owner safer and having pain pills makes one more comfortable after a surgery but the important study should be however, to determine if hitting oneself in the toe with the hammer in order to feel better due to a lack of pain medication is as prevalent as unicorns on a rainbow.

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