Stealth Agencies for Gun ControlTuesday, October 20, 2009
A short (and quiet) article in yesterday’s Washington Times discusses federal health agencies that have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to study gun “safety.” These studies are an obvious attempt to curry favor for gun control and change social attitudes toward guns and gun ownership in general. So why are government health agencies running stealth programs to sway public opinion on guns?
Go back in time to the late 1990s, when this issue was visible in the news. The CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control spent $2.6 million in 1995 studying injuries related to firearms under the cloak of carrying out research in the interest of “public safety” because of the “public health” concerns due to gun violence. So then, gun issues become medical issues, and U.S. health agencies can then obtain their own grants and roll out their political agendas under the guise of health research. The CDC received the tax loot and paid researchers to support its politicized, anti-gun agenda and disguise it as scientific research which was printed in journals that were supporters of the anti-gun/gun control agenda. This excellent article from an April 1997 issue of Reason magazine, “Public Health Pot Shots: How the CDC Succumbed to the Gun “Epidemic,” is the best source of information on the government’s politicization of the gun issue during this period. From the article:
In a 1991 letter to CDC critic Dr. David Stolinsky, the NCIPC’s Mark Rosenberg said “our scientific understanding of the role that firearms play in violent events is rudimentary.” He added in a subsequent letter, “There is a strong need for further scientific investigations of the relationships among firearms ownership, firearms regulations and the risk of firearm- related injury. This is an area that has not been given adequate scrutiny. Hopefully, by addressing these important and appropriate scientific issues we will eventually arrive at conclusions which support effective, preventive actions.”
Yet four years earlier, in a 1987 CDC report, Rosenberg thought the area adequately scrutinized, and his understanding sufficient, to urge confiscation of all firearms from “the general population,” claiming “8,600 homicides and 5,370 suicides could be avoided” each year. In 1993 Rolling Stone reported that Rosenberg “envisions a long term campaign, similar to [those concerning] tobacco use and auto safety, to convince Americans that guns are, first and foremost, a public health menace.” In 1994 he told The Washington Post, “We need to revolutionize the way we look at guns, like what we did with cigarettes. Now it [sic] is dirty, deadly, and banned.”
The Washington Times reveals that the National Institute for Health (NIH) is currently on an anti-gun binge, as it is “financing research to investigate whether having many liquor stores in a neighborhood puts people at greater risk of getting shot.” Let’s see – more liquor stores are operated in neighborhoods where residents tend to be poor and low-income because residents of these areas are consumers that tend to bring a lot of business to the liquor industry because they desire easy access to cheap liquor and beer. These liquor stores are also magnets for armed robberies. So the NIH will attempt to discover whether or not more crimes are committed in these low-income neighborhoods that play host to liquor stores?
The NIH, which administers more than $30 billion in taxpayer funds for medical research, defended the grants.
“Gun related violence is a public health problem – it diverts considerable health care resources away from other problems and, therefore, is of interest to NIH,” Don Ralbovsky, NIH spokesman, wrote in an e-mail responding to questions about the grants.
But in the end, even the CDC couldn’t make its research work in favor of its agenda. Its own studies could not link gun control laws to the reduction of crime. Nevertheless, any time the government studies “gun safety,” you know that in spite of the fact that all the research in the world will not support its end goal of the necessity of disarmament, the aim is to produce enough information, studies, and opinions to influence the public against gun ownership and persuade them to internalize the emotional aspect of the issue, thereby leading them to despise guns, distrust gun owners, and desire more government intervention to make gun ownership more difficult.
The anti-gun movement is built on pure emotion – hating guns and being afraid of guns – so building perception among the masses through fearmongering and emotional coercion is much more essential, and uncomplicated, than actually proving a hard case through a mishmash of statistics.