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Jan 17 2013

Both barrels

One good thing – although really it’s only the undoing of a bad thing. Obama’s new moves on gun control included 23 unilateral orders, which included an end to a ban on gun-violence research by the CDC. A what? An end to a ban on what? Yes: a ban on gun-violence research by the Centers for Disease Control. The NRA has way too much power.

NBC goes into more detail.

Obama issued a presidential memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other scientific agencies to research the causes and prevention of gun violence — and he called on Congress to provide $10 million to pay for it.

“We don’t benefit from ignorance. We don’t benefit from not knowing the science from this epidemic of violence,” he said.

The move effectively reverses 17 years of what scientists say has been a virtual ban on basic federal research…

A ban on research. Congressionally mandated ignorance.

From the mid- 1980s to the mid-1990s, the CDC conducted original, peer-reviewed research into gun violence, including questions such as whether people who had guns in their homes gained protection from the weapons. (The answer, researchers found, was no. Homes with guns had a nearly three times greater risk of homicide and a nearly five times greater risk of suicide than those without, according to a 1993 study in the New England Journal of Medicine.)

But in 1996, the NRA, with the help of Congressional leaders, moved to suppress such information and to block future federal research into gun violence, Rosenberg said.

An amendment to an appropriations bill cut $2.6 million from the CDC’s budget, exactly the amount the agency’s injury prevention center had previously spent on gun research. The money was returned to the agency later, but targeted for brain injury trauma research instead.

In addition, the statute that governs CDC funding stipulated that none of the funds made available to the agency can be used in whole or in part “to advocate or promote gun control.”

That doesn’t explicitly say “nobody can do any research on gun violence,” but the people at the CDC were scared off.

The NRA attacked some scientists, trying to discredit their research, endangering their jobs and even threatening their families, Rosenberg claimed.

“These were not mild campaigns,” he said. “When the NRA comes after you, they come after you with both barrels.”

The whole thing is a scandal.

 

5 comments

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  1. 1
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    No one thinks the NRA is going to stop just because Obama did this… right?

    They’re still going to threaten and attack those scientists. Anything to stop the decline of gun-ownership.

    The NRA desperately needs to be disbanded.

  2. 2
    SallyStrange

    Yes. I was rather shocked to discover this, that the NRA has been suppressing research about the effects of gun ownership and gun violence for a couple of decades now.

    Speaks volumes about the degree of confidence in the claims they make about how more guns make everyone safer.

  3. 3
    Acolyte of Sagan

    research the causes…

    Guns in private ownership: America’s gun culture.

    ..and prevention of gun violence </blockquote
    Take the guns away.

    Now, who do I speak to about the $10 million?

  4. 4
    Hazelwood

    I wonder what Sam Harris makes of this. I was very disappointed to see his stance on guns and his primary defence seemed to be a notion of ‘home defence’.

  5. 5
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    “…the NRA has been suppressing research about the effects of gun ownership and gun violence for a couple of decades now.

    Speaks volumes about the degree of confidence in the claims they make about how more guns make everyone safer.”

    However, there is some recent U.S. research done by other groups: “Firearms research: Homicide” reviews some of the figures from the era of research and adds a new study.

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