Sunday, November 22, 2015

There is no Ban on "Gun Violence" Research; The Hill Pushes the Lie

A recent headline at The Hill read "Dems push to end ban on gun violence research".  The only problem is that there is no ban on "gun violence" research.  There is a ban on spending federal dollars, by the Department of Health and Human Services, on research that advocates for more gun control.  It is called the Dickey Amendment, and was put in place after the leaders of the CDC proclaimed what they expected from research results (advocating for more gun control) before the research was conducted.  The CDC had already funded severely flawed, advocacy  "research" to advance gun control.  The Congress responded by cutting off their funding.   They did not cut off funding to other agencies that might be expected to research the effects of gun ownership; for example, the Department of Justice.  But The Hill headline gives the opposite impression.  The article gives the correct purpose of the ban, but with caveats, and only after quoting Democrats to "explain" what the ban "really" does.  From The Hill:
Led by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), the Democrats said the so-called Dickey Amendment — a long-standing provision that has effectively blocked federal research on gun violence — leaves lawmakers in the dark when it comes to crafting policies aimed at tackling the problem.
"We dedicate $240 million a year on traffic safety research, more than $233 million a year on food safety, and $331 million a year on the effects of tobacco, but almost nothing on firearms that kill 33,000 Americans annually," the lawmakers wrote.
 Notice that Rep Jackie Speir deliberatively uses bad grammar to obfuscate the issue.  Guns do not kill people.  They have no volition.  They can be used to kill people; and people can be killed with guns; but guns by themselves; do not kill people.  Later, The Hill author, Mike Lillis, gives this explanation of the legislation:
First passed in 1996, the Dickey Amendment does not ban gun-violence research outright, but stipulates that “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”
He frames the debate with Speir as a victim of "gun violence" when she was shot by rabid leftists in South America, investigating the Jonestown cult.   Even though Guyana has strict restrictions on owning guns, Speir wants to import those sort of restrictions to the United States.  The Guyana murder rate is 17 per 100,000, about four times as high as the rate in the United States.  Here is the letter from the Democrats:

Disarmists turned to the attempt to "medicalize" crimes committed with guns when research funded by the Justice Department did not show any support for more restrictive gun control policies.  It is why you see most  research funded by Michael Bloomberg in medical journals, not in criminological journals or in economic journals.  Medical "researchers" seem to feel no need to cite studies done in other fields.  They routinely ignore studies by Gary Kleck, or John Lott, for example. 

The disarmists want the CDC to be able to produce more propaganda.  The scandal is that the CDC ever produced any to begin with.  There are plenty of studies about guns and crime, guns and suicides, and others.  They are simply not funded by the CDC, and rightly so.

Definition of  disarmist

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

No comments: