Facts and the Gun debate

One of the reasons it seems so difficult to take the “facts” of the gun debate seriously is that one side has been obscuring the facts so well. As business insider (and several other places) pointed out in January,

The CDC isn’t allowed to pursue many kinds of gun research due to the lobbying strength of the National Rifle Association.
As a result of the National Rifle Association’s lobbying efforts, governmental research into gun mortality has shrunk by 96 percent since the mid-1990s, according to Reuters.

That seems odd. Would we let the cigarette companies tell doctors they can’t study the health effects of smoking? Why would the NRA be able to do that?

Prior to 1996, the Center for Disease Control funded research into the causes of firearm-related deaths. After a series of articles finding that increased prevalence of guns lead to increased incidents of gun violence, Republicans sought to remove all federal funding for research into gun deaths.

So, after a study that (to the surprise of only complete idiots) found that it isn’t so much that people kill people, but yeah, guns actually make killing people a whole lot easier, the GOP killed research into gun deaths? I find that hard to believe. I mean what are they, anti-science? Next you will tell me the GOP is against climate change studies…

Because of the NRA’s successful campaign to eliminate the scientific research into the public health effect of firearms, very few researchers specialize in the field anymore, University of California, Davis, professor Garen Wintemute told Reuters. He said there isn’t enough money to sustain research.
Since there is a lack of funding for independent research, the gun debate has been lacking in unimpeachable statistics that could effect a change in the status quo.

A more suspicious person would think that they are hiding something. Hell a really suspicious person would think the NRA gets a kickback for every gun sold.

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