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Friday, December 4, 2015

Why Congress Stopped Gun Control Activism at the CDC

The New York Times has an op/ed by an editor of Mother Jones that dispels the myth the San Bernardino shooting was the 355th mass shootings in 2015.  He is to be commended for setting the record straight on that point, considering he works for Mother Jones.  But then he ended the piece by repeating another myth lamenting that the media can't get good data because congress prevents research on the subject:
One thing we all need is better data. Since 1996, Congress and the gun lobby have prevented the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from conducting comprehensive research into gun violence. In the wake of the latest horror, and the confusion that followed, will that finally change?
Thankfully, we had Dr. Timothy Wheeler address that topic in an op/ed in The Hill on Monday.  Dr. Wheeler, is the director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership and was one of three doctors who testified before the House Labor, Health, Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee in 1996. They detailed the misbehavior of the CDC. What congress actually did was put a stop to the CDC doing advocacy research:
Not surprisingly, the full committee report for the 1997 appropriations bill contained “a limitation to prohibit the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control from engaging in any activities to advocate or promote gun control.” Further, the committee warned CDC officials that it “does not believe that it is the role of the CDC to advocate or promote policies to advance gun control initiatives, or to discourage responsible private gun ownership.”

So contrary to Speier’s tale of great minds shackled and research suppressed, Congress in fact simply directed the CDC to stop promoting gun control.  To reasonable minds this is not at all controversial.  Congress should ignore the tricksters and continue holding the CDC to its mission of objective research, not pushing for gun control.
Wheeler appeared on NRANews earlier this week to discuss his article and provide the facts about what the CDC can and can't do with Congressional Appropriations.


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