Support VSSA Advertisers

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Your Gun Threatens Public Health

At least that's how the Democratic Party Platform puts it according to an article posted yesterday on the American Spectator web site:
Under the heading, “Ensure the Health and Safety of All Americans,” the following sentence appears: “There is insufficient research on effective gun prevention policies, which is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] must have the resources it needs to study gun violence as a public health issue.” This attempt to pitch gun control as a public health crisis is not new, of course. Two years ago, the Democrats introduced a bill that would have provided the CDC with $10 million a year to study gun crime from the public health perspective. And, in June of this year, the American Medical Association declared that gun violence is a public health crisis.
The article's author, David Catron goes on to say this is the first time the platform has framed the issue as a public health issue. In the past it has been framed as things like "Protecting Rights and Freedoms" then listed the usual laundry list of gun control proposals.  Catron wrote they have two goals in mind with the change:
By converting gun violence from a law and order issue to a health crisis, Hillary Clinton and her accomplices hope to achieve two goals: Move the public’s focus away from crime prevention, a task at which Democrats are notoriously inept, and convince us that it’s all about scientific progress rather than increasing the power of the federal government.
He also touched on the myth of a "gun violence epidemic:
And the claim that gun violence is an epidemic is, quite frankly, an insult to the intelligence of the voters. It is nothing more than a pseudo-scientific veneer that Clinton and the co-conspirators who cobbled together the Democrat Party platform have attached to a transparently political project. To illustrate just how absurd it is to use such terms as “epidemic” in discussions about gun control, Dr. Paul Hsieh asks the following question in Forbes: “Which of these things is not like the other? (1) Measles, (2) Influenza, (3) Tuberculosis, (4) Murder. If you picked #4, ‘murder,’ you’re right. The first three are medical diseases. In contrast ‘murder’ is not a medical problem, although it is a tragic cause of death.”

Even if murder qualified as a medical problem, it is an “epidemic” that is being brought under control. That may seem counter-intuitive to a public inundated by sensational media stories about mass murders committed by “lone wolves.” Yet it is true that both violent crime in general and murder in particular have been declining for decades. As Nick Gillespie reports in Reason, “In 1995, for instance, the violent crime rate (which includes murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) per 100,000 inhabitants was 684.5. In 2014, it stood at 365.5. For murder and non-negligent manslaughter, the rate was 8.2 and 4.5 in 2014.” In other words, violent crime and murder rates have been cut in half.
The gun ban lobby must believe that talking about the issue in the term of public health they can move public opinion in their direction.

No comments: