Fear of Facts

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December 9, 2015 by Chris Kite

It has been almost 20 years since congress took the “bold” step of blocking the CDC from researching gun violence. The NRA didn’t like the idea of an arm of the government doing research into the role that guns play in gun violence.

It makes sense, when you think about it. What are the possibilities that the CDC is going to find that guns are often a major contributing factor in gun violence? You would think the possibilities are almost a slam dunk. So it is easy to understand why the NRA, an organization that claims to represent US Citizens and their “Second Amendment Right,” but in reality, is essentially a marketer of guns, might not like that study.

This lack of research should make everyone angry. Think about where we would be if the Tobacco industry had successfully lobbied the CDC and the Surgeon General to avoid talking about the danger of smoking. After all, cigarettes don’t kill people. People smoking cigarettes kill people.

Imagine if the auto industry had successfully lobbied the government to avoid studying the impact of automobiles on highway deaths. After all, cars don’t kill people. People driving cars kill people.

What if the toy industry had successfully lobbied the government not to study dangerous toys? After all, toys don’t kill people. Children playing with toys kill people.

The interesting thing is that even after studying these other products, government didn’t ban cars, cigarettes, or toys. They did mandate stronger laws to protect people. And certain people can’t buy cigarettes or drive cars. Certain toys were deemed too dangerous. But the toy industry has managed to continue finding ways to sell toys to children.

So there you have it. The NRA and the gun rights crowd greatly fears any research into the role of guns in gun violence because it is highly possibly those studies will show that guns are often involved in gun deaths. Even without a ban, that is bad news for the gun industry. Because if people were educated as to the true risks gun bring, rather than some insane ideal that having a gun makes you safer, they might buy less guns. And really, what does the NRA care about other than the health of the gun industry?

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