Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Science the NRA buried

If you ever wondered why strong body of scientific information on gun safety and violence was so hard to come by, this story might just provide the answer to why this sad state of affairs exists in the face of the current scenario in which it was known 20 years ago that the second most common cause of death for 15-24 year old Americans was gun violence according to research published in an article of the the New England Journal of Medicine. When the article was first published in 1993 the pro-gun lobby screamed political agenda and questioned the scientific validity of the for the research. But they went further, they lobbied to stop the federal government funding further studies around gun violence. This effective effect ended the prospects for research by the CDC and other health oriented agencies. from page 245 of Public Law 104–208(pdf) from the 104th Congress
The work was conducted by a team of researchers with the aim of providing information to the public that would people make an informed choice whether to keep a firearm in the home.
The research also showed the increased risk of suicide by gun when a gun is present.
The political backlash was so great Arthur Kellerman, lead researcher was brought to paraphrase it as "You toucha this topic, I breaka your face."
Twenty years on, the carnage of over 11,000 dead each year including 20 children at Sandy Hook School in Newtown CT, has forced the government to do exactly what the NRA feared - reasonable restrictiond on guns sales. Exactly why 20 second graders should get traction when so many teens on the verge of adult life are very year is beyond reason but at least the is now traction on gun control and for that we can be grateful.

For those that hold life precious and truth valuable this is a clear demonstration that right-wing gun lobby value neither but instead prefer guns and money. Congratulations, Charlton Heston, your efforts at the NRA has created the most dangerous developed nation on the planet. Never before has one man sold out so many for manufacturers so wealthy.(Yes, I know he's dead and as much as I liked the work he did in the Planet of the Apes movies, his role in uniting gun manufacturers and the NRA, leave me happy to spit and dance on his grave). What tells me of then(1999) NRA President Heston's  role in bringing manufacturer and the NRA together? Hi own words at a manufacturer's meeting "Your fight, has become our fight".

The Heston's Comment in regard to the alignment of the NRA and manufacturers was fairly late in the picture. the real story started in the late 1970's with an over night coup. Shortly after the new narrative  that the 2nd Amendment meant  essential guns for all. which was later described by then retired the late Justice Warren Burger "[The Second Amendment] has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word 'fraud,' on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime."

Today, despite what we all here from the NRA leadership, it appears that just as before the coup, the membership are still want reasonable curbs and checks on gun ownership. Apparently the call for gun freedom is merely in the abstract sense and shows some of schism between the NRA membership and leadership.

Sources:

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