Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Whose 'Gun Violence' Research Should We Trust?

In answering the question “Why is America so afraid of gun violence research?,” the New Jersey Star-Ledger editorialized:

The Centers for Disease Control is supposed to guard the nation's health. It does that when it comes to studying and proposing solutions for infectious diseases like AIDS or epidemics like obesity.

Why, then, does the CDC continue to shy away from scrutinizing a clear threat to the public health: gun violence?

The Star-Ledger goes on to blame “Congress, ever the loyal servant of the fanatics at the National Rifle Association.” Congress had restricted CDC funding for gun research under the 1996 Dickey Amendment, named after former congressman Jay Dickey. The restriction remains in effect today, despite efforts by the Obama Administration to reinstate CDC gun-violence funding.

I left these comments, slightly edited:

While I oppose economic regulation, my opposition to regulation does not extend to guns.

Economics is by definition the field of voluntary contractual agreements relating to production and trade, and government has no business coercively interfering in such associations unless evidence of fraud, breach of contract, extortion, or other rights-violating behavior becomes evident.

Guns, however, represent deadly force. Essentially, guns’ only purpose is to kill. Since, to function,  government requires a monopoly on the use of physical force, it is proper for government to monitor and oversee private gun ownership and use. Yes, so-called “gun violence” is a serious issue that government should properly address. To do this, the government obviously needs good research on the subject.

But which research should we trust? That’s the question.

Government research is by definition politicized research. Just look at the government’s climate change “research.” It’s driven by an anti-fossil fuel, crony “green energy” political agenda. Likewise, many gun control advocates want to use gun oversight regulation as a de facto means of banning guns by making the process of stable law-abiding citizens obtaining a gun overly onerous. This would trample individuals’ right of self defense. That being the case, should government research be trusted to be objective? History says no. The reason CDC gun violence research was banned in the first place is precisely because the CDC’s previous research was heavily biased in favor of an anti-gun, anti 2nd Amendment political agenda.

For an opposing opinion to this Star-Ledger editorial, read Dr. Paul Hsieh’s “Why I Don't Trust Government-Backed 'Gun Violence' Research.”

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