Everytown is complaining that the CDC and NIH isn’t spending enough money to research gun violence.
Of course, this is all the NRA’s fault.
There are a few reasons for the gun violence research disparity. First, there are legislative restrictions on gun research. For two decades, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been prevented from allocating funding that could be used to advocate for or promote gun control. Although that doesn’t explicitly exclude all research on gun violence, it is said to have had a chilling effect on funding.
Oh how terrible. If only the government could spend more money on studying how to fight the disease of gun violence, they could cure it.
Except that we know largely how to curb gun violence. It doesn’t require clinicians and public health experts, it requires cops.
As it turns out, in NYC half of all gun violence is the result of petty fights between gangs. When NYC made a deliberate effort to curb gang activity, shootings in the city dropped.
A lot of money can be spent do explain how gun violence is “contagious” and people who witness gun violence are more likely to participate in it. Or you can ask a cop who will tell you that one gang A member shoots another gang B member , so gang B member 2 shoots gang A member 2, and it turns into a war with a high number of casualties. The first theory blames the gun. The cop’s answer blames the culture of gang crime.
Which is a more effective theory for curbing shootings?
We know that 64% of gun deaths are actually suicides. You know what bullet point (ha ha) I didn’t see on the WaPo/Everytown graph (look carefully)?
Suicides. I don’t see suicides. Almost 21,000 people per year kill themselves with guns, out of 43,000 people per year to kill themselves, but we’re not studying what causes people to commit suicide?
A transgender teenager commits suicide because of bullying and so Obama uses federal funding to mandate that trans school kids can use the bathroom that they identify with and now teen boys can get naked in a locker room with teen girls if they identify that way.
Gun violence is not a disease. It is not spread by a pathogen. There is no antibiotic or vaccine that can prevent it. That is the point of medical research. Find a cure. Even motor vehicle accident deaths are really a technological issue. Improved safety technology makes accidents more survivable.
Gun violence doesn’t work that way. Having a friend or relative shot doesn’t infect you with something that a pill can cure. If you live in an area of high gang violence and you are part of a gang and your gang member cousin got killed, you are more likely to retaliate. That is not a disease, that is a gang culture problem.
Treating guns like a vector for infection is intellectually dishonest, trying to separate the motivation from the tool. Not funding this waste of resources isn’t hurting people. Not funding cops and suicide prevention is.
Like George Orwell said: “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”