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Old 12-16-2012, 11:35 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Let's research gun violence.

I've said this in a couple other threads, but I don't believe that gun control is going to get any traction in Congress. Some Democrats will push for it, some other Republicans will table it, some pro-gun control folks like myself will cry foul, and yet another Congress will pass without any gun control measures seeing the light of day.

But here's one thing that maybe we can start doing: better educate ourselves on gun violence, so we can stop stabbing in the dark as to what we can better do to mitigate it.

The problem is that for a couple decades now, the government has not been able to produce any information on gun violence because the NRA has been threatening war if Congress failed to choke off all funding for gun-related research.

The CDC and NIH used to conduct research for decades, but around the time of the late 90s, the NRA became so powerful it was able to prevent these agencies from granting funds to researchers on those topics. McClatchy DC:

Quote:
The CDC and NIH award billions in grants. They fund research into cancer, brain injury, tobacco use, obesity, AIDS, abortion, hearing loss, allergies, infectious diseases, back pain and virtually everything else related to human health. But gun violence is the one area that carries that specific language. The effect has been to limit federal funding into research that could be used to shape policy.
This is irresponsible. We pass hundreds of gun-related laws across the country every few years. Like all laws, we should be able to research the impact of the laws we pass, so we can make decisions based on more than pure ideology.

Anyway, there's a ton of stories on this, but here's a really good one from last year in the Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/us...anted=all&_r=0

N.R.A. Stymies Firearms Research, Scientists Say
By MICHAEL LUO
Published: January 25, 2011

In the wake of the shootings in Tucson, the familiar questions inevitably resurfaced: Are communities where more people carry guns safer or less safe? Does the availability of high-capacity magazines increase deaths? Do more rigorous background checks make a difference?

The reality is that even these and other basic questions cannot be fully answered, because not enough research has been done. And there is a reason for that. Scientists in the field and former officials with the government agency that used to finance the great bulk of this research say the influence of the National Rife Association has all but choked off money for such work.

“We’ve been stopped from answering the basic questions,” said Mark Rosenberg, former director of the National Center for Injury Control and Prevention, part of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was for about a decade the leading source of financing for firearms research.

Chris Cox, the N.R.A.’s chief lobbyist, said his group had not tried to squelch genuine scientific inquiries, just politically slanted ones.

“Our concern is not with legitimate medical science,” Mr. Cox said. “Our concern is they were promoting the idea that gun ownership was a disease that needed to be eradicated.”

The amount of money available today for studying the impact of firearms is a fraction of what it was in the mid-1990s, and the number of scientists toiling in the field has dwindled to just a handful as a result, researchers say.

The dearth of money can be traced in large measure to a clash between public health scientists and the N.R.A. in the mid-1990s. At the time, Dr. Rosenberg and others at the C.D.C. were becoming increasingly assertive about the importance of studying gun-related injuries and deaths as a public health phenomenon, financing studies that found, for example, having a gun in the house, rather than conferring protection, significantly increased the risk of homicide by a family member or intimate acquaintance.

Alarmed, the N.R.A. and its allies on Capitol Hill fought back. The injury center was guilty of “putting out papers that were really political opinion masquerading as medical science,” said Mr. Cox, who also worked on this issue for the N.R.A. more than a decade ago.

Initially, pro-gun lawmakers sought to eliminate the injury center completely, arguing that its work was “redundant” and reflected a political agenda. When that failed, they turned to the appropriations process. In 1996, Representative Jay Dickey, Republican of Arkansas, succeeded in pushing through an amendment that stripped $2.6 million from the disease control centers’ budget, the very amount it had spent on firearms-related research the year before.

“It’s really simple with me,” Mr. Dickey, 71 and now retired, said in a telephone interview. “We have the right to bear arms because of the threat of government taking over the freedoms that we have.”

The Senate later restored the money but designated it for research on traumatic brain injury. Language was also inserted into the centers’ appropriations bill that remains in place today: “None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

The prohibition is striking, firearms researchers say, because there are already regulations that bar the use of C.D.C. money for lobbying for or against legislation. No other field of inquiry is singled out in this way.

In the end, researchers said, even though it is murky what exactly is allowed under this provision and what is not, the upshot is clear inside the centers: the agency should tread in this area only at its own peril.

“They had a near-death experience,” said Dr. Arthur Kellermann, whose study on the risks versus the benefits of having guns in the home became a focal point of attack by the N.R.A.

In the years since, the C.D.C. has been exceedingly wary of financing research focused on firearms. In its annual requests for proposals, for example, firearms research has been notably absent. Gail Hayes, spokeswoman for the centers, confirmed that since 1996, while the agency has issued requests for proposals that include the study of violence, which may include gun violence, it had not sent out any specifically on firearms.

“For policy to be effective, it needs to be based on evidence,” said Dr. Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, who had his C.D.C. financing cut in 1996. “The National Rifle Association and its allies in Congress have largely succeeded in choking off the development of evidence upon which that policy could be based.”

Private foundations initially stepped into the breach, but their attention tends to wax and wane, researchers said. They are also much more interested in work that leads to immediate results and less willing to finance basic epidemiological research that scientists say is necessary to establishing a foundation of knowledge about the connection between guns and violence, or the lack thereof.

The National Institute of Justice, part of the Justice Department, also used to finance firearms research, researchers said, but that money has also petered out in recent years. (Institute officials said they hoped to reinvigorate financing in this area.)

Stephen Teret, founding director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, estimated that the amount of money available for firearms research was a quarter of what it used to be. With so much uncertainty about financing, Mr. Teret said, the circle of academics who study the phenomenon has fallen off significantly.

After the centers’ clash with the N.R.A., Mr. Teret said he was asked by C.D.C. officials to “curtail some things I was saying about guns and gun policy.”

Mr. Teret objected, saying his public comments about gun policy did not come while he was on the “C.D.C. meter.” After he threatened to file a lawsuit against the agency, Mr. Teret said, the officials backed down and gave him “a little bit more leeway.”

C.D.C. financing for research on gun violence has not stopped completely, but it is now mostly limited to work in which firearms are only a component.

The centers also ask researchers it finances to give it a heads-up anytime they are publishing studies that have anything to do with firearms. The agency, in turn, relays this information to the N.R.A. as a courtesy, said Thomas Skinner, a spokesman for the centers.

Invariably, researchers said, whenever their work touches upon firearms, the C.D.C. becomes squeamish. In the end, they said, it is often simply easier to avoid the topic if they want to continue to be in the agency’s good graces.

Dr. Stephen Hargarten, professor and chairman of emergency medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, used to direct a research center, financed by the C.D.C., that focused on gun violence, but he said he had now shifted his attention to other issues.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:33 PM   #61
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If Democrats can spend a billion on TV ads for one election, why cant they fund this study that will deliver us the golden answer to our problem?
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:36 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post
Sounds like you are pretty smart! There are a lot of NRA members who feel as you do.
I guess they are a vocal minority? Or is it that the ones who bellyache about control and regulations just yell louder?
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:39 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
backgrounds checks are now federally required, except in so-called "gun shows". The problem with checks at gun shows is we're now talking about requiring a background check for private sales between one non-merchant, regular person and another. If we require a check there, we'd also need to start requiring checks before someone could give a gun to a brother or other relative as a christmas present. Some people have a problem with that, some don't.

Anyway, I don't think many people oppose safety courses, provided the state doesn't create a de facto ban by making safety courses once a year in some obscure unadvertised location that costs $1,000 with limited seating or something like that.
I would be fine with those checks,but I see the problem.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:40 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post
If Democrats can spend a billion on TV ads for one election, why cant they fund this study that will deliver us the golden answer to our problem?
If they did fund it, would you accept the answer?
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:41 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Lou_Zare View Post
while I agree with your suggested mechanisms for safety, I remind you the right to own any and all weapons is declared in the bill of RIGHTS

As another measure of "control" I would add all americans must take a test on the US Constitution so there is no confusion of the fact we are guaranteed our individual right to own nukes, if we so desire

See, the thing is, it's about freedom and those liberties afforded. Let me be even more clear -- it is about the right to defend my individual as I see fit against any opponent. Our forefathers did not hand in a list of approved weapons, they spelled it out "arms". If I put "nuclear" in front of "arms", it works for me in my own defense.
So, since we have the "right to bear arms" we have the right to bear any arm that is developed?
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:41 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by luv View Post
I guess they are a vocal minority? Or is it that the ones who bellyache about control and regulations just yell louder?

Id say the later. I know within my circle of friends who shoot, hunt, target shoot that any number of them would fall into the same position you hold. The issue we face is how far will regulators go if they had no one pushing back against regulation. That is generally true in all cases of government involvement in mandates of most any kind. There are as many who would say unrestricted regulation is a good thing as there are those who see evil in every regulatory effort.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:42 PM   #67
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So, since we have the "right to bear arms" we have the right to bear any arm that is developed?
Nope and we dont now and no one I know of is asking for the right to own a TOW missile or a operable RPG.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:44 PM   #68
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Just one anecdote, but reading the local news, it looks like my politicians are reacting the way I'd want them to. The leadership of the Iowa state Senate (Democrats) have pretty much said new gun control laws are not going to happen, but they want to spend more money on mental health care, and our Republican governor is on board with that idea.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:44 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post
Nope and we dont now and no one I know of is asking for the right to own a TOW missile or a operable RPG.
It seemed that he was. Of course, considering who said it, I shoud have thought twice before asking.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:49 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
backgrounds checks are now federally required, except in so-called "gun shows". The problem with checks at gun shows is we're now talking about requiring a background check for private sales between one non-merchant, regular person and another. If we require a check there, we'd also need to start requiring checks before someone could give a gun to a brother or other relative as a christmas present. Some people have a problem with that, some don't.

Anyway, I don't think many people oppose safety courses, provided the state doesn't create a de facto ban by making safety courses once a year in some obscure unadvertised location that costs $1,000 with limited seating or something like that.
No, this is not correct. Background checks are federally required by any gun dealer selling a firearm, regardless of location. Gun shows included. If you buy a gun from a gun dealer, you absolutely positively have to go through a background check no matter where it is bought.

There is no required background check for individual sale of firearms. So if you're buying a gun from another individual, you don't have to go through a background check whether the sale happens at a gun show or in your own garage.

This is why there is no such thing as the "Gun Show Loophole", that we hear so much about. There is nothing happening at a gun show, that isn't identically legal/illegal outside of a gun show. Gun shows are under the exact same federal sale requirements as anywhere else.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:03 PM   #71
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I've bought several guns at gun shows...had to do a background check every time in the SoCol. With the use of ipads and what not it becomes very easy and costs 10 beans.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:33 PM   #72
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But Gun Show Loophole has such a ring to it!!!
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:40 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Lou_Zare View Post
while I agree with your suggested mechanisms for safety, I remind you the right to own any and all weapons is declared in the bill of RIGHTS

As another measure of "control" I would add all americans must take a test on the US Constitution so there is no confusion of the fact we are guaranteed our individual right to own nukes, if we so desire

See, the thing is, it's about freedom and those liberties afforded. Let me be even more clear -- it is about the right to defend my individual as I see fit against any opponent. Our forefathers did not hand in a list of approved weapons, they spelled it out "arms". If I put "nuclear" in front of "arms", it works for me in my own defense.
I guess I wasn't thinking. It is a right, but it is regulated and that right can be taken away for certain things as I mentioned. In that way, it's not some un-adulterated "right". But I agree with you, it is outlined in the Constitution as the right to keep and bear arms.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:47 PM   #74
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I guess I wasn't thinking. It is a right, but it is regulated and that right can be taken away for certain things as I mentioned. In that way, it's not some un-adulterated "right". But I agree with you, it is outlined in the Constitution as the right to keep and bear arms.
All rights are limited if there's a compelling reason. Shouting fire in the theater, laws against human sacrifice as a religious practice, etc. The 2nd amendment is no different. There are no un-adulterated rights, to use your term.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:51 PM   #75
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csb
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