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Old 12-16-2012, 10:35 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:

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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 12-22-2012, 05:13 PM   #766
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Originally Posted by AussieChiefsFan View Post
I wasn't necessarily referring to the 2nd amendment.

The point is, who the hell needs an assault rifle at all.
You throw that term around as if it means something so lets see if you can answer the question Direckshun couldn't.

Can you name for me the functional difference between an "assault rifle" and any other semi-automatic sporting rifle of the same caliber?
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:15 PM   #767
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Originally Posted by Radar Chief View Post
You throw that term around as if it means something so lets see if you can answer the question Direckshun couldn't.

Can you name for me the functional difference between an "assault rifle" and any other semi-automatic sporting rifle of the same caliber?
Assault rifle is capable of both automatic and semi-automatic fire. Larger Mags too?

Those are the first couple that come to mind.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:16 PM   #768
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Originally Posted by Mr. Flopnuts View Post
For the record, I'm for our 2nd amendment rights. The cartoon is funny though, and as mentioned earlier, contains satire.

Oh, and I don't carry. So please don't shoot me.
No funny found.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:18 PM   #769
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Originally Posted by AussieChiefsFan View Post
Assault rifle is capable of both automatic and semi-automatic fire. Larger Mags too?

Those are the first couple that come to mind.
No they're not.
Larger mags is carrying capacity. It still fires the same bullets in the exact same way as any other semi-automatic rifle.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:23 PM   #770
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Originally Posted by Radar Chief View Post
No they're not.
Larger mags is carrying capacity. It still fires the same bullets in the exact same way as any other semi-automatic rifle.
I know.

So what IS the difference?
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:26 PM   #771
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Originally Posted by AussieChiefsFan View Post
I know.

So what IS the difference?
Functionally there isn't one, which is my point.
An assault rifle just looks scarier because, like, it's black and people in movies blow stuff up with them.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:32 PM   #772
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieChiefsFan View Post
I know.

So what IS the difference?
AFAIK, the only difference b/w an "assault rifle" and a Colt AR you can buy at a sporting goods store is automatic/select fire vs. semi-auto. You can buy large-capacity drums and mags at most top end sporting goods stores such as Cabelos IIRC and certainly at gun shows.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:36 PM   #773
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Originally Posted by Sorter View Post
AFAIK, the only difference b/w an "assault rifle" and a Colt AR you can buy at a sporting goods store is automatic/select fire vs. semi-auto. You can buy large-capacity drums and mags at most top end sporting goods stores such as Cabelos IIRC and certainly at gun shows.
It is illegal to possess a fully automatic firearm unless you have the proper license and those aren't just handed out. The expense and paperwork necessary to get the proper license is what keeps the vast majority of people from doing it.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:38 PM   #774
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It is illegal to possess a fully automatic firearm unless you have the proper license and those aren't just handed out. The expense and paperwork necessary to get the proper license is what keeps the vast majority of people from doing it.
Yup. There also used to be requirements as far as having certain storage facilities, but I'm not sure if that is the case anymore. Haven't really looked into possessing an auto license in quite some time.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:39 PM   #775
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieChiefsFan View Post
Assault rifle is capable of both automatic and semi-automatic fire. Larger Mags too?

Those are the first couple that come to mind.
uhhh... no.

Fully automatic weapons (able to shoot more than one round per trigger pull) are illegal, unless it is one of the grandfathered ones before the ban decades ago.

There's no reason why a non-assault rifle cant accept a magazine that holds a bunch of rounds.

Seriously, we are not lying when we say that the assault weapons ban was stupid. Common everyday non-gun people think the same thing as you when they hear assault weapon and go "oh those horrible machine guns shouldn't be legal" which is why politicians keep dishonestly using that buzzword.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:40 PM   #776
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Originally Posted by AussieChiefsFan View Post
I know.

So what IS the difference?
This is the problem with this entire "conversation"... it has been pointed out DOZENS of times in the last week that what makes a rifle an "Assault" rifle are purely cosmetic features... but it appears that none of the anti-gun crowd care to listen and check it out for themselves.

To be fair to our Kangaroo humping friend the definition we are using is purely an American one based on the Federal law from 1994. In most other countries, when you talk about assault weapons they are referring to fully automatic rifles which are NOT legal here.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:41 PM   #777
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Originally Posted by Radar Chief View Post
It is illegal to possess a fully automatic firearm unless you have the proper license and those aren't just handed out. The expense and paperwork necessary to get the proper license is what keeps the vast majority of people from doing it.
its not just a license thing. Brand-new automatics can not be sold to the public. If you jump through the hoops to be able to have an automatic weapon, you must then find one of the few remaining grandfathered-in automatics out there made a really long time ago that some dude wants to sell.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:43 PM   #778
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uhhh... no.

Fully automatic weapons (able to shoot more than one round per trigger pull) are illegal, unless it is one of the grandfathered ones before the ban decades ago.
1968, I was just looking it up.
And the license is a Class III gun dealers license, basically so they can sell to the law enforcement community.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:17 PM   #779
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Cool. Now can we educate them on Armor, body armor, & armor piercing bullets. Many seem to think Ar-15 & AKs are the only thing that shoot bullets that will defeat armor. Like a 22-250,243,30/06 & a hole host of other hunting bullets & calibers wont defeat armor.
Most armor is designed to stop shrapnel not bullets moving a 2500 to 4000 fps

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Old 12-22-2012, 09:13 PM   #780
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Originally Posted by AussieChiefsFan View Post
Assault rifle is capable of both automatic and semi-automatic fire. Larger Mags too?

Those are the first couple that come to mind.
Holy crap, you really should educate yourself before you talk about this stuff.

SEMI-AUTOMATIC - ONE TRIGGER PULL, ONE ROUND DISCHARGED.

Fully-automatic rifles are either completely illegal to own or extremely restricted. They are also far more expensive than their semi-automatic counterparts. If anybody on this BB owns a fully-automatic weapon, I've never heard about it, and I certainly don't own one.

Can a semi-automatic AR15 or semi-automatic AK47 be converted to fully-automatic? Yes, by a trained gunsmith. But it is highly illegal to do so, and unless you and your gunsmith are criminals, it's not going to happen.


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