When a government report, one that you, as President of the United States, ordered, undermines claims you’ve been making for months to gain support for new regulations, well . . . you’re in trouble.
This is just what happened to President Obama this week. In the aftermath of the horrific mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut President Obama issued more than 20 executive orders related to gun control. Among them, the President required the CDC to research the causes and prevention of gun violence. The study was carried out by The Committee on Priorities for a Public Health Research Agenda to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence under the National Research Council. The press is largely ignoring the studies result. Why, with such a high profile topic? Perhaps, because the findings undermine recent efforts, backed by the President, Democratic Party Leadership and the mainstream media, to implement new gun control laws.
Slate magazine looked at the study and reported it found a number of troubling results – troubling, that is, if you are arguing for more gun control based on any one of a number of false claims. The report found:
- Most indices of crime and gun violence are getting better, not worse.
- Handguns are the problem.
- Mass shootings aren’t the problem.
- Gun suicide is a bigger killer than gun homicide.
- Guns are used for self-defense often and effectively.
- It isn’t true that most gun acquisitions by criminals can be blamed on a few bad dealers.
For other findings or more details about the findings listed above, go to Slate.
The funny thing is, these are not new findings. Gun rights advocates have been laying out these facts for years, only to have their arguments ignored or mocked, outside of law journals. One might hope that with the government’s own researchers showing that the gun control proposals favored by the administration would be unlikely to reduce violence committed with guns President Obama and his allies in Congress might reexamine their knee jerk anti-gun premises and look to anew on proposals made by gun rights advocates – but I won’t be holding my breath.