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doctor research cdc

By Larry Keane

Gun control advocates have found a new way to spike the football, so to speak. Instead of standing in the end zone celebrating a victory, they’re mugging for the cameras from their own three-yard line. Hardly a win when they’re not even close to where they want to be and certainly when they’re celebrating something that they’ve been doing all along anyway.

Here’s the crux of it. Gun control advocates are churning out press releases and official statements from their elected offices about how this is the first time in a quarter century Congress funded gun research at the Centers for Disease Control.

It all hinges on the 1996 Dickey Amendment, named for its author former Congressman Jay Dickey (R-Ark.). The amendment states, “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 Dickey Amendment Explained

The amendment was added after a 1993 CDC-funded study took an advocacy position linking gun ownership in the home to increased risk of death by a family member or friend. It might also have something to do with Dr. Patrick O’Carroll, the CDC’s Acting head of Division of Injury Control, saying, “We’re going to systematically build a case that owning firearms causes deaths. We’re doing the most we can do, given the political realities.”

He wasn’t alone. The Assistant Dean of Harvard’s School of Public Health Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith wrote in her book Deadly Consequences, “I hate guns and I cannot imagine why anyone would want to own one. If I had my way, guns for sport would be registered, and all other guns would be banned.”

Not exactly what we’d call scientifically objective so far.

The media assertions that guns and gun ownership couldn’t be studied is a dubious claim too. The studies never stopped. Congress did pull $2.6 million from the CDC’s budget the same year they passed the Dickey Amendment. It’s also true that the $2.6 million was the exact same amount that was used for the bogus policy-pushing study. Congress sent a clear message to the CDC that It’s not your job to lobby for gun control policies.

Studies Continued

It’s simply not true that the funding for research hasn’t been there, as antigun advocates and their allies in Congress would have the public believe. The CDC’s budget has more than tripled since the Dickey Amendment was passed to over $6 billion. If the CDC was being told they couldn’t study anything gun-related, they didn’t listen very well.

During that time, the CDC studied guns and suicide, noise and lead exposure at ranges, firearm violence prevention in Wilmington, Del., and issued a report on firearms homicides and suicides in metropolitan areas. That doesn’t include studies by the FBI, Department of Justice and Congressional studies.

There was also that instance in 2013 when President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order directing $10 million in “gun violence” research.

The CDC spent the money and published the results. It might not be a study gun control champions want when the objective studies concluded “defensive uses of guns” are more effective than “self-protective strategies,” that the “number of public mass shootings of the type that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School accounted for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths,” that gun show “loophole” accounted “for only a small percentage of guns used by convicted criminals,” that the majority of criminal violence with firearms is related to mental-health issue, among many other unhelpful things, as reported by the National Review.

Play It Again

Good coaches tell their players that when they do get to the end zone, act like you’ve been there before. Gun control zealots can’t even take their own medicine when it comes to that. They’ve been here before. Just last year, President Donald Trump signed a spending bill that included an amendment clarifying what said the Dickey Amendment actually says and, more importantly, never said: 

While appropriations language prohibits the CDC and other agencies from using appropriated funding to advocate or promote gun control, the Secretary of Health and Human Services has stated the CDC has the authority to conduct research on the causes of gun violence.

Gun control promoters were jubilant then, too. U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) was so thrilled he sent a letter telling Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar he should start on the issue immediately.

Maybe the CDC just should have sent him the studies they’d already done over the previous 20 years.

Those who love the idea of having doctors study guns to push criminal violence as a health policy issue are selling snake oil. The American public knows this. Eight out of ten Americans surveyed said “gun violence” is a criminal issue, not a public health issue. It’s akin to telling someone who is fit they must lose weight because of American’s obesity issue.

Taking away from one doesn’t cure the other. Advocating gun bans through health studies isn’t not the cure for America’s crime problem.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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  1. Look forward to the same out of the CDC on why the first amendment is hazardous to your health but never a study on how government is.

  2. And when research shows old white guys use guns to commit suicide…and young black guys ue them to commit homicides? What then?
    Isn’t suicide a result of mental illness?
    Or will it be called racist because so many gun crimes are done by minorities?
    Just askin’….
    I agree with safety measures…but those depend on the owner and their circumstances.
    Unless the government wants to pony up $2k or so to get me a safe.

    • Be a real pity to have that safe arrive all empty-like…

      Here’s a campaign slogan: a chicken in every pot, a rifle in every safe, and a safe in every garage!

      • 1. Don’t want/won’t have any stinking “gunsafe”. 2. Your guns don’t belong in your garage. CERTAINLY locked up in the damn garage. Is that where you keep your food, washing machine, TV?

        • “A 3-year-old Erie boy shot his sleeping father in the buttocks with a gun he found in their Pennsylvania home, authorities said.

          The shooting happened about 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Erie, when the child found a loaded, small-caliber handgun and fired it at his 26-year-old father. The dad was being treated at a hospital for wounds that are not considered life-threatening. His name has not been released.

          It’s not clear how the child found the handgun, authorities said. Two other children in the house at the time were not injured.”

  3. While I agree that from an objective perspective the behavior seems odd, viewed through a political lens it’s not strange at all.

    It’s all part of selling the narrative they’re trying to push on the public.

    Kinda like Basic where everyone keeps saying “All we have to do is tell the story right”.

  4. As a professional scientist (neuroscience) I can tell you with certainty that the CDC is absolutely not the right group to do this kind of research (but you knew that already). Not to mention, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of published scientific papers on gun use that are soundly ignored by the left anyway. They’ll give the money to Hemenway who will predictably find that guns have no social value. If you read Kleck’s book, “Armed”, written with Don Kates, he comes out and says directly that many of his colleagues publish outright lies. That is a helluva thing for an academic scientist to say.

    • Spot on.
      The CDC will say WHATEVER the unelected swamp creatures in Washington tells it to say.
      Just like the Global Warming topic. Here’s the conclusion, now go find ONLY the slivers of data that support that conclusion, then flush the data that conflicts with the pre-determined conclusion.
      Good hack scientists, you get to keep your jobs.

  5. These CDC threads are entertaining. On one hand everyone knows they are a terminally corrupt agency that will lie to support gun control…yet when it comes to vaccines, suddenly the CDC is all rainbows and unicorns and becomes an unconditionally altruistic agency despite that it owns vaccines patents and sells BILLIONS of dollars worth of vaccines in the US yearly. Great stuff.

    • Remember, according to the numbers, the average human being has one boob and one testicle. It’s accurate, you can run the numbers yourself and numbers don’t lie, so there’s no way CDC can get it wrong…

    • One-trick-pony is at it again, spouting off shit no one wants to hear.

      TTAG management has told you repeatedly to knock that crap off, and you do it anyways.

      Do you ever talk about guns? You are seriously brain-damaged by that crap, son. But no, all you EVER comment on is your anti-science bullshit…

      That’s all peegee2 ever talks about…

    • PeeGeeTwo,

      Agree. We all know the CDC lies about guns. It is reasonable to suspect they lie about much more, including vaccines.

      Our freedoms are being eroded, including our 2A rights. Government agencies that publish contrived studies, are doing so for an industry or political power group, not for our benefit. This is not only about guns, it is about patriotism, about institutionalized treason.

      The people who want to take away our guns, want to take away or free choice in medicine, and even our rights to privacy and free speach. We must battle them on all fronts.

  6. Did their study in Wilmington Delaware determine people kill each other over stupid shit whether they have guns or not?
    Didn’t think So.

  7. Sounds to be about as “scientific” as Trofim Lysenko and his misinterpretation and misuse of “research” byI.V. Michurin. Google them. They ruined Soviet agriculture.

  8. While we have this topic of wonky and dysfunctional BS that comes from DC, what happens to all the TTAG posters that were spewing non-stop (every comment section) about Trump being removed by San Fran Nan, the Jabba the Glut looking Nadler, and Pencil Neck Schwifty (yes, an R&M referance).
    I guess that the time has come to hand it over to the Senate for a swift flushing like the turd it is, the topic is dropped.
    All that hype from the Dumbocrats, and it’s DOA.
    I wonder what the JCFanClub thinks about how the impeachment turned out, asked ABSOLUTELY NOBODY, EVER!
    But, that hardly stops those fun & easygoing fans though.

        • Yeah, DERP is a “lower case”/2 dimensional troll.
          Just as numerous TTAG commenters have noted, he sees me in his nightmares, behind every blade of grass, in his moms bedroom balls deep, my face on the “gilded frame” hand painted image hanging on the wall @ the FanClub weekly circle jerk/salad tosses.
          He gets his nuts stomped with facts/proof (like the “gift gun” comment section), then leaves several TTAG commenters posts go unanswered.
          Once a little bitch troll like DERP, alway a little bitch troll.

  9. “Gun Violence”? What’s that? An inanimate object cannot be violent. Weird ideas people have …

    That said, $25,000,000 is a nice start on the violence problem. A damned dirty shame it isn’t being spent on the violence problem.

    A couple of better ideas for violence prevention:

    Spend that money promoting and training school staff according to the US Secret Service Safe Schools Initiative. Early Detection – Threat Assessment – Planned Intervention. THIS WORKS!

    Give a big fat grant to CureViolence.Org. They treat violence as a contagious cycle in the inner cities among gangs and teens. They have had a hell of a lot more success at it than, for example, the Chicago or Baltimore politicians and police departments.

    • We know what the common denominator is. It’s negative home life factors. So why aren’t we promoting traditional family unity and traditional values? Oh yeah, the left despises that. As a matter of fact, they actively campaign against that.

      As a side note, do you know what the greatest predictor of financial success is? No, sorry democrats, it isn’t being white. It’s coming from a cohesive family. It turns out someone actually studied this. Asian Americans also earn well above what whites earn. Guess what? They’re also better at keeping their families together.

      “Coleman’s analysis concluded that the primary predictor of student academic success was not disparities in access to school resources such as textbooks, laboratories, library facilities, or even curriculum quality; rather, it was a child’s home environment.”

      Is this really news? No. This study was from 1966! So why aren’t we teaching the importance of this? Instead, “they” (leftists) are telling women that in order to be equal to men, they should concentrate on career above family, oh and it’s okay to be a slut as well. As a matter of fact it’s downright empowering. Oh and you awful men…well we would like you much better if you acted like girls.

    • Yes, on hardening the schools, no on the reparations. Why should Whites have to pay reparations to minorities, who can’t act civilized? Cureviolence is an organization created because all cultures are not equal, and Whites are forced to lower our culture because of previous generations outlawing freedom of association for Whites in the 60’s.
      White flight should have been White fight, as all fleeing did was sacrifice lands to savages, who then are used to enlarge the governemt, and lower the quality of life for Whites.

  10. Medicaid has been expanded to cover KY jelly, thank goodness just in time for my government funded bend over please request

  11. Between 300,000 and 500,000 Americans die each year from medical mistakes by doctors (and pharmacists, but that’s due largely to the unreadable scrawl written by doctors on prescription scrips). By contrast, only about 30,000 Americans die each year from guns, and those are mostly suicides. This shows why doctors are so angry about deaths through “gun violence” — they resent the competition!

    Borrowing the language of gun-banners, we need “common-sense doctor control” and “doctor-safety laws” and a “common-sense solution to doctor violence.”
    After all, there are 300,000 to 500,000 people killed by doctors, which means “doctor violence” is the 3rd or 4th leading preventable cause of death. Doctors don’t want guns catching up to them in the field of killing people, because killing people is the specialty of doctors, and they want to keep it that way! Guns don’t even come close to killing as many Americans, and yet doctors still resent the competition.

    I’m saying this half-jokingly, but the numbers are absolutely true.
    Doctors need to stay in their lane and work on ending their “doctor violence” that kills 300,000 to 500,000 Americans every year.

    • Congrats on beating the recent vaccine bill, at least for now anyway. Some people in NJ still recognize freedom and will stand up to protect it.

    • Mental health, or mental illness is 100% opinion, 100% subjective. Half of the clown profiles that post here, at least the real profiles, should be very worried about being identified as mentally ill,

      • I guess the JCFanClub keeping active on TTAG is a good thing, you know, idle hands……
        Who knows what these troll farm/basement dwellers would be up to without the comment sections.

  12. The CDC is just another POS 3-letter agency. Fortunately, this one has no teeth, so the best you can hope for from them is a gum job.

    What they should do is STAY IN THEIR OWN LANE dammit, and study Medical Violence.

    Guns don’t kill people, doctors and nurses do (in comparison).

  13. I look forward to the CDC coming out with another round of investigation supporting their earlier finding of 500,000 to 2,500,000 DGUs / year. (What’s a factor of 5 among friends: hey it’s govenment work.)

    What with all the attention, one hopes this time it won’t be hidden for a couple decades this time.


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