By Arthur Z. Przebinda, MD (excerpted with permission from an editorial published at drgo.us)
A little over a year ago, the California legislature enacted a bundle of anti-gun legislation nicknamed “Gunmeggedon.” Nestled amongst the farrago of anti-firearms freedom laws: SB 1006. A bill that set aside $5m to create a “Firearm Violence Research Center.”
Suspecting that the Golden State legislature were set on creating an anti-gun agitptop machine, the pro-Second Amendment camp convinced friendly legislators to alter the language. The new language directed the Firearm Violence Research Center to investigate the positive and socially beneficial aspects of guns, as well as its negative effects.
The law’s original supporters pulled the bill.
Working with California Senate President pro tem Kevin de Leon, legislators did an end run. The funds were allocated as a budgetary line item, without any mandate to examine the pro-gun rights position.
The decision was celebrated by a fluff piece at sacbee.com, profiling the man who ripped money from the pockets of California gun-owning tax payers to further his agenda.
Like so many mainstream media reports on “gun violence” research, Editorial Page Editor Dan Moraine begins by propagating the lie that the Centers for Disease Control has been banned from research into firearms-related injury and death.
It hasn’t. In 1996, Congress directed that “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.” In other words, science yes. Anti-gun bias, no.
The article paints Garen Wintemute as the people’s champion of the people. However, Wintemute is entrenched power. He is the recipient of millions of dollars from ordinary Californians. He has now gained an unchallengeable grip on the propaganda machine used to justify the disarmament of decent people.
No financial information can be found on the Violence Prevention Research Program website. There’s no website for the new Firearm Violence Research Center. Will Dr. Wintermute receive a salary? Has his team changed or grown? Who is vetting his research?
Given his history, Dr. Wintemute’s work should be subject to intense scrutiny, One of his studies is based entirely on collecting internet news reports of bullets falling from the sky, or “real-time surveillance using Google and Yahoo! news alert services, searching on stray bullet, and the news archives of GunPolicy.org”, as he put it, to make up his data set regarding celebratory gun fire.
Among Wintemute’s ostensibly academic trophies: an exposé of area gun shows in which he selectively quoted various sellers to create an unflattering picture of the entire gun community. The second is his “Ring of Fire” campaign — leading to the California legislature’s ban on low-cost handguns and put their Southern California producers out of business.
However, in that crusade, he eradicated a category of firearms needed in legitimate defensive situations, because low-income minorities are likely only to be able to be able to afford inexpensive guns. His advocacy disarmed these people because eliminating economical firearms prices them out of the ability to defend themselves.
With the arrival of California’s taxpayer-funded Firearm Violence Research Center, look for more of the same from Dr. Wintermute: highly-biased studies “proving” that civilian disarmament saves lives. It doesn’t. Guns save life. One way or another, Californians will continue pay to learn that lesson.
Arthur Z Przebinda, MD is an imaging specialist in Southern California. He advocates for the Second Amendment in his state and nationally and since 2017 serves as DRGO’s Project Director.