Rochelle Walensky
Courtesy CNN
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By Larry Keane

Rochelle Walensky, the director of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is putting out the call for increased studies into gun-related issues. Dr. Walensky told CNN the issue of criminal misuse of firearms is a “serious public health threat” adding, “something has to be done about this.”

Dr. Walensky’s said she even wants to include gun owners. So far, Dr. Walensky hasn’t contacted NSSF. If she does, we have a few ideas that work to reduce the criminal acquisition and misuse of firearms, firearm suicides and firearm safety called Real Solutions. Safer Communities.

Real Solutions

Those are programs with proven results. Within Real Solutions is the firearm industry’s FixNICS campaign, that changed laws in 16 states and in Congress to ensure all disqualifying adjudicated mental health and criminal records are submitted to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Started in 2013 when there were just 1.7 million records submitted, FixNICS changed the laws in those 16 states. Today, there are over 6.14 million submitted disqualifying adjudicated mental health records, a 270 percent increase.

GLOCK 19c in box gun lock (courtesy

The firearm industry’s Project ChildSafe forged partnerships with 15,000 law enforcement agencies in all 50 states and five U.S. territories to distribute over 40 million free firearm safety kits, including locking devices. This program has been heralded by the Government Accountability Office for its’ efficacy and was a finalist for the National Safety Council’s Green Cross awards.

The firearm industry partnered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for the “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” campaign to prevent illegal straw purchases. This two-decade old outreach reminds the public that purchasing a firearm for someone who can’t, or doesn’t want to be associated with the sale, is a federal crime that carries a punishment of 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

Another ATF-partner program, Operation Secure Store, voluntarily increases security at firearm retailers to deter and prevent thefts and burglaries. The ATF showed this program works, with 61 percent drop in instances of thefts and burglaries in the first six months of 2021 compared to 2020 and 74 percent drop in the number of stolen firearms.

The firearm industry also partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to provide information to firearm retailers and ranges to urge “brave conversations” to prevent suicides by firearm. This partnership was extended to include the Department of Veterans Affairs to stem and reverse the instances of suicides.

suicide prevention hotline

These are programs proven to reduce the criminal and negligent misuse of firearms. NSSF has stated previously, and stands by the commitment to sit at the table to discuss ways to reduce criminal access to firearms and improve firearm safety in the home while respecting the rights of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms.

Ongoing Examination

The CDC has studied firearm issues for years. It has a program that tracks firearm-related injuries, called Web-based Injury Statistics Query Reporting System (WISQARS). It recently showed that, while always tragic, deaths of children under four involving a firearm were less than one percent.

The Dickey Amendment doesn’t halt gun-related-related CDC studies. Congress passed the Dickey Amendment, and recently reaffirmed it, to restrict the CDC from advocating for gun control, which was occurring.

The CDC never stopped studies, including examinations of guns and suicidenoise and lead exposure at ranges, firearm violence prevention in Wilmington, Del., and a report on firearms homicides and suicides in metropolitan areas. That doesn’t include studies by the FBI, Department of Justice and Congressional studies. President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order in 2013 directing $10 million in “gun violence” research.

The CDC announced research grants in 2020 “to Prevent Firearm-Related Violence and Injuries.” The CDC has an entire section of their website dedicated to “Firearm Violence Prevention” and another section dedicated to “Funded Research.”

Warning Labels

The fact of the matter is criminal misuse of firearms is a concern; one that law enforcement and the courts must address. The insistence of treating criminal activity as a sort of pathogen doesn’t properly address the issue. The mere presence of a firearm doesn’t make law-abiding citizens criminals-in-waiting. Additionally, education efforts, like those championed by the firearm industry, are proven to reduce negligent firearm misuse.

“Let’s agree, we don’t want people to die. Let’s just agree there. What can we do to stop people from dying, and what can we do to stop people from being injured,” Dr. Walensky told CNN.

NSSF is just as frustrated that real firearm safety measures have become a political football, but that’s not always the case. The firearm industry worked with Congress to pass the FIX NICS Act. This was legislation modeled on NSSF’s FixNICS campaign. This law compelled federal agencies and incentivized states to submit all disqualifying background information to the FBI.

fix nics gun store background check
Courtesy NSSF

The federal legislation had 78 Senate co-sponsors, a clear indication that true firearm safety is where both sides can agree. It was passed by an overwhelming bipartisan vote and signed into law by President Donald Trump. The Department of Justice applauded the law for making significant strides in proving background checks.

This has been done before and more work can be done. The firearm industry trade association is ready if the CDC is serious.


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. Probably never entered his pea brain to persecute the a- holes committing the crimes, eh?? Probably also thinks capital punishment is “barbaric”! It’s not like they really care about victims as long as their agenda moves forward. Yeah Doc, we know THAT!

  2. Since they don’t want to fix the criminals with firearms problem. Maybe “We the People” should become criminals for real and fix the “Problems” ourselves. They already consider us that anyway.

    • Thats where I’m at with it. Treat me like a criminal ill start acting like one. Totally fed up with this gov overreacting is probably done as a means to oust this scum.

  3. I think they are mixing up the pathogen and the host. If we put those that misuse firearms away for that reason(plea bargain on the robbery, but misuse of a firearm in a felony, sticks), maybe, just maybe, the parole boards will keep them in jail a little longer.
    It isn’t the firearm that is the problem, it is the damaged individual who misuses the firearm.

  4. It will be entertaining to see how they spin advocating gun control laws. Watch for a public health claim, just like the covid tyranny; just like the eviction moratorium.

  5. They don’t care about criminal behavior. They want to disarm as many of us as they possibly can. Criminals only help their plans.

    • Jen Cooper, BINGO!!! The bodies in a local WalMart or grocery store or school or church……the bad guy with a gun…..or the gang member with a gun…. the mentally deficient guy with a gun……or the terribly distraught family member of a gun shooting victim…… or a gun violence survivor……or the Feelz-Gooder Social Do-Gooder….. or the the “hair-on-fire, we’re-all-gonna-die” contingent……or the skin color only voter…..are the politician’s easily manipulated Useful Idiot Tools to achieve his power and control agenda.
      The new agenda for humanity requires that no one will have the capacity to fight back. It has been said: “Our Task of creating a Socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been totally disarmed.” No other explanation is possible.

  6. quote——————Real Solutions
    Those are programs with proven results. Within Real Solutions is the firearm industry’s FixNICS campaign, that changed laws in 16 states and in Congress to ensure all disqualifying adjudicated mental health and criminal records are submitted to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).——————————————-quote

    Except that none of the above will vet the bulk of gun sales which are second hand guns that get sold with zero paperwork. Again nothing more than political smoke and mirrors.

    quote————–The firearm industry’s Project ChildSafe forged partnerships with 15,000 law enforcement agencies in all 50 states and five U.S. territories to distribute over 40 million free firearm safety kits, including locking devices.————-quote

    Again totally meaningless and nothing more than political smoke and mirrors because without a Federal law with severe penalties for leaving loaded firearms unattended the often lazy and shiftless gun owners will not use trigger locks and even brag its an infringement of their rights. I ask the question “for what” to insure you kill your own children.

    • Wait most gun sales are private and not tracked? How many guns were sold in the last decade again? Yeah if your math is any attempt at registration is a sad joke as there would be several hundreds of millions of guns unaccounted for and absolutely nothing anyone could do about it.

      • Dacian and his ANTIFA volunteers will search every 2 inches of ground across the whole country to find those unaccounted guns. Even if it means leaving a scorched earth in their wake.

      • quote—————–Yeah if your math is any attempt at registration is a sad joke as there would be several hundreds of millions of guns unaccounted for and absolutely nothing anyone could do about it.———–quote

        Obviously you flunked psychology and history classes if indeed you ever had any. History has proven that huge amounts of guns can be registered or even confiscated in a period of time so short it staggers the imagination. In WWII. G.I.’s were told to take all guns from the German people which included sporting guns of all types. My Father who was with Patton’s Army said he saw U.S. troops with bulldozers bury thousands of weapons that first had been smashed up.

        Australia confiscated tens of thousands of guns and the horrifying pictures show railroad cars full of them.

        Britain previously had done much the same.

        The point is that people are people and they look out for No 1. i.e. themselves putting all the key board commando rhetoric aside. When penalties are stiff enough as was in the 30’s Machine Gun ban the people do not try and avoid obeying the law as they have too much to lose and they are not about to do that. If the new law says you must go through a dealer to sell any gun most people are not stupid enough to sell one under the table and then go to prison.

        Remember too we now live in a surveillance society and what the government knows about you is staggering and you are being tracked and listened too 24 hours around the clock. It is said the average American is photographed at least 350 times a day. Try and break the law too many times today and you have more a likelihood of winning the lottery than escaping the long arm of Big Brother who watches every move you make and every penny you spend. The cashless society is almost here and when that does happen try and buy a gun without paperwork. Even today credit card purchases pile up enough info on you to let the government even know how many times you are having a good time in the bedroom with your mistress while your old lady is at the beauty parlor (as if that would help her) If you are not doing that you are a moron (chuckle).

        • History is funny the useful idiots were often shot in the ditch first. See you there bud 🙂 and guns will still be available to anyone even if all tactics you suggest are implemented and lol at how that will turn out and at how this tickles your passions.

    • Are you a child? Maybe a an adult with some kind of cognitive impairment? Or maybe it’s just a stab at satire? That would explain the Alfred E. Neuman avatar.

      • Let me help you, FDNF Vet,

        dacian the dim is well-established to be an adult child with severe cognitive impairment. We mostly just ignore him, or mock him mercilessly. If dacian had a brain, he’d take it out and play with it.

        • Thanks! I was hoping it was a feeble attempt at satire. Life must be tough for Dacian, fortunately having an IQ of less than 80 qualifies him for social security benefits so I’m sure he gets by ok.

    • Damian wrote:

      “Except that none of the above will vet the bulk of gun sales which are second hand guns that get sold with zero paperwork.”

      You fail to understand that this is perfectly legal. And good. As intended. The actions of a free people.

      Until you accept that fact, your cause will never gain any ground.

      You have some growing to do.

      Good luck.

    • Wow. You are stupid. I can’t wait to drive my drunk car, be stabbed by my unlocked steak knife. Did you reproduce? Maybe mommy can abort you sooner.

  7. Sorry, NSSF, but you’re touting your contributions to “soft” gun control in the above article.

    Patting yourself on the back for supporting an unconstitutional NICS system that assumes your guilt by default and requires you to prove your innocence before you can purchase a gun? Really?

    The article’s linked “Real Solutions” page openly states that they’re “working with elected officials to advance true gun safety legislation”. In other words, I cannot choose on my own how I wish to maintain my guns in my own house, but must rather conform to the standards set forth by people who have never met me and don’t trust me? And if it’s via legislation (laws), there must be a penalty for non-compliance, which always involves financial charges or jail time.

  8. Criminal use of firearms isn’t a disease. Wrong department. Maybe the DOJ should look into this and provide guidance to state and local governments. Word on the street is, they already have all the data they need.

    • It actually makes MORE sense, because most 2A people approach problems by employing logic and acknowledging facts – the hoplophobes (like the CDC), not so much.

      I can almost guarantee the NRA would give better advice about diseases than does the CDC about guns. But that’s not exactly a high bar, is it?

  9. If she wants to take the short drive up to Kennesaw I will tell her to her face FOAD! The only real public health emergency in the US that involves violence is the Democrat Soros funded DAs that are turning loose violent criminals that should be in jail without bail until trial.

  10. moderated out again…
    Come on up to Kennesaw I will tell her to her face F0AD! Social engineering has nothing to do with public health.

  11. Don’t call it gun control; call it gun prohibition.
    Or better yet, call it gun confiscation – for it’s their true goal, one that the Commiecrats have become comfortable articulating publicly as of late (like Beto O’Dork).

  12. Would someone please get rid of that know it all troll? This used to be a pleasant site that I enjoyed coming to. Not anymore. Too much pseudointellectual drivel being spouted for no good purpose.

    • “Would someone please get rid of that know it all troll?”

      All “trolls” are “know it alls”. To which are you referring?

      NOTE: In the end, we do love us some censorship/de-platforming.

  13. “Gun” violence, huh?
    Mmmm, yeah, all those “guns” running around shooting people, like the “guns” in Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore & NYC.
    Yep, those damned “guns” LOL.
    That’s a good new euphemism for the obvious, “guns” LOL.

    • If you have any guns that you believe are homicidal send them to me, postage paid, for proper re-education. They will be treated fairly and be taught how to be good citizens. Send them to No bs firearms training academy. Thank you.

  14. Another wonderful appointment by our wonderful goon in the WH.

    It will never stop until we get a rational human being in the WH.

  15. Walensky is, like Fauci, a Quack. How about prosecuting criminals to the full extent of the Law. The Corrections revolving door policy is creating the problem, along with Activist DA’s and Judges.

    A Cupid Stunt is all she really is.

  16. Don’t waste your time trying to counter these people with facts. They are Communists and their ultimate goal is to disarm us. Facts don’t matter to them nor do statistics. They have used many different excuses over the years from public safety, save the children, crime and now the ‘health’ angle. Just like with the COVID scam, it has nothing to do with your health. It is a control mechanism being used to disarm us. Don’t buy in to their propaganda.


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