AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
We all know that, for the most part, Democrats don’t like guns.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. There are exceptions to that, thankfully, but if you generalize that Democrats don’t like guns, you’d be right far more often than you’d be wrong.
Now, Congressional Democrats are pushing for more funding for research on “gun violence” to the tune of $50 million.
John Lott has some choice words about that.
Democrats in the U.S. House are likely to approve spending $50 million in taxpayer funds for public health research on gun violence. While that may sound like a good idea at first glance, it really wouldn’t do anything to reduce gun violence in our country.
I testified Thursday before the House Appropriations Committee’s health subcommittee to inject facts into the discussion of the Democratic bill.
It should go without saying that everyone opposes gun violence. But it’s important to take effective measures to deal with this problem and not simply take actions that sound appealing but won’t really save lives.
The idea behind the $50 million in research funding is to have medical professionals apply tools they developed to study cancer, heart disease and other diseases and use them to study crime, accidental death and suicide. But to state the obvious, gun violence and diseases are two very different things.
Lott is correct.
To add to that, when you study diseases, you’re studying something that has a particular and relatively understandable cause. Cancer occurs because of mutated cells; a virus causes the flu; cystic fibrosis is genetic, and so on. These diseases can usually be dialed down to one specific cause.
Gun violence, however, is a different matter entirely. It’s entirely likely that there’s no single cause to it. It’s a complex problem that is unlikely to be solved by models meant to find the causes of disease.
It’s just not going to work.
Lott goes on to discuss anti-gun claims about Republicans stifling research into gun violence.
Opponents of the Second Amendment who are eager to impose as many restrictions as possible on firearms falsely claim that a measure enacted in 1966 called the Dickey Amendment – named after former Rep. Jay Dickey, R-Ark. – barred research on gun violence to be funded by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But in reality, here is what the reviled Dickey 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.”* (Italics added).
The point of that plain language is to say CDC-funded research is fine. CDC advocacy is not. So despite what gun-control zealots say, objective research based on facts is allowed under the Dickey Amendment.
This gets missed a great deal, but again, Lott is correct. Gun research at the Centers for Disease Control. Conduct the studies and let the results be. Leave it to people like Lott, myself, or even Shannon Watts to use those results to advocate one way or the other.
If anyone felt they couldn’t conduct the research they wanted due to the Dickey Amendment, that’s probably for the best. After all, such people would be conducting intentionally biased research. After all, the amendment says you can’t use the funding to advocate for gun control, so if someone feels it’s preventing them from research, then it’s because they’re going into their research with their minds already made up. They’re going to conduct studies to advance the gun control narrative.
That’s biased research.
When anti-gun lawmakers complain about the Dickey Amendment, what they’re complaining about is how biased researchers can’t conduct biased research. That’s it.
They’ll never admit it, but anyone with eyes should be able to see it.