NY's Push For Gun Research Unlikely To Be Worth The Cost

Seth Wenig

Years ago, the federal government banned public funding for anti-gun research. It didn’t ban it for all gun-related research, just explicit efforts to push for gun control. The CDC decided that meant all gun research and, as a result, there was less of such research.

That’s changed. Unfortunately, not because the CDC recognized they were being stupid, but it changed nonetheless.

Now, though, the state of New York is going to fund gun research as well. The thing is, there are problems with the plan.

You know when you take a piece of meat out of the fridge that’s been in there a couple of days, and it has a kind of funky smell, but you decide it’s probably good and you go ahead and cook it anyway?

That’s the feeling we get from two bills that passed the state Assembly this week, one setting up a fund to study gun violence (A2111/S5952) and another (A7302/S2981) establishing a research institute at SUNY into gun violence.

Like that funky pork chop, this seems like it should be OK, but is it really?

The problem isn’t the concept of studying gun violence, but the bills themselves.

At the new research institute, the money will be used to award grants for research — not through competitive bidding or request for proposals, but at the discretion of the state health commissioner and the SUNY chancellor.

No formal budget and a non-competitive bidding process for state grants?

That smells like an opportunity for wasteful spending and political favoritism.

I suggest you go and read the whole thing. It’s actually a good criticism of the effort that should play fairly well with either side.

Let’s remember this is the same New York state where the governor herded COVID-positive patients back into nursing homes that had no way to quarantine the ill patience, sending the virus ripping through the homes like wildfire. There’s plenty of reason to suspect that the governor and his cronies might not be the most trustworthy folks.

Further, we also know this is a state government that has declared an outright jihad on the National Rifle Association, which most anti-gunners see as a proxy for gun owners in totality. They’ve done everything they could to crush the Second Amendment’s biggest champion simply because anti-gunners think that with them out of the way, there will be no one to stop the gun control push.

Needless to say, this makes me more than a little uncomfortable with anyone’s tax dollars going toward research that’s picked by a couple of people likely to have a bone to pick.

Don’t expect any of this funding to go toward studies that lack anything but a clear anti-gun bias. The state of New York doesn’t want to appear to favor people’s rights, after all. They just can’t have that, now can they?

The irony, though, is that the right tends to not support government-funded research, so it’s unlikely that a large pro-gun state like Texas will counter this with a program of their own.

 

Aug 03, 2021 4:30 PM ET