As reports of COVID-19 cases increase, and various politicians demand more lockdowns and mandates, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced plans to cure an epidemic of … crime?
Speaking with CNN last week, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said, “Something has to be done about [illegal shootings]. Now is the time—it’s pedal to the metal time.”
“We haven’t spent the time, energy and frankly the resources to understand this problem because it’s been so divided,” she said, as CNN pointed to biased numbers from the Gun Violence Archive.
CNN also recycled the myth that the NRA “convinced Congress to cut all of the CDC’s funding for gun research.” In actuality, the CDC was only barred from spending money to “advocate or promote gun control.” (Of course, if you say you can’t study criminal shootings without advocating for gun control, aren’t you implicitly validating gun owners’ concerns of an underlying political agenda?)
“I’m not here about gun control,” Walensky said. “I’m here about preventing gun violence and gun death.” In other words, she wants people to compromise away their right to keep and bear arms by empowering her agency to write public policy.
Premise-as-the-conclusion, agenda-driven research is often funded with the express purpose of fueling anti-Second Amendment articles from the mainstream media that they then hope will impact public opinion. In sum, it’s all political theatre.
Prior to recent rises in crime related to civil unrest and economic shutdowns, violent crime was basically in a decades-long decline, as shown by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports and the Department of Justice’s Crime Victimization Survey. (The former measures formal reports, the latter surveys victims to account for incomplete records.)
The CDC was actually caught burying data on defensive gun use in the past. Also, officials, such as U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, have all used this type of rhetoric to push gun control in the past.
Walensky has also faced bipartisan criticism in recent months for the CDC’s lack of transparency, changing goalposts, and contradictory messaging on COVID-19 policy—all of which has been used as excuses by some politicians to impact gun sales. Walensky recently said she’s struggling to communicate with the public on the issue. Maybe that’s why separate polls show public trust in the CDC has declined since the start of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, gun owners are particularly justified in thinking that the head of a government agency created to control and prevent disease should be focused on combatting COVID-19 during this ongoing pandemic, not looking for excuses to infringe upon a constitutional right.