In what has become an annual event, on Thursday, 30 Democratic and Independent members of the Senate and House proposed giving the Centers for Disease Control 60 million of our tax dollars to research “gun violence” as a “public health issue.”
U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., declared, “Gun violence is ending lives and shattering families in Massachusetts and across our country. Now more than ever we must study the causes of gun violence and what can be done to prevent it. No one should be afraid of more non-partisan, scientific research into this vital issue—not Republicans, not the NRA and not President Trump.”
Of course, no one is afraid of non-partisan, scientific research. In 1997, Congress specifically barred the CDC from pursuing “gun control.” The CDC is free to study firearms all they want and, in fact, has continued to publish articles on the subject since the ban. The question is, what are Markey and the CDC afraid of? What is it they want to do that they can’t do now?
A clue might be found in those backing the CDC proposal: the Newtown Action Alliance, Everytown For Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, the Brady Campaign, Americans for Responsible Solutions and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence—all well-financed, national gun control organizations.
With fellow travelers like this, do you think their “research” might find that, gosh, guns are the problem? We don’t need to give the CDC $60 million to study “gun violence”; we can learn all we need to know from The New York Times for $3.75 a week.
Huge savings tip for Sen. Markey: We don’t need to give the CDC $60 million to study “gun violence”; we can learn all we need to know from The New York Times for $3.75 a week.
Ironically, on the same day, the Times ran a feature that clearly outlined “gun violence.” It chronicled the woeful tale of Daniel Rice and Kevin Thomas, whose career arcs are exhaustively detailed:
“Mr. Rice and Mr. Thomas had long arrest records on charges including crack dealing and gun possession. Both had served time in prison. Both had been suspects in other shootings. Both were feared figures in the Mott Haven Houses and the nearby Patterson Houses, projects notorious for gun violence and feuds between street gangs.”
A bullet through the spine had confined Rice to a wheelchair for two decades. Still, he was arrested three more times for gun possession, serving three years. Five months after being paroled, he was arrested again for possessing a gun and a “large quantity of cocaine.” That earned him 10 years.
Rice was quick to pull out a pistol when slighted: “He really thinks he’s Al Capone and people owe him and his family respect. He was a bitter guy.”
Thomas left school at 14 and began dealing crack. At 19, he was arrested for attempted murder of a father and son; while on bail, he was arrested on drug charges. He served nine months. Upon his release, he was arrested more than a dozen times for assault, weapons possessions and dealing drugs. Failing to attend a drug treatment program, he served three years.
Soon thereafter, a man he had beaten and shot in the buttocks ambushed him outside a pizza parlor, shooting him eight times. Doctors removed only six of the bullets. After recovering, he was shot in the leg by a man he had attacked with a knife.
One Sunday in October 2016, Rice rolled into a courtyard with his brother, Darrell, and three friends. Thomas was attending a birthday party, but was expecting trouble from Rice and Co. because he had beaten Rice’s uncle earlier for failing to wash his motor scooter.
As Thomas rose from his chair, Darrell punched him. At 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, Thomas was unfazed and squared up to fight—whereupon Daniel “Capone” Rice shot him 10 times. As Thomas lay dying, Darrell calmly wheeled Daniel out of the courtyard.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Gee, if there only hadn’t been a gun present, these two young men wouldn’t be victims of this terrible tragedy.”
No? Of course not; no reasonable person would. But that’s exactly what the Times concludes in their headline: “In the South Bronx, Lives Marred and Erased by Firearms.”
And in the lead: “Daniel Rice and Kevin Thomas were living emblems of the ravages of gun violence in the South Bronx.”
Really? No chance that they were living emblems of, say, the poison of drug use, or rampant criminal gang activity, or a broken family, or a lawless public housing environment? How about an underfunded police force, or a failed criminal justice system, or a hopeless educational system? No? It was just … “gun violence” that did this to them?
News flash, Times: Gun crime is a symptom, not a cause. Such broad categorization strips “gun violence” of any real meaning—which, oddly, is exactly the point. If it has no meaning, then anti-gunners can invest it with their own.
If you care, you can also read for yourself the 12-paragraph, 685-word passage titled, “A Tide of Weapons,” wherein the authors fan the blame on firearms—but I think you get the drift.
Note gun control’s lingual sleight-of-hand here: Sen. Markey and his ilk use the term “gun violence” to blame guns for every unrelated gun misuse—gang shootings, drug wars, armed robbery, terrorism, mass murder, domestic violence, suicide and accidental shootings. Each is its own vexing problem, demanding careful examination to find a solution. Incredibly, opponents even lump justified police shootings and lawful defensive gun use by citizens as “gun violence.” Doing so allows them to paint all gun (mis)use with one brush, hoping you won’t notice the detailed landscape being covered up.
It’s like lumping DUIs, hit-and-runs, fender benders and NASCAR wrecks together and calling it “car violence.” Or combining deaths involving bathtubs, swimming pools, boating accidents and tsunamis into a category called “water violence.”
Such broad categorization strips “gun violence” of any real meaning—which, oddly, is exactly the point. If it has no meaning, then anti-gunners can invest it with their own.
Like, “All guns are evil.”
Clay Turner is the creative director for America’s 1st Freedom magazine, an official journal of the NRA, as well as the daily news website, Americas1stFreedom.org. He shoots just enough to maintain an A rating with the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA).