An op-ed published in Roll Call earlier this week bitterly decries politicians who use budgetary measures as platforms for what the author calls “bad gun policies.” The implication, common among anti-gun activists, is that provisions prohibiting spending on gun control programs and biased research—such as that formerly conducted by the CDC—is somehow cheating. Why not legislate against such causes directly instead of sneaking riders into budgetary appropriations, they ask.
This narrative is entirely off base. It suggests that Americans should place blind trust in government to properly allocate their tax dollars: Who cares if they’re funding programs that have been proven to be ineffective, or even outright harmful? In reality, everyone ought to be paying attention to the initiatives funded by federal taxes. That includes this author, listed simply as John Feinblatt—his byline neglects to mention that, as president of Everytown, he may have some skin in the game.