The results of a Center for Disease Control study on gun violence that President Barack Obama ordered to great fanfare in January are in, and they’re something he would rather have swept under the rug. They’ll also crush the messaging in the Democratic anti-gun playbook.
President Obama played ringleader to the national hysteria following the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. When Congress didn’t seem to act fast enough for him, he signed a list of 23 executive orders on gun violence — to create the illusion that something was being done.
Initiative 14 on the list directed “the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.” The Federal agency oddly justified its role by concluding gun violence is contagious, but as Bizpac Review reported shortly after the results were released, the study actually concluded that firearms aren’t the culprits that the left wants us to think they are.
Nonetheless the gun-grabbers plowed ahead, and even went to so as to write a “how-to” playbook called “Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging,” which emphasized employing emotion and ignoring fact.
The left’s reliance on emotion for pushing gun control now makes perfect sense, because the further one digs into the CDC report, the more one realizes that facts are not at all on their side according to The New American.
Concurrent with the 23 executive orders, the president called upon Congress to act on measures to stiffen background checks and ban so-called “assault rifles” and “high-capacity” magazines. The CDC study concluded that such measures would have little if any effect on gun violence.
The CDC found, for example, that the majority of gun-related deaths were due to suicide — not to ghetto-roaming gang-bangers, armed liquor store robbers or brain-addled mass shooters.
“Between the years 2000-2010 firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearms related violence in the United States,” the CDC report said.
In addition, the CDC found that firearms are used more for self-defense than they are in the commission of crimes, noting:
Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.
The report also indicated that both accidental firearm deaths and mass shootings account for a tiny fraction of gun-related deaths, and both are actually on the decline.
Of the three measures the president called for Congress to take up, only one — stiffer background checks — actually made it to the Senate, where it was easily defeated. But the CDC found that this would have had very little effect on gun violence, as criminals almost always obtain firearms outside the commercial marketplace. They borrow them from family and friends, or purchase them illegally on the street.
The one bright spot for the president was the finding that “the U.S. rate of firearm-related homicide is higher than that of any other industrialized country: 19.5 times higher than the rates in other high-income countries.”
However, these rates are horribly skewed by state and local gun laws. “If one were to exclude figures for Illinois, California, New Jersey and Washington, DC,” notes the Guardian Express, “the homicide rate in the United States would be in line with any other country.” Those are, of course, jurisdictions that have chosen to enact the country’s strictest gun laws.
The New American noted that these latest CDC findings mirror those it published in 2003, which found, “Evidence was insufficient to determine the effectiveness of any of these laws”:
– Bans on specified firearms or ammunition,
– Restrictions on firearm acquisition,
– Waiting periods for firearm acquisition,
– Firearm registration and licensing of owners, and
– Zero tolerance for firearms in schools.
The CDC’s findings shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to Second Amendment supporters. The National Rifle Association has been preaching this message for years. The president will also have learned a valuable lesson before he calls for another report: If you may not like the answer, don’t ask the question.