How The NRA Silenced the Science of Gun Violence Prevention
Caroline O.

The freeze on federal funding for gun violence research can be traced back to 1993, when Dr. Arthur Kellerman and colleagues published the results of a CDC-funded study in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

No, it didn’t. And that’s a part of the overall problem.

It began with the Feb 3, 1989 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, where the CDC’s Patrick O’Carroll stated “We’re going to systematically build a case that owning firearms causes deaths. We’re doing the most we can do, given the political realities.”

That was then followed by people like Dr. Katherine Christoffel who went on a PR campaign to convince the medical community that gun violence was a “public health issue”. She was quoted later with “Guns are a virus that must be eradicated.” (American Medical News, January 3, 1994.)

Dr. Christoffel went on to become the lead architect of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ firearms policy where she encouraged doctors to advocate for gun control laws to their patients. All of Dr. Christoffel’s work was done in conjunction with Handgun Control Inc. who’s policy at the time was that all handguns should be banned. They’ve since rebranded themselves several times and are now known at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

In April 23, 1992 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine the editor, Dr. Jerome Kassirer, following Christoffel’s lead, stated “Data on [assault weapons’] risks are not needed, because they have no redeeming social value.”.

Dr. Kellerman’s study was released in Feb 1993. Amazingly enough the very next day, Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, Assistant Dean at the Harvard School of Public Health, released her book Deadly Consequences where she declared “I hate guns and I cannot imagine why anyone would want to own one. If I had my way, guns for sport would be registered, and all other guns would be banned.”.

That was then followed within days by the very same Dr. Rosenberg of the CDC that you mention who wrote a lengthy paper published in the Winter 1993 issue of Health Affairs magazine where he lays out his long term strategy of banning private ownership of firearms.

Was it mere coincidence that this study, book and paper were all released within days of each other?

Congress passed the Dickey Amendment because it was very clear that the CDC had no intention of conducting any science at all. The CDC was offered reams of data from criminologists that had been studying gun violence for decades and the CDC refused it all. They weren’t interested in looking at any data that they couldn’t control. What legitimate scientist refuses decades worth of data on the very subject they are supposedly studying?

After weeks of testimony from the CDC, members of the public health community at large and numerous criminologists it was very clear that the CDC was in the tank with Handgun Control Inc., was advancing HGI’s agenda and they were using the public treasury to fund their campaign.

Rosenberg ran the CDC department that controlled all of the firearms research funding and was only willing to fund researchers that had already came out publicly against firearms ownership. That isn’t science. That’s buying evidence to support a conclusion that has already been reached and isn’t going to be swayed.

Over the last two decades, Republicans have exploited the Dickey Amendment to argue their case that gun violence is not a public health issue — a view that stands in stark contrast to the position of professional medical and public health organizations…

You forgot to add “…who all stand to gain financially if grants are thrown their way.” or mention that criminologists are also scientists and that they generally disagree with those medical and public health organization’s viewpoint.

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