Civil Discourse Now

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CPAC & guns: don't confuse those people with facts

CPAC, the annual gathering of the right wing, is taking place this weekend. In a place full of advocates of the right - damn it, the right - to keep and bear arms, one would expect to see attendees strapped, i.e., carrying firearms.

After all, as I have heard more than a few gun advocates explain to me, gun violence is greater in “gun-free” - as in there are no guns - zones. CPAC, however, once again, has prohibited guns at its annual gathering. Perhaps it’s not their fault. It’s the venue’s rules.

Facts are not kind to those who view “gun rights” as god-given. In 2018, gunshot wounds were the mechanisms of death of 39,740 people in the United States. The freedom-loving volken at CPAC should discuss research into whether those 39,740 were cost-beneficial.

That’s a difficult claim to make, but also difficult to disprove. CDC-sponsored, peer reviewed studies guns as a health problem (since GSW is so frequently a mechanism of death) aren’t to be. Since 1996 amendments to annual funding bills ban such studies.

Not only are those studies banned (see “Firearms Research,” 496 Nature 412-415 (2013)), but the Tiahrt Amendments ban “trace data,” collected by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATFE), from being released for use by anyone that could use the statistics.

Think of what we might learn if guns, from burglaries and thefts of those guns, to subsequent gun deaths, could be traced. We might prevent gun deaths. As I’ve written before, if the net effect of private ownership of guns deters crime, the NRA should want these studies.

The NRA and gun companies want the public to know facts as much as tobacco companies, in the 1950s & 1960s, wanted people to know that main stream smoke (“MSM”), especially from cigarettes, causes cancer. The tobacco companies had done studies.

The tobacco companies knew the harms of MSM, but the studies were not made public because, as one memo said: “Ignorance is bliss”. W.H.O. “Tobacco Explained,” pp. 1-2. One wonders if we are not privy to studies, carried out by gun corporations, that link guns to - well, gun deaths.

At least the freedom-loving volken at CPAC are actively protecting the rest of us from tyranny. Well, not really, since the tyranny would be wielded by the fearless leaders at CPAC. An idiot can point and pull a trigger on an assault weapon. That’s why they’re banned at CPAC.

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