(Photo by James Gathany, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: WikiMedia Commons)
I’m not sure who needs to hear this, but guns have nothing to do with infectious diseases. So, what is the Centers for Disease Control doing poking their nose into gun violence research? Although it is doing it under the guise of gun violence as a public health crisis, it feels more like a back door attempt at gun control. Remember how much control they had during COVID? Imagine that, but with the Second Amendment.
CDC Attempting to Paint Gun Violence as a Public Health Crisis
Thanks to the Dickey Amendment, enacted in 1996, the CDC has remained largely out of the gun control business. However, after getting a taste for power and being emboldened by an anti-gun Biden administration, they are back at it. With COVID winding down, the organization is turning its eyes on gun violence in the United States. I guess there are no other infectious diseases to worry about.
According to a report from the CDC, “In 2020, coincident with the COVID-19 pandemic, the firearm homicide rate increased nearly 35%, reaching its highest level since 1994, with disparities by race and ethnicity and poverty level widening. The firearm suicide rate, although higher than that for firearm homicide, remained nearly level overall but increased among some populations.”
But it would appear that it is trying to use COVID as a shoehorn to make its involvement legitimate. However, regardless of why the organization is involved, it is now.
The Washington Times writes, “The CDC said the drivers for the increases are hard to pin down but it pointed to possible culprits: Widespread disruptions in health, social, and emergency services during the COVID-19 pandemic; strains in law enforcement-community relations reflected in protests over the police and its use of lethal force; increases in gun purchases; and violence between intimate partners.”
After reading the list of possible drivers for the increase, it’s almost laughable to hear CDC Director Rochelle Walensky say:
“The tragic and historic increase in firearm homicide and the persistently high rates of firearm suicide underscore the urgent need for action to reduce firearm-related injuries and deaths.”
This begs the question, what kind of action is she talking about? The actions taken by the CDC led to the list of drivers it is citing as responsible. Maybe they should sit this one out.
Focusing on Facts
While the CDC is trying to force a public health approach, the NRA suggests we look at other causes.
NRA spokesman Lars Dalseide told the Washington Times, “As communities across the country chose to defund law enforcement, elect soft-on-crime prosecutors, prematurely release dangerous prisoners and institute no-cash bail, no one should be surprised to see an uptick in violent crime.”
The NRA states that it sees this as nothing more than a pivot from a “flailing” response to COVID. As a result, the CDC is trying to assert control over other aspects of people’s lives. In fact, gun deaths are no more a “public health issue” than automotive deaths.
According to the National Safety Council, 42,060 people died in 2020 as a result of auto accidents. That is only slightly less than the 43,595 gun-related deaths, over half of which were suicides. However, no one is calling for stricter regulations on driving.
Proving this is about control and not an effort to prevent gun violence, Walensky said the quiet part out loud.
She told the Washington Times, “Emerging data indicates that we must radically increase our nation’s investment in this research to help curb the record number of gun murders, as well as a near-record number of gun suicides in our nation.”
I think we all remember what happened the last time the CDC “radically increased” involvement in our lives. We are still recovering from its radical involvement.
A Real Focus
To call gun violence a public health issue, while ignoring all other forms of violence is a waste of time. Until our public officials are willing to look at violence as a whole in the United States, nothing will change. As a result, our cities will continue to decline, and violent crime will continue to increase.
According to Alan Gottlieb of CCRKBA, “It is no wonder more Americans are buying guns for personal and family protection. And just like clockwork, here comes the CDC with research focusing on guns that appears tailor-made for the gun prohibition lobby’s crusade to add even more restrictions on a constitutionally-protected right. At a time when violent crime is on the rise, we should not be considering new ways to disarm the public.”
I am very apprehensive at the CDC’s labeling of gun violence as a public health threat. It feels like a back door attempt to assert authority where they have none. COVID gave the organization a taste of power that they will continue to find ways to wield.
Not to mention, citizens are now conditioned to believe that the CDC can shut down an entire country, as long as it is “health” related. What’s to say they can’t strip us of a constitutional right due to a “health crisis”?
Someone keep an eye on the back door, the CDC is picking the lock.