Democrats to Use CDC Report to Argue Guns Are ‘A Public Health Risk
Democrats have hit the ground running in the new Congress with announced plans to target gun-control as their number one issue. Their plan – shift the focus of the gun-rights conversation to public health.
After eight years in the minority, Democrats in the House aims to take charge of gun-control legislation with several new bills, all of which take a decidedly new approach to banning firearms.
One way the party’s leadership plans to get its agenda through quickly is by focusing on an aspect of gun law that will unify centrist Democrats who have been wary to champion gun-control laws before the 2020 campaign cycle and far-left progressives that advocate abolishing most gun-owners rights.
Democrat Representative Eric Swalwell of California revealed the real intention of his party to use the CDC report as a bridge to other gun-control issues when he said: “We have an opportunity to pass background checks for every firearm purchase. We have an opportunity to finally study gun violence in America to see what we can do.”
Swalwell is one of a host of Congressman who have tested the waters for a 2020 presidential bid.
But the new House leadership also knows that whatever bill they push through must clear the Senate before landing on President Trump’s desk. Their hope is their new focus will resonate with centrist leaning Senators.
Giving them confidence to precede with new gun control legislations is a new report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).Long-standing restrictions put in place by the so-called Dickey amendment have hindered the CDC from conducting research on gun violence protection. That provisions states:
None of the funds made available in this title may be used, in whole or in part, to advocate or promote gun control.
The amendment, authored by the late Rep. Jay Dickey of Arkansas has been reaffirmed by a vote in Congress every year since its insertion in the government funding bill of 1996.
Though Republicans have repeatedly said the CDC has the authority needed to conduct gun-violence research, the agency, according to The Hill, has “essentially engaged in self-censorship.”
Data released by the CDC last year has become the focal point of Democrats push toward renewed gun-control laws. That report showed that guns killed nearly 40,000 people last year. That’s an increase of over 10,000 compared to 1999.
But Democrats should take heed before citing this data, because it doesn’t show what they want it to.
Gun-rights advocates point out that new laws would have little impact on those numbers or gun-related crime. The increase in gun-related deaths is due to suicide, not more violent crimes.
The age-adjusted firearm suicide rate was highest among white men in 2017 at 14 per 100,000 people. Homicide deaths by firearm affected black men the most, with an age-adjusted rate at 33 deaths per 100,000 people in 2017.
What many in the mainstream media and progressives downplay in the report is that the majority of that increase has little to do with much-publicized mass shootings gun control advocates promise to end.
Former Democrat Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona who was nearly killed during a shooting in 2011, did not mention suicide at all in her response to the CDC report, saying, “It’s unacceptable that the number of deaths from shootings keeps escalating while Washington DC refuses to even debate policies we know would help save lives. But activism leads to change and come January, more gun safety champions will be joining Congress and making this public health problem a priority.”
The National Rifle Association (NRA) noted Giffords failed to recognize the CDC report painted the spike was related to suicides, not crime and that she nor any other anti-gun organization have offered anything to address mass shootings. The NRA tweeted, “ If we want to prevent more horrific acts of violence, our leaders need to stop demonizing the men and women of the @NRA and find solutions that will save lives.”
Even Time magazine could not overlook what Congressional Democrats have managed to, “Of the nearly 40,000 who died by firearms in 2017, 23,854 people, or 60%, committed suicide using a gun.”
But the editors of Time magazine quickly realized their mistake, that they weren’t helping to change the narrative. And so the Time’s article quickly took another approach to convince the public guns were bad. It noted in its article, “The general perception is that it’s not an old white guy problem, but that it’s more of a crime issue.”
Gun rights proponents have long advocated that instead of more gun control laws there needs to be a focus on mental health issues. But the left completely ignores this.
The end game for leftist has little to do with curbing school shootings, reducing crime, or suicide. Its aim is far more sinister.