President Obama issued 23 executive orders concerning private ownership of guns, including one that directed the CDC to conduct a study. The CDC has issued a “preliminary report” and I have seen numerous supporters of Second Amendment rights celebrating that report. Their celebration is extremely hasty and indicates those celebrating didn’t read the full report. The preliminary report is 123 pages long and you need to read it in its entirety, plus know something about the workings of the CDC, another massive federal bureaucracy, to really understand what those who compiled the report are saying.
Yes, the preliminary report did note some items that have made pro-gun individuals, organizations, blogs and publications celebrate. For example, many blogger/publications have noted that the preliminary report says those who use guns in self-defense have a lower injury rate than those who don’t. And, the report does indicate that defensive use of guns is as common as use by criminals. From my viewpoint however–having dealt with the CDC in a former life as managing editor of some healthcare newsletters–those are crumbs being thrown to pro-gun groups. For example of over-reaction, Guns.com noted: “the results of the study were surprisingly unbiased and similar to another conducted in 1994 that found “insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws reviewed for preventing violence.” Others have noted that the CDC does acknowledge Second Amendment rights and that mass shooting are quite rare.
What those preliminary assessments do not do, however, is go into the full 123 pages, which are a litany of additional research the CDC says needs to be conducted on a wide range of areas involving guns. In other words, the CDC wants to make guns the subject of massive studies similar to what it did with tobacco use. We all know how that turned out. Despite the fact that cigarettes can be shown statistically to raise your risk of cancer–not to huge levels of risk, but somewhat–the CDC never said that tobacco causes cancer because it doesn’t. Those who like me puff a pipe have no greater risk of cancer than non-smokers. Why? Because tobacco doesn’t cause cancer, the CDC didn’t even claim it does, just cigarettes. I suspect the chemicals put into cigarettes to make them continue to burn does cause cancer, but then I’m not a CDC “scientist”. Tobacco in its relatively pure form does not continue to burn when you light it. It goes out almost immediately. Cigarettes don’t. To keep a pipe going, you are continually re-lighting it after every couple of puffs.
The CDC never publicly made that distinction with tobacco, however, and I suspect if it can get the funding it wants for the numerous massive studies called for in the “preliminary report”, the organization probably will come up with some reasons why guns should be banned, like cigarettes. I’m sure warning labels would be high on the agenda. The report also talks about biometric devices that would keep a weapon from firing unless it first read your fingerprint, or some such. In other words, after the CDC got through with its studies, Second Amendment rights would be like requiring fingerprints to start your car or air bags to collect the bullets, etc., etc. Better yet, ban them.
Even if they don’t, there are politicians who will point to the overall massive taxpayer-funded studies and continue their crusades to ban guns. After all, they do kill people. Just like with the cigarette study, they won’t wade through the hundreds and thousands of pages of the CDC reports, as I have. Sometimes there are people it is necessary to kill to save your own life. Those politicians, however, with the results of the CDC’s massive studies in hand, would so obscure facts, just as the CDC usually does, that they could claim anything quoting the CDC.
It’s far, far too early for gun-rights organizations to be celebrating the preliminary report. This is another massive federal bureaucracy just getting cranked up. Read the whole report, keep past results in mind and you’ll come away with a different perspective from early celebrations.