Monthly Archives: December 2015

What the CDC Could Learn About Gun Violence If the NRA Allowed It to Research the Subject

By Jesse Singal, Science of Us, New York magazine, 12/23/15

If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants to better understand how seat belts help save lives on the road, or the rate at which drug-poisoning deaths kill Americans, or how lead in toys can threaten kids’ health, it’s very well-positioned to do so. After all, the CDC has the broad, vital mandate of “protect[ing] America from health, safety and security threats,” and it’s got an annual budget of $7 billion to work with. It doesn’t just study diseases — it studies any and all threats to human life and health.

But when it comes to what is, statistically, one of the most important public-health threats in the country — guns — this powerful institution is effectively impotent. That’s because the NRA decided that the CDC shouldn’t be allowed to fund gun research, and successfully bullied Congress into codifying this sentiment into law. The American Psychological Association recounts the story: In 1996 the NRA, furious about a 1993 New England Journal of Medicine article on the risks of gun ownership, successfully pushed for the passage of a budget amendment that yanked $2.6 million from the CDC — exactly what it had been spending on gun research — and banned the agency from disbursing any funds toward research that could be construed as supporting gun control. …

Read more and follow many links at Science of Us


STUDY: States With Loose Gun Laws Have Higher Rates Of Gun Violence

by Zack Beauchamp, Center for American Progress, Apr 3, 2013

… While many factors contribute to the rates of gun violence in any state, our research clearly demonstrates a significant correlation between the strength of a state’s gun laws and the prevalence of gun violence in the state. Across the key indicators of gun violence that we analyzed, the 10 states with the weakest gun laws collectively have a level of gun violence that is more than twice as high—104 percent higher—than the 10 states with the strongest gun laws….

The CAP report’s finding is yet another contribution to a growing body of empirical evidence that strong gun laws work. A prior, less comprehensive study also established links between gun deaths and loose gun laws. After Missouri repealed its background check law, gun homicides went up 25 percent despite a national and regional decline. Three independent papers have found that counties with more guns have higher rates of gun death….

State gun violence ranking CAP 4:13

[According to the CAP’s full 2013 study “America Under the Gun,” Pennsylvania ranked in the middle of states, 27th in terms of ten measures of gun violence averaged together. Download the report here: AmericaUnderTheGun.]

N.B.A. Lends Its Name and Its Stars to Campaign Against Gun Violence

By ZACH SCHONBRUN and MICHAEL BARBARO, New York Times, DEC. 23, 2015

The National Basketball Association, alarmed by the death toll from shootings across the country, is stepping into the polarizing debate over guns, their regulation and the Second Amendment with an advertising campaign in partnership with one of the nation’s most aggressive advocates of stricter limits on firearm sales.

In a move with little precedent in professional sports, the N.B.A. is putting the weight of its multibillion-dollar brand and the prestige of its star athletes behind a series of television commercials calling for an end to gun violence.

The first ads, timed to reach millions of basketball fans during a series of marquee games on Christmas Day, focus on shooting victims and contain no policy recommendations. The words “gun control” are never mentioned….

read more at New York Times

Gun Reform

from O’Malley for President

As a nation, it is time for sensible gun safety laws that save lives. That is why Governor O’Malley has set a national goal of cutting deaths from gun violence in half within 10 years. Week after week, more images of horrific gun violence flash across our TV and computer screens. These tragedies aren’t isolated incidents; they are part of a full-blown—and entirely preventable—epidemic. We cannot afford to sit by and let this constant heartbreak become the norm.

As Governor of Maryland, O’Malley implemented some of the toughest measures in the nation to reduce gun violence. He put in place licensing, fingerprinting, background checks, and safety training requirements for all buyers. If a firearm was lost or stolen, owners were required to immediately notify law enforcement. And Maryland prohibited the sale of assault weapons and limited the size of magazines—all while protecting the state’s proud hunting tradition.

Governor O’Malley is calling for the nation to adopt similar, commonsense reforms—while also closing loopholes that allow prohibited individuals to easily purchase guns, prevent law enforcement from holding dealers and gun traffickers accountable when they break the law, and lead to the deaths of thousands of children every year. These proven solutions are achievable at a national scale—if, as a nation, we have the courage and conviction to do the right thing….

read more at O’Malley for President

Republican voters for criminal background checks

Public Policy Polling, December 16-17, 2015, survey of 532 Republican primary voters. See analysis and download full results here.

Background checks < Public Policy Polling 12-16+17-15

There is bipartisan agreement on this; counting R’s and D’s together, 85% support such a bill, 9% oppose it, and 6% are not sure.

3rd Democratic presidential candidates, passages on guns

3rd debate of Democratic presidential candidates, passages on guns, Manchester NH, 12/19/15

…SANDERS: It’s a country in which people choose to buy guns. I think half of the ? more than half of the people in my own state of Vermont, my guess here in New Hampshire, are gun owners. That’s the right of people.

But this is what I do believe. I believe that when we have some 300 million guns in this country, I believe that when we have seen these horrific mass killings, not only in San Bernardino, but in Colorado and movie theaters in Colorado, I think we have got to bring together the vast majority of the people who do in fact believe in sensible gun safety regulations.

For example, talking about polls, a poll recently came out, overwhelming majority of the American people say we should strengthen the instant background check….

Who denies that it is crazy to allow people to own guns who are criminals or are mentally unstable? We’ve got to eliminate the gun show loophole. In my view, we have got to see that weapons designed by the military to kill people are not in the hands of civilians.

I think there is a consensus. (APPLAUSE) Continue reading