MILLER: Firing back at gun control

Congress muzzles federal funds used to weaken the Second Amendment

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The Obama administration’s anti-gun agenda, which has been sneaking into the federal bureaucracy in recent years, was blasted by Congress last week. Republicans used the $1 trillion omnibus bill for 2012 to shoot back at the sneaky use of federal funds for gun control.

One sentence in the 2,100-page spending bill stopped taxpayers’ money from being used for sham studies designed to make legal gun ownership seem like a public health hazard. The House GOP included a provision in the Health and Human Services appropriations bill preventing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from using any of its $30.7 billion funds to “advocate or promote gun control.”

Rep. Denny Rehberg led the charge because, despite Congress‘ holding the line on Second Amendment rights, “the gun control special interest groups haven’t gone away, they’ve just turned to the executive and judicial branches to erode our constitutional rights.” The Montana Republican told The Washington Times, “We know President Obama fundamentally opposes gun rights, so it’s our job to keep a close eye on his administrative actions.”

While most Americans presume federally funded medical research projects focus on cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and other difficult health issues, the NIH - the agency tasked with this mission - instead has wasted more than $5 million since 2002 in an effort to strengthen gun-control laws.

“Since gun control has been rejected by the majority of American people, it isn’t surprising that the Obama administration and their gun-control allies are now forced to find devious ways to build support for their gun bans and other items on their wish list,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action.

The health agency, for example, researched whether adolescents treated for gunshot wounds were more likely to have consumed alcohol and carried a firearm during the period the injury occurred compared with victims of non-gun-related assaults. It took $2.6 million of taxpayers’ money to find out what could have been assumed for free: that teenagers who possess illegal guns, engage in underage drinking and hang out with other ne’er-do-wells are more likely to get shot.

The agency also wasted $2 million to determine if there is a causal relationship between gun violence and the presence of bars and liquor stores. The research was intended to prove the rate of homicides and suicides could be reduced with zoning regulations that kept out so-called “alcohol outlets.”

Another study spent $36,000 to try to prove that a home without firearms was essential to a child’s safety and well-being. “They spent tens of thousands of dollars singling out the downside of gun ownership as part of their effort,” Mr. Rehberg explains. “I haven’t been able to find a balanced study about the upsides of gun ownership for keeping your family safe.”

Mr. Obama’s anti-gun beliefs have sparked a steady increase in firearm sales since he took office. “Better buy it now while I still can,” millions are thinking. Americans who report having a gun in the home in the past year have risen from 41 percent to 47 percent, the highest ever recorded, according to Gallup.

The feds, however, still have their sights on gun ownership. Thankfully, Congress has stopped the Obama administration from barreling ahead with its efforts to put a trigger lock on the will of the American people.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

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