Monday, October 6, 2003


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study last week that states there is no evidence to prove gun-control laws are effective in preventing violence. No kidding. There always has been substance to the cliche that guns don’t kill people, people do. Correlative to that rule is that the criminals who use guns to kill usually possess their weapons illegally. These serial lawbreakers are not deterred by statutes prohibiting or regulating gun ownership. They will continue to use guns to commit violent crimes even if the rest of the population of sitting ducks are disarmed.

In the exhaustive brief, the CDC analyzed scientific evidence regarding “bans on specified firearms and ammunition, restrictions on firearm acquisition [including waiting periods], firearm registration and licensing, concealed-carry laws, child-access-prevention laws, zero-tolerance laws for firearms in schools and combinations of firearms laws.” The verdict? “The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes.” The task force also concluded that “firearms-related injuries in the United States have declined since 1993” despite the fact that “approximately 4.5 million new firearms are sold each year.”

The CDC maintains that the above conclusions are actually inconclusive, and that more research in needed. Given that a task force of 14 experts spent three years to review 51 different studies to come up with the findings, the only justification for the CDC’s equivocation is that the authorities want to continue to research the issue until they reach findings that can be stretched to justify more government regulation.

All the taxpayer funds spent on this exercise are a waste of cash. Last year, the CDC spent $400,000 on gun reports. That isn’t much compared to the $2.6 million they spent on gun studies in 1995 during the Clinton administration. We don’t need expensive government studies to convince us that gun-control laws don’t make communities safer. When taking away law-abiding citizens’ right to defend themselves, it has always been obvious that the only people who become more safe are criminals who mug, rape, carjack and break into our homes. However, many of these same thugs will think twice before victimizing someone who might be packing heat.

It is offensive when liberals blanketly suggest that the average American isn’t responsible enough to own a gun, and that increased gun control is needed to stop gun violence. Crimes committed by those who own guns legally are a statistical blip. The same goes for accidents. The new CDC report is welcome in that it confirms what has long been known: There is no proof that gun-control laws prevent violence. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should get back to the honorable mission of stopping communicable diseases.


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