Most American are familiar with the basic gun crime statistics, at least the most important one: How many Americans die from gunshots each year. In case you don’t know, the number is about 30,000 people. Of these about 8500 are homicide and the rest are suicides. These are shocking gun facts.
Perhaps even more significant is that almost three times that many people are wounded, grievously, by gun shots but don’t die. This is an appalling gun fact. Added to this shock is that Americans cannot get an exact number of gun injuries because the agencies charged will collecting this data are prohibited from doing so regarding gun crime statistics.
Our national health agencies, specifically the National Institute of Health and the Center for Diseae Control have been subjected to regulations that restrict them from collecting facts if those facts will cast gun ownership in a negative light!
Naturally, the prohibition on gun facts inhibits conversations on gun control. How can American have an open sensible gun control debate if gun crime statistics are prohibited from being collected? Gun control is a burning issue in America and yet gun crime statistics are intentionally kept from us.
How did it come to pass that in the United States of America basic data like gun crime statistics are prohibited from being collected? Blame the NRA. The NRA and a few unethical legislators who worked quietly outside of public scrutiny to shield gun manufacturers from having to confront the facts of the harm their products do in our society.
Here are the facts from journalist Anne Landman: “Why? Because the National Rifle Association (NRA) has long worked behind the scenes to block laws allowing the collection and dissemination of data about the impact of gun ownership on Americans’ safety. The NRA quietly pushed a provision that was inserted into the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) restricting the data doctors can collect from their patients about their ownership and use of firearms. From 1986 and 1996, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control conducted peer reviewed research into the impact of the presence of guns in people’s homes. While there is a widespread belief among gun owners that the presence of guns in their homes makes them safer, the CDC found the opposite — that having a gun in the home creates a 2.7 times greater risk of homicide and a 4.8 greater risk of suicide for the occupants. The NRA took action to prevent CDC from publicizing these results, and blocked continued funding of government research into the impact of firearms on citizen safety. An NRA congressional lobbyist got an amendment slipped into an appropriations bill cutting $2.6 million from CDC’s budget (the amount CDC had been spending on firearm research annually) along with a clause that says say “None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.” What’s more, the federal agency responsible for regulating guns in the U.S. has been without a permanent director for six years…by design. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was split off from the U.S. Treasury Department nine years ago and since then Republican elected leaders, beholden to the gun lobby, have blocked confirmation of a director.”
Americans have the right to all gun crime statistics so that we can make the best gun law!
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