U.S. Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) have finally introduced their long-promised legislation to give $60 million to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to fund “gun violence prevention” and firearms safety research projects.
This bill adds to the pile of efforts by gun control advocates to restore copious funding to the CDC to resurrect its gun control advocacy. President Obama created a slippery slope a little over a year ago when he issued an Executive Order arbitrarily overturning a statute that prevented the CDC from wasting taxpayer dollars to push a one-sided, gun-control agenda. Furthermore, in March of this year, the President earmarked $10 million in the Department of Health & Human Services budget for these exact projects.
But with these actions, gun control advocates should be mindful they may be building their own “bridge to nowhere” because funding truly objective studies will counter their efforts to promote gun control. This is an issue that we have written about before. The first CDC study to be published on the topic after the President’s Executive Order found that the prevalence of law-abiding gun owners has actually made communities safer, as criminals are less likely to attack if they believe their potential victim may be able to defend themselves with a firearm. Coupling that with the fact that firearm-related deaths have decreased 50 percent since 1993, it seems like the verdict is in and more studies are not necessary.
Instead of contributing to the endless amount of government waste, there are better ways to put this money to good use. For instance, it could be used to supplement the efforts of the criminal justice system by putting more police on the streets and additional prosecutors in the courtrooms to help catch and punish criminals who use guns.
It could be used to help fund Project ChildSafe, which is a proven program for promoting real gun safety and giving gun owners an effective solution for preventing unauthorized access to their firearms. Alternatively, the CDC could study effective ways to improve access to the mental health system in the United States, as time and again circumstances from gun-related tragedies demonstrate that the solution to these problems primarily lies within the treatment gaps that exist in the mental health system.
If Senator Markey and Representative Maloney plan to instigate real change, they should consider the actual impact their legislation will have. The research does not lie – that $60 million could be far more effectively used elsewhere to accomplish their goals.