CDC Study Rips Guts Out Of Gun Control

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You don`t hear so much about gun control any more,
largely because, one has to suspect, even the Democrats
have tumbled to the truth that it`s a big loser at the

In 2000 Al Gore lost a good many white male voters
because he failed to distance himself from his party`s
record on gun control, and this year even Howard Dean is
accused by his rivals within the party of being too
cuddly with the National Rifle Association.

Nevertheless, that doesn`t mean the

gun gestapo
that peddles gun control is defunct.
It`s just out of ammunition, not only because its issue
is a loser but also because there`s so little merit in
its main claim—that private gun ownership causes
violence in the form of homicide, suicide and accidents.

That claim has always been dubious, but now even an
institution that often appears to side with the gun
controllers—the Centers for Disease Control and

a study that pretty much shoots the legs
out from under the

for gun control.

Indeed, when the Associated Press


new study
recently, that seems to have been one of
the main concerns about it. "The findings," the
story whimpered, "could be used to undercut the
gun-control movement."

Well, as a matter of fact, that`s precisely what the
findings do. As the AP reported,

"an independent CDC task
force reviewed 51 published studies about the
effectiveness of eight types of gun-control laws. The
laws included bans on

specific firearms
or ammunition, measures barring
felons from buying guns, and mandatory waiting periods
and firearm registration. None of the studies was done
by the federal government. In every case, a CDC task
force found `insufficient evidence to determine

While the findings do pretty much gut the argument
for gun control, of course the gun gestapo refuses to
give up. "Gun-control advocates quickly called on the
government to fund better research,"
the AP
reported, and one Gestapo Gruppenfuhrer, Peter Hamill of
the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, moaned that,
"There have not been

enough good surveys
to know whether these laws work,
and that`s a very sad and troubling fact."

Spokesmen for the CDC itself were quick to try to
smooth over any aid and comfort their findings might
offer to those who want to preserve the constitutional
right to keep and bear arms.

"When we say we don`t know the effect of a law,"
explained the chairman of the task force sponsoring
the study, "we don`t mean it has no effect. We mean
we don`t know."

But if we don`t know the laws "work," why
should we pass them or enforce them? 

Not only what the CDC study found but also what the
chairman and Mr. Hamill acknowledge in their statements
rips the guts out of the whole argument for gun control.

The AP story regurgitated such factoids beloved of
gun controllers as that "Firearms injuries were the
second leading cause of injury deaths, killing 28,663
people in 2000, the most recent year for which data was

What it didn`t bother to report is that while the
number of firearms in private possession has exploded in
recent years (gun sales have risen by 25 percent

since 9/11
), murder rates have fallen. 

The Washington Times last week, in a long

front-page story
on murder in America, reported
"the homicide toll of 15,317 for 2000 was a dramatic
decline from 1991`s all-time high of 24,495."
Hits 40-Year Low,” by Frank J. Murray, Washington Times,
October 5, 2003

If guns caused murder, the crime would have
increased, not dwindled.

In the

current issue
of The Rockford Institute`s magazine
Chronicles, devoted to the

gun issue
, historian Roger McGrath notes what ought
to be obvious—that crime has actually swollen as guns
became more difficult to own.

"I grew up in Los Angeles
when gun laws were few and crime was low. Nearly
everyone I knew had a 30.06, a couple of .22`s, a
shotgun, and a revolver or two sitting around their
house. We could buy guns mail-order and pick up our
ammunition at the local grocery store…. Did this cause
crime? In 1952, there were 81 murders in Los Angeles. In
1992, 40 years and many gun laws later, there were 1092
murders. If the increase in murder had kept pace with
the increase in population, there would have been 142
murders, a 75 percent increase. Instead, murder
increased 1,350 percent. Other crimes had similar
increases: robbery: 1,540 percent; auto theft, 1,100

What Dr. McGrath knows is what everybody in the
country used to know—even politicians.

There`s no reason whatsoever for the federal
government or the CDC or anyone else to conduct more

Gun control is useless at best and, more likely, an
outright danger to life and safety.



[Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,

America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The
Disintegration Of American Culture
, is now available

Americans For Immigration Control.

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