Where do you go to find out what states have the highest proportion of gun ownership? Or whether gun ownership correlates with homicide rates in a city? How many guns used in homicides were bought legally? Where juveniles involved in gun fatalities got their weapons? What factors contribute to mass shootings like the Newtown, Conn., one that killed 26 people at a school? You wouldn’t go anywhere because the data isn’t available thanks to Wayne LaPierre and the National Rifle Assn. (NRA). They made sure in a 1996 law that stopped gun control research in its tracks.
The Associated Press reports that although almost as many Americans die from gun violence as car crashes each year, nothing is done to analyze the former, but the latter has been studied thoroughly, significantly bringing down the number of car crashes even when the number of cars on the road goes up. Here’s an anomaly to illustrate the absurdity of this situation:
"If an airplane crashed today with 20 children and 6 adults there would be a full-scale investigation of the causes and it would be linked to previous research," said Dr. Stephen Hargarten, director of the Injury Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
This is all true because of a law that wacky Wayne LaPierre and his bunch of gun nuts pushed through Congress in 1996 following a study a few years earlier showing that “people who lived in homes with firearms were more likely to be homicide or suicide victims.” Following this no government agency dared to do anything on the subject for fear of losing their grant money. Sixteen years later, we have no real concept of exactly what is causing gun violence. Except the one thing we know is that gun violence is caused by guns.
What we need is a “black box” like airliners and newer model cars.
Let me give you an idea why the National Rifle Assn. (NRA) doesn’t want this research. MSN did an article on state gun regulations with the following results:
- Only six states require mandatory background checks on all purchases at gun shows. They are Oregon, California, Colorado, Illinois, New York and Connecticut.
- Only seven states require mandatory background checks on assault weapons. They are California, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
- Only seven states have restrictions on high-capacity magazines. They are Hawaii, California, New Mexico, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
When you combine all of the states included in the non-requirements, it adds up to humongous sales for gun manufacturers, and that is why the NRA is in business; to make sure these companies sell more and more guns, more and more ammunition, and more and more gun accessories like high-capacity magazines. And for their efforts, the NRA receives millions in donations from these gun companies each year. Since 2005, those donations have totaled just under $39 million.
The NRA can’t survive without this money and gun companies cannot survive if we learn the morbid statistics on gun violence.
Private funding for gun control research has been a paltry amount when compared to potential federal grants. When you Google “private research grants for gun control,” you get some general stuff but nothing specific to gun control. One of the most topics that did show up is the question of whether or not Obama’s executive orders would get gun control research going. Unfortunately, the money required to fund this research requires an act of Congress and we all know there are enough yellow bellied NRA butt-kissers to stop that. Unless…???