NRA Explore

Standing Guard: "Gun Ownership As Disease" Reaches Fever Pitch

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Gun Ownership As Disease" Reaches Fever Pitch With publication of a new and truly bizarre junk science "study"--claiming armed citizens are helpless against criminal violence--firearm ownership is once again being labeled as a "disease" only treatable as a "public health" menace. The cure? You guessed it. Gun control--this time designed to tear down the remarkable progress made in expanding Right-to-Carry, Stand-Your-Ground and Castle Doctrine laws.

One of several "gun control" projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the taxpayer-funded "study" was intended to spark "intervention" by Congress or the federal bureaucracy. The University of Pennsylvania paper, "Investigating the Link Between Gun Possession and Gun Assault," has caught the fancy of the national media and produced headlines declaring "Penn study: Carrying gun raises risk of getting shot," or "Carrying gun increases risk of getting shot and killed."

Presented as an article in the November 2009 issue of the American Journal of Public Health and written by five Ph.D.s headed by Dr. James C. Branas, an epidemiologist at the Firearms and Injury Center at Penn, the "study" itself is goofy.

There is no other word for it. Branas and his colleagues picked out 677 cases involving firearm assaults in Philadelphia and determined how many "victims" were armed. From that they concluded ". . . individuals in possession of a gun were 4.46 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not in possession." And, "On average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault."

Where the headlines implied the study covered people with Right-to-Carry licenses, the plain truth is the findings have nothing to do with law-abiding Americans. In fact, over half of Branas’ "subjects" had arrest records--hardly making them typical of the normal American gun owners targeted by this study. More than 11 percent of subjects were listed as having "illicit drug involvement," a disqualifier that would make it a federal crime for them to possess guns.

And "possession" of a firearm included guns in nearby vehicles or buildings, rather than guns actually on the victims.

As I said, goofy.

But the gun-ban crowd loves it. Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign, crowed, "This research severely undermines the argument by gun pushers that carrying a gun automatically makes a person safer." Gun pushers? Try the Founding Fathers.

But Helmke--showing his true colors as a gun banner--didn’t stop there.

"The study’s findings show once again the risks of gun ownership and how having more guns correlates with more gun violence," Helmke claimed.

He’s talking about all guns and all gun owners. And he is talking about the right of armed self-defense.

The whole question about armed self-protection should be considered moot--settled once and for all. But this is gun control--and no matter the camouflage, it is still a step-by-step march to total civil disarmament.

Such phony challenges to armed self-defense were discredited long ago by the 1991 seminal work of professor Gary Kleck of Florida State University--"Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America."

... the notion of gun ownership as a "public health epidemic" has already been proven a grave danger to liberty ... and is a major component of U.N. schemes to disarm Americans.

Kleck’s exhaustive study demon-strated defensive uses of firearms by citizens occurred 2.5 million times per year, a figure far overshadowing criminal uses of guns.

As part of Bill Clinton’s serial assaults on the Second Amendment, Attorney General Janet Reno’s Justice Department set out to debunk the Kleck research and commissioned a 1994 survey by the anti-gun Police Foundation. The new study mirrored Kleck’s findings and concluded, "... guns are used far more often to defend against crime than to perpetrate crime." The study was so devastating to the gun ban cause that it didn’t see the light of day until 1997. Even then, it was ignored by the mainstream media.

It’s been 13 years since Congress ended federal funding for what had become serial attacks on the Second Amendment. Radical social engineers at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) believed firearm ownership is a disease and the "cure" was all manner of harsh restrictions on firearm ownership and legal commerce. Today, the CDC has its nose under the gun control tent once again, claiming as long as the agency is not advocating overt "gun control" solutions, the restrictions are meaningless and can be ignored in the name of "research."

But with NIH’s entry into the anti-Second Amendment arena, those congressional funding strictures do not apply. So here we are again, faced with public health junk science paid for with our tax dollars.

Not surprisingly, as a recipient of federal taxpayer funds from NIH, Penn’s Branas agitated for such funding in 2005 as a way of circumventing the 1996 funding restrictions Congress placed on the Centers for Disease Control. He opened the campaign for "intervention" funding in Injury Prevention magazine with a letter headlined: "Getting past the ‘F’ word in federally funded public health research." "F" being firearms. It couldn’t be plainer.

Never forget the notion of gun ownership as a "public health epidemic" has already been proven a grave danger to liberty in other parts of the world and is a major component of U.N. schemes to disarm Americans. The stripping of firearms from good citizens--under the guise of "public health"--was first successfully applied by billionaire George Soros’ protege, Rebecca Peters, in Australia through a sweeping gun ban--euphemistically labeled a "buyback."

Peters--now Soros’ U.N. gun ban power broker--won the "inaugural Public Health Impact Award from the [Australian] Public Health Association" for her work resulting in the confiscation and destruction of all registered semi-automatic rifles and self-loading and pump shotguns taken from licensed owners in 1996-97.

A second ban came in 2003 with the confiscation and destruction of whole categories of registered handguns from licensed owners.

It is remarkable. Here we are again, facing the same big lie, wrapped in the fishpaper of pseudoscience, further embellished by biased twists and turns of ignorant and willing media fed and directed by the likes of the Brady Campaign.

The single lesson of my lifetime with the NRA is the threats to our rights will never go away. Every stealth tactic, every discredited lie--like "public health"--will reappear in time. And once again, we must fight back with the truth.

Wayne LaPierre
Wayne LaPierre

BY Wayne LaPierre

Executive Vice President, NRA

Since 1991, Wayne LaPierre has led the NRA through a period of unprecedented membership growth and political clout in defense of our Second Amendment rights. And that strength has been put to the good benefit of NRA members and gun owners. In large part because of Wayne's leadership, Right-to-Carry is now the law in 41 states. All 50 states have enacted laws to protect shooting ranges, and all 50 passed legislation to protect hunters from harassment.



Sunday, October 4, 2015

Handgun ban? Fuggedaboudit! Nassau County DA Lifts Unconstitutional Restriction

Last week, law professor and Washington Post blogger Eugene Volokh, exposed how the District Attorney’s Office in Nassau County, New ...


Friday, September 18, 2015

CNN Poll Offers Bad News for Gun Controllers, Anti-gun Candidates

Candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination – Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley – have spent significant effort in recent months trying to ...


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New Jersey's Gun Control Trap

"They basically told me I'm one step below a murderer in the eyes of the New Jersey court." So ...


Sunday, October 4, 2015

San Francisco Supervisors Drive All Gun Stores from City

When gun controllers contend that they aren’t out to prohibit civilian access to firearms, but simply want “responsible” ...


Thursday, August 6, 2015

North Carolina Governor McCrory Signs NRA-Backed Bill Into Law

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed NRA-backed House Bill 562 into law to improve a great deal of existing statutes ...

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered ...


Friday, September 25, 2015

When Anti-Gunners Say "Gun Safety," They Don't Mean It

In what can only be described as a blatant display of hypocrisy, two gun ban groups have started ...


Friday, May 8, 2015

Guns vs. Cars Comparison is No Accident

In the Art of War, Chinese military theoretician Sun Tzu advised, “appear weak when you are strong, and ...


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

California’s Wildlife Resource Committee Continues to Operate without Procedures

On September 24, the National Rifle Association submitted a letter to the California Fish and Game Commission objecting ...

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Florida Alert! Bill to Allow Open-Carry to Stop Abuse of CW License Holders

On Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 9:00am the House Criminal Justice Committee will hold a hearing on  HB-163 ...


Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.