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A Public Health Crisis Driven by Politics

Friday, July 6, 2018

A Public Health Crisis Driven by Politics

Deeming “gun violence” a “public health crisis” has become commonplace in the efforts to curtail the rights of law-abiding Americans. Comparisons are made to cigarettes and cars, both of which were the focus of public health campaigns. Dr. Daniel Blumenthal wrote in an op-ed that “A public health approach has been used in addressing other causes of death and injury and has not required that the causative instrument outlawed or confiscated.”

The difference between gun violence and fatalities related to motor vehicle accidents or smoking is intent. Traffic accidents are just that – accidents. Developing safer vehicles reduces the number of fatalities, but the safest vehicle possible could still be used to intentionally harm occupants or pedestrians if the driver so chooses. The link between smoking and potentially life-threatening diseases is known but related fatalities are not classified as intentional self-harm. Combining homicides and suicides may generate a more dramatic talking point but does no service to reducing either.

Research on both car accidents and smoking has a clear goal. As Dr. Blumenthal noted, public health approaches to reduce motor vehicle fatalities and smoking-related disease focused on the causative instrument. Motor vehicle fatalities can result from trauma, which seat belts and air bags address. Diseases related to smoking are caused by the chemicals in tobacco products; educational campaigns warn people of the dangers to which they expose themselves when they smoke.

Too often, however, public health research on firearms does not focus on the causative factors that lead to violence, but on policies that would only impact law abiding gun owners. Public health campaigners do not want to warn people of the dangers of being the victim of a felony in progress (25% of all murders for which the circumstances were known and reported to the FBI in 2016), of gang killings (10%), of alcohol- or drug-fueled brawls (3%), of being involved in an argument over money or property (2%) or other arguments (36%), or of being involved in a romantic triangle (1%). Instead, they want to deter people from owning firearms or convince lawmakers to enact ever more restrictions on gun ownership. Many of these researchers design studies to reinforce their own anti-gun opinions, but anti-gun politicians and organizations will happily sacrifice methodologically sound research in the pursuit of better talking points.

There are efforts underway to reduce homicides and violent crime by targeting the cause instead of an object. Efforts like these, that focus on addressing the impetus for crime, have been effective all over the country.  Criminals will find a way even in the face of restrictive laws, so perhaps the public health approach should focus on the causative instrument – the motivation behind assaults, homicides, and self-harm.

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Pittsburgh Mayor Declares Intent to Ban Guns in Violation of State Law

News  

Friday, December 14, 2018

Pittsburgh Mayor Declares Intent to Ban Guns in Violation of State Law

Yesterday, we reported that it was likely that sweeping gun control measures would be proposed in Pittsburgh. Today, Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto held a press conference to propose a trio of anti-gun city ordinances that, if enacted, would constitute ...

Stealing Rights and Property in Steel City? Pittsburgh Reportedly Considering Sweeping Gun Control

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Stealing Rights and Property in Steel City? Pittsburgh Reportedly Considering Sweeping Gun Control

The NRA has received copies of what are reported to be draft ordinances being considered by the Pittsburgh City Council to enact sweeping gun control measures within the city.

“This Hollow Display of Security” – Canada’s Liberal Government Presses for Even More Gun Control

News  

Friday, December 14, 2018

“This Hollow Display of Security” – Canada’s Liberal Government Presses for Even More Gun Control

Speaking in Montreal this month on the anniversary of the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique tragedy, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed his government’s plans to further restrict legal access to handguns and “assault weapons” and refused to rule ...

News Flash: Michael Bloomberg Not a Fan of the First Amendment, Either

News  

Friday, December 14, 2018

News Flash: Michael Bloomberg Not a Fan of the First Amendment, Either

Michael Bloomberg, former NYC mayor and billionaire patron of the Nanny State, may be gearing up for the presidential race in 2020. He gave the idea of running as an independent candidate “serious consideration” in ...

California Department of Justice Releases First Set of Proposed Ammunition Sales Regulations

Friday, December 14, 2018

California Department of Justice Releases First Set of Proposed Ammunition Sales Regulations

Today, the California Department of Justice released the first in a series of regulatory proposals regarding the mandatory background check process when purchasing ammunition, which is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2019.

Misleading Headlines and the Murder Rate

News  

Friday, December 14, 2018

Misleading Headlines and the Murder Rate

We hear a lot about “fake news.” We regularly see data miscoded and statistics misused. What we have seen several times over the last several months does not really fit any of those categories.

New Jersey: Third Circuit Court Refuses to Stop Unconstitutional Magazine Ban

Thursday, December 6, 2018

New Jersey: Third Circuit Court Refuses to Stop Unconstitutional Magazine Ban

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit allowed an unconstitutional magazine ban to proceed with its December 10th deadline by a 2-1 decision.

Surprise: Study Finds No Rise in Violent Crime Attributable to Adopting Right-to-Carry Laws

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Surprise: Study Finds No Rise in Violent Crime Attributable to Adopting Right-to-Carry Laws

As we’ve noted recently, much research purporting to demonstrate connections between access to guns or right-to-carry laws and increases in crime is seriously flawed.  Often it's an attempt to curtail or eliminate Americans’ rights under the Second ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

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 as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Guns and Taxes

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Guns and Taxes

David Hogg wants a federal tax on firearms and ammunition. He has repeatedly broached the idea, including multiple times on Twitter, and only sometimes suggests a use for the tax revenue. Hogg’s tweets on a ...

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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.