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Old 12-16-2012, 10:35 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is online now
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Let's research gun violence.

I've said this in a couple other threads, but I don't believe that gun control is going to get any traction in Congress. Some Democrats will push for it, some other Republicans will table it, some pro-gun control folks like myself will cry foul, and yet another Congress will pass without any gun control measures seeing the light of day.

But here's one thing that maybe we can start doing: better educate ourselves on gun violence, so we can stop stabbing in the dark as to what we can better do to mitigate it.

The problem is that for a couple decades now, the government has not been able to produce any information on gun violence because the NRA has been threatening war if Congress failed to choke off all funding for gun-related research.

The CDC and NIH used to conduct research for decades, but around the time of the late 90s, the NRA became so powerful it was able to prevent these agencies from granting funds to researchers on those topics. McClatchy DC:

Quote:
The CDC and NIH award billions in grants. They fund research into cancer, brain injury, tobacco use, obesity, AIDS, abortion, hearing loss, allergies, infectious diseases, back pain and virtually everything else related to human health. But gun violence is the one area that carries that specific language. The effect has been to limit federal funding into research that could be used to shape policy.
This is irresponsible. We pass hundreds of gun-related laws across the country every few years. Like all laws, we should be able to research the impact of the laws we pass, so we can make decisions based on more than pure ideology.

Anyway, there's a ton of stories on this, but here's a really good one from last year in the Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/us...anted=all&_r=0

N.R.A. Stymies Firearms Research, Scientists Say
By MICHAEL LUO
Published: January 25, 2011

In the wake of the shootings in Tucson, the familiar questions inevitably resurfaced: Are communities where more people carry guns safer or less safe? Does the availability of high-capacity magazines increase deaths? Do more rigorous background checks make a difference?

The reality is that even these and other basic questions cannot be fully answered, because not enough research has been done. And there is a reason for that. Scientists in the field and former officials with the government agency that used to finance the great bulk of this research say the influence of the National Rife Association has all but choked off money for such work.

“We’ve been stopped from answering the basic questions,” said Mark Rosenberg, former director of the National Center for Injury Control and Prevention, part of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was for about a decade the leading source of financing for firearms research.

Chris Cox, the N.R.A.’s chief lobbyist, said his group had not tried to squelch genuine scientific inquiries, just politically slanted ones.

“Our concern is not with legitimate medical science,” Mr. Cox said. “Our concern is they were promoting the idea that gun ownership was a disease that needed to be eradicated.”

The amount of money available today for studying the impact of firearms is a fraction of what it was in the mid-1990s, and the number of scientists toiling in the field has dwindled to just a handful as a result, researchers say.

The dearth of money can be traced in large measure to a clash between public health scientists and the N.R.A. in the mid-1990s. At the time, Dr. Rosenberg and others at the C.D.C. were becoming increasingly assertive about the importance of studying gun-related injuries and deaths as a public health phenomenon, financing studies that found, for example, having a gun in the house, rather than conferring protection, significantly increased the risk of homicide by a family member or intimate acquaintance.

Alarmed, the N.R.A. and its allies on Capitol Hill fought back. The injury center was guilty of “putting out papers that were really political opinion masquerading as medical science,” said Mr. Cox, who also worked on this issue for the N.R.A. more than a decade ago.

Initially, pro-gun lawmakers sought to eliminate the injury center completely, arguing that its work was “redundant” and reflected a political agenda. When that failed, they turned to the appropriations process. In 1996, Representative Jay Dickey, Republican of Arkansas, succeeded in pushing through an amendment that stripped $2.6 million from the disease control centers’ budget, the very amount it had spent on firearms-related research the year before.

“It’s really simple with me,” Mr. Dickey, 71 and now retired, said in a telephone interview. “We have the right to bear arms because of the threat of government taking over the freedoms that we have.”

The Senate later restored the money but designated it for research on traumatic brain injury. Language was also inserted into the centers’ appropriations bill that remains in place today: “None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

The prohibition is striking, firearms researchers say, because there are already regulations that bar the use of C.D.C. money for lobbying for or against legislation. No other field of inquiry is singled out in this way.

In the end, researchers said, even though it is murky what exactly is allowed under this provision and what is not, the upshot is clear inside the centers: the agency should tread in this area only at its own peril.

“They had a near-death experience,” said Dr. Arthur Kellermann, whose study on the risks versus the benefits of having guns in the home became a focal point of attack by the N.R.A.

In the years since, the C.D.C. has been exceedingly wary of financing research focused on firearms. In its annual requests for proposals, for example, firearms research has been notably absent. Gail Hayes, spokeswoman for the centers, confirmed that since 1996, while the agency has issued requests for proposals that include the study of violence, which may include gun violence, it had not sent out any specifically on firearms.

“For policy to be effective, it needs to be based on evidence,” said Dr. Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, who had his C.D.C. financing cut in 1996. “The National Rifle Association and its allies in Congress have largely succeeded in choking off the development of evidence upon which that policy could be based.”

Private foundations initially stepped into the breach, but their attention tends to wax and wane, researchers said. They are also much more interested in work that leads to immediate results and less willing to finance basic epidemiological research that scientists say is necessary to establishing a foundation of knowledge about the connection between guns and violence, or the lack thereof.

The National Institute of Justice, part of the Justice Department, also used to finance firearms research, researchers said, but that money has also petered out in recent years. (Institute officials said they hoped to reinvigorate financing in this area.)

Stephen Teret, founding director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, estimated that the amount of money available for firearms research was a quarter of what it used to be. With so much uncertainty about financing, Mr. Teret said, the circle of academics who study the phenomenon has fallen off significantly.

After the centers’ clash with the N.R.A., Mr. Teret said he was asked by C.D.C. officials to “curtail some things I was saying about guns and gun policy.”

Mr. Teret objected, saying his public comments about gun policy did not come while he was on the “C.D.C. meter.” After he threatened to file a lawsuit against the agency, Mr. Teret said, the officials backed down and gave him “a little bit more leeway.”

C.D.C. financing for research on gun violence has not stopped completely, but it is now mostly limited to work in which firearms are only a component.

The centers also ask researchers it finances to give it a heads-up anytime they are publishing studies that have anything to do with firearms. The agency, in turn, relays this information to the N.R.A. as a courtesy, said Thomas Skinner, a spokesman for the centers.

Invariably, researchers said, whenever their work touches upon firearms, the C.D.C. becomes squeamish. In the end, they said, it is often simply easier to avoid the topic if they want to continue to be in the agency’s good graces.

Dr. Stephen Hargarten, professor and chairman of emergency medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, used to direct a research center, financed by the C.D.C., that focused on gun violence, but he said he had now shifted his attention to other issues.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:45 PM   #1051
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"never let a crisis go to waste"



reactionary BS to make people feel better about themselves at the expense of others tragedies.

no better than ambulance chasing lawyers.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:06 PM   #1052
Aries Walker Aries Walker is offline
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Ah! The conspiracy video, hallmark of the YouTube age.

There was a lot of chaos around the time of the shooting as news agencies stumbled like idiots over each other to report the Latest! Breaking! News! Anyone can put something together like that now; I could make one right now stating that Ryan Lanza was the "real shooter" and demanding to know why he isn't in custody. No, that's a red herring. Lanza used the XM-15. But why take my word for it? Instead, here's some reporting from the New York Times, Time magazine, and . . . hey, look! RedState.com. Don't fall prey to the conspiracy theorists; he used the XM-15. A lot.

But back on track . . .

I am a firm believer that there are things that people on both sides of the debate would support - perhaps greater punishments (or any kind of punishment, really) for those who attempt to buy guns and fail the background check; not allowing those on the terrorist watch list to buy guns; and increased penalties for those who use guns (especially illegal ones) in a violent crime. Am I correct? Do those of you who are fervently pro-gun support that these could be sensible steps that we could take to reduce gun violence?

I'm trying to find some common ground here.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:25 PM   #1053
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Originally Posted by Aries Walker View Post
I am a firm believer that there are things that people on both sides of the debate would support - perhaps greater punishments (or any kind of punishment, really) for those who attempt to buy guns and fail the background check; not allowing those on the terrorist watch list to buy guns; and increased penalties for those who use guns (especially illegal ones) in a violent crime. Am I correct? Do those of you who are fervently pro-gun support that these could be sensible steps that we could take to reduce gun violence?

I'm trying to find some common ground here.
And you are succeeding. Those are all reasonable points that I can get behind. I also think we need to close private gun sales loopholes(no clue how though). I'll even go one further and say that most CCW/CHL certification is a joke and should include far more extensive training. I would even support requiring that training to include first aid and crisis management/prevention training.

I would prefer a world with less "gun free" zones and more armed citizens BUT I recognize that those same people would need to be held to far higher standards than we currently have.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:33 PM   #1054
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aries Walker View Post
Ah! The conspiracy video, hallmark of the YouTube age.

There was a lot of chaos around the time of the shooting as news agencies stumbled like idiots over each other to report the Latest! Breaking! News! Anyone can put something together like that now; I could make one right now stating that Ryan Lanza was the "real shooter" and demanding to know why he isn't in custody. No, that's a red herring. Lanza used the XM-15. But why take my word for it? Instead, here's some reporting from the New York Times, Time magazine, and . . . hey, look! RedState.com. Don't fall prey to the conspiracy theorists; he used the XM-15. A lot.
I'm willing to believe you but your links aren't helping. None of them directly quote a police spokesman, the sherrif, or an eye witness. The only one that seems to is redstate and the link they provide for the quote goes to an article that doesn't seem to contain the quote.
Lets find something officially reported and I'll consider it settled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aries Walker View Post
But back on track . . .

I am a firm believer that there are things that people on both sides of the debate would support - perhaps greater punishments (or any kind of punishment, really) #1 for those who attempt to buy guns and fail the background check; #2 not allowing those on the terrorist watch list to buy guns; #3 and increased penalties for those who use guns (especially illegal ones) in a violent crime. Am I correct? Do those of you who are fervently pro-gun support that these could be sensible steps that we could take to reduce gun violence?

I'm trying to find some common ground here.
1) The penalty is they don't get to buy a gun. Sucks for them.
2) They can now?
3) Pretty sure there's already "use of deadly weapon" clauses to all violent crimes that increase the mandatory penalty. If I'm wrong I'm sure one of the lawyer types will show up to correct me.
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:17 PM   #1055
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And you are succeeding. Those are all reasonable points that I can get behind. I also think we need to close private gun sales loopholes(no clue how though). I'll even go one further and say that most CCW/CHL certification is a joke and should include far more extensive training. I would even support requiring that training to include first aid and crisis management/prevention training.

I would prefer a world with less "gun free" zones and more armed citizens BUT I recognize that those same people would need to be held to far higher standards than we currently have.
While I dont necessarily argue this I think its missing a bigger issue. What % of gun crime is committed by people with a CCW/CHL? That has to be extremely low.
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:35 PM   #1056
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While I dont necessarily argue this I think its missing a bigger issue. What % of gun crime is committed by people with a CCW/CHL? That has to be extremely low.
No no, that's not my intent whatsoever. I agree that gun crime committed by CHW/CHL owners is probably insignificant. I am not talking about that at all. I want more people armed in day to day life and I recognize that it would be better if we made sure those people were properly trained and able to handle situations like Sandy Hook or Aurora. Even if the training is such that it tells them NOT to do anything in certain situations.

My intention with this point is not to lower the rate of gun crime directly through training or any such nonsense, my intention is to make sure that WHEN it happens their are adequately prepared, armed citizens ready to intervene.
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:38 PM   #1057
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No no, that's not my intent whatsoever. I agree that gun crime committed by CHW/CHL owners is probably insignificant. I am not talking about that at all. I want more people armed in day to day life and I recognize that it would be better if we made sure those people were properly trained and able to handle situations like Sandy Hook or Aurora. Even if the training is such that it tells them NOT to do anything in certain situations.

My intention with this point is not to lower the rate of gun crime directly through training or any such nonsense, my intention is to make sure that WHEN it happens their are adequately prepared, armed citizens ready to intervene.
I see, gotcha. I agree.

People need to realize we will NEVER disarm this country so you best figure out how to deal with it.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:06 PM   #1058
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I see, gotcha. I agree.

People need to realize we will NEVER disarm this country so you best figure out how to deal with it.
Exactly right.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:12 PM   #1059
Aries Walker Aries Walker is offline
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I'm willing to believe you but your links aren't helping. None of them directly quote a police spokesman, the sherrif, or an eye witness. The only one that seems to is redstate and the link they provide for the quote goes to an article that doesn't seem to contain the quote.
Lets find something officially reported and I'll consider it settled.
Not a problem. Besides the CNN article (linked from RedState), and this Fox article, there is this video of the somewhat creepy medical examiner (important part at about 4:30). Also, this article from Denver's ABC channel has the video of the police spokesman, Lt. Paul Vance, saying:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt. Paul Vance
The weapon that was utilized most of the time during this horrific crime was identified as a Bushmaster AR-15 assault-type weapon. It had high-capacity magazines . . .
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:13 PM   #1060
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Exactly right.
I also agree.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:34 AM   #1061
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Fair point -- I was using the automatic weapon as an example of my larger question, I suppose.

Once again, the obvious answer is no, not all guns are capable of creating the same amount of death. Some can create more than others, and therefore are more deserving to be either banned or restricted.
Who gets to be the judge of which guns are more dangerous than others? Politicians?

Which is more dangerous (without using Google)? My Ruger MKII semi-auto, 10 round, scary black pistol or my Smith & Wesson, 5-round, X frame revolver?

I know which one a know-it-all politician thinks should be banned and I know which one I leave at home when heading to the mountains.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:39 AM   #1062
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:22 PM   #1063
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January 7, 2013
Aurora Massacre Update: Prescriptions Seized, Victims' Families Invited to Party at Movie Theatre
Aurora police seized four prescription bottles and immunization records when they searched theater-shooting suspect James Holmes' apartment in July, according to newly obtained filings in the murder case against Holmes.

...The documents — many of which are heavily redacted — do not reveal what prescriptions the bottles were for or whether prosecutors intend to use them as evidence
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_22...l-bottles-from

........

In related news, the families of the victims were invited by Cinemark to the Grand Re-Opening of the movie theater where the victims were gunned down. There's no word yet on whether the PR geniuses behind the move were fired.

Several families are suing Cinemark and citing the fact that Cinemark provided insufficient private security at the theatre. Personally, I hope Cinemark is sued out of existence. This is a company that prohibits guns on their premises, but cannot be bothered with providing private security. In other words, Cinemark denies its customers the option of protecting themselves, but refuses to provide adequate security. Prudence dictates that one or the other must be available to patrons.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewr...es/130219.html


http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/2012/0...-theaters.html


There you have it again, if you want to research gun violence: drugs used by the killer and gun-free zones.
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