The CDC is not an impartial entity

Here’s a collection of articles showing some of the problems with letting the CDC research “gun violence” – they cannot be trusted to be an impartial entity, and their results are used as excuses to restrict rights despite myriad flaws.

All emphasis added is mine –

Dr. Timothy Wheeler – Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership blog found here: http://www.drgo.us/

These medical researchers insist that what they call “gun violence” is a public health problem.  That they prefer the term “gun violence” is revealing of their mind set in approaching the problem, because it puts the emphasis on guns and not on the humans who misuse them.  This misleading public health terminology, enthusiastically repeated by fellow gun control advocates in the mainstream media, ignores the fact that almost none of America’s 80 to 100 million gun owners have any role whatsoever in the misuse of guns.  Normative gun ownership is foreign to most mainstream media personalities and to public health anti-gun rights advocates

His excellent “Public Health & Gun Control” series is found here –

Part 1 – http://www.drgo.us/?p=266

Part 2 – http://www.drgo.us/?p=285

Part 3 – http://www.drgo.us/?p=314

National Review – Reviving the CDC Factoid Factory:

Government-funded gun research was openly biased in the 1990s. CDC officials unabashedly supported gun bans, used CDC funds to advocate strict gun control, and poured millions of taxpayer dollars into funding “research” that was in fact advocacy — thinly disguised medical-journal hit pieces against gun ownership. Congress investigated and in 1997 forbade the use of CDC funds “to advocate or promote gun control.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/346759/reviving-cdc%E2%80%99s-gun-factoid-factory

Forbes – Why The Centers For Disease Control Should Not Receive Gun Research Funding

There was a very good reason for the gun violence research funding ban. Virtually all of the scores of CDC-funded firearms studies conducted since 1985 had reached conclusions favoring stricter gun control.  This should have come as no surprise, given that ever since 1979, the official goal of the CDC’s parent agency, the U.S. Public Health Service, had been “…to reduce the number of handguns in private ownership”, starting with a 25% reduction by the turn of the century.”

Ten senators who strongly supported the CDC gun research funding ban put their reasons in writing: “This research is designed to, and is used to, promote a campaign to reduce lawful firearms ownership in America…Funding redundant research initiatives, particularly those which are driven by a social-policy agenda, simply does not make sense.”

Sociologist David Bordura and epidemiologist David Cowan characterized the public health literature on guns at that time as “advocacy based upon political beliefs rather than scientific fact”. Noting that The New England Journal of Medicine and theJournal of the American Medical Association were the main outlets for CDC-funded studies of firearms, they observed that “reports” with findings not advocating strict gun control were rarely cited.  Bordura and Cowan found that “little is cited from the criminological or sociological field”, and also that the articles that are cited “are almost always by medical or public health researchers.”

All too often, they witnessed that “assumptions are presented as fact:”… that there is a causal association between gun ownership and risk of violence, that this association is consistent across all demographic categories, and that additional legislation will reduce the prevalence of firearms and consequently reduce the incidence of violence.”  They concluded that “…incestuous and selective literature citations may be acceptable for political tracts, but they introduce a bias into scientific publications…Stating as fact associations which may be demonstrably false is not just unscientific, it is unprincipled.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/02/12/why-the-centers-for-disease-control-should-not-receive-gun-research-funding/

Reason – The Problem With the ‘Public Health Research on Gun Violence’ That Obama Wants You to Pay For

http://reason.com/blog/2013/01/16/the-problem-with-the-public-health-resea

Public Health Pot Shots contains more complete quotes featured in the Forbes article above:

Contrary to this picture of dispassionate scientists under assault by the Neanderthal NRA and its know-nothing allies in Congress, serious scholars have been criticizing the CDC’s “public health” approach to gun research for years. In a presentation at the American Society of Criminology‘s 1994 meeting, for example, University of Illinois sociologist David Bordua and epidemiologist David Cowan called the public health literature on guns “advocacy based on political beliefs rather than scientific fact.” Bordua and Cowan noted that The New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association, the main outlets for CDC-funded studies of firearms, are consistent supporters of strict gun control. They found that “reports with findings not supporting the position of the journal are rarely cited,” “little is cited from the criminological or sociological field,” and the articles that are cited “are almost always by medical or public health researchers.”

Further, Bordua and Cowan said, “assumptions are presented as fact: that there is a causal association between gun ownership and the risk of violence, that this association is consistent across all demographic categories, and that additional legislation will reduce the prevalence of firearms and consequently reduce the incidence of violence.” They concluded that “[i]ncestuous and selective literature citations may be acceptable for political tracts, but they introduce an artificial bias into scientific publications. Stating as fact associations which may be demonstrably false is not just unscientific, it is unprincipled.” In a 1994 presentation to the Western Economics Association, State University of New York at Buffalo criminologist Lawrence Southwick compared public health firearm studies to popular articles produced by the gun lobby: “Generally the level of analysis done on each side is of a low quality. The papers published in the medical literature (which are uniformly anti-gun) are particularly poor science.”

Since 1985 the CDC has funded scores of firearm studies, all reaching conclusions that favor stricter gun control. But CDC officials insist they are not pursuing an anti-gun agenda. In a 1996 interview with the Times-Picayune, CDC spokeswoman Mary Fenley adamantly denied that the agency is “trying to eliminate guns.” In a 1991 letter to CDC critic Dr. David Stolinsky, the NCIPC’s Mark Rosenberg said “our scientific understanding of the role that firearms play in violent events is rudimentary.” He added in a subsequent letter, “There is a strong need for further scientific investigations of the relationships among firearms ownership, firearms regulations and the risk of firearm-related injury. This is an area that has not been given adequate scrutiny. Hopefully, by addressing these important and appropriate scientific issues we will eventually arrive at conclusions which support effective, preventive actions.”

Yet four years earlier, in a 1987 CDC report, Rosenberg thought the area adequately scrutinized, and his understanding sufficient, to urge confiscation of all firearms from “the general population,” claiming “8,600 homicides and 5,370 suicides could be avoided” each year. In 1993 Rolling Stone reported that Rosenberg “envisions a long term campaign, similar to [those concerning] tobacco use and auto safety, to convince Americans that guns are, first and foremost, a public health menace.” In 1994 he told The Washington Post, “We need to revolutionize the way we look at guns, like what we did with cigarettes. Now it [sic] is dirty, deadly, and banned.

http://reason.com/archives/1997/04/01/public-health-pot-shots

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