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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/31/15

Why Is It Illegal to Research the Impact of Gun Control on Public Health?

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Reprinted from Alternet

It's illegal for the CDC to conduct research into the impact of gun control on public health.

(Image by Photo Credit: Nebojsa Markovic)   Details   DMCA

The US is in the midst of a full-blown public health crisis.

Around 282 people every day -- more than 32,000 people every year -- are dying from a totally preventable cause.

This totally preventable cause, by the way, just isn't a problem in most other developed nations.

They've either eliminated it altogether or responded to previous outbreaks in such a way as to make future ones rarer and much less deadly than the ones we have here.

I'm talking, of course, about gun violence.

Yes, that's right, gun violence.

It's not something that most people think about when they think about the biggest public health crises in the US -- they usually think of cancer, heart disease or drug addiction -- but that's exactly what gun violence is: a public health crisis.

It's a public health crisis because it's an ongoing and substantial threat to the safety of the citizens of this country.

No one, I repeat no one, is safe, at least not with the NRA out there spending millions of dollars every election cycle to make sure weapons of war stay on our streets.

And that raises a really important point: We know what the problem is when it comes to gun violence.

The problem is that it there are too many guns in too many hands.

So the logical thing to do would be something like what we did when Ralph Nader revealed that shoddy automobile manufacturing was causing deadly car crashes or when scientists revealed that cigarettes were causing cancer: get real scientific information on the problem and then pass laws, informed by that science, that eliminate the problem at its root cause.

When it comes to gun violence, this would mean passing laws that make it much harder to buy and sell guns of any kind, especially assault rifles and other weapons of war that have no business being in the hands of private civilians.

This isn't really up for debate.

The NRA can pump out whatever "good guys with guns" propaganda it wants, but the fact of the matter is that Americans are safer with fewer, not more guns, on the streets.

The latest proof of this comes out of Missouri, which in 2007 repealed some of its most important gun control laws, including universal background checks.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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