The NRA's Information Blackout
Recent reporting by the New York Times divulged the National Rifle Association's (NRA) role in undermining scientific research on gun violence. Researchers have seen their funding levels slashed and are on notice that scientific findings that undermine NRA talking points will be met with retaliation by NRA-friendly politicians. As he introduced a segment called "Hindering Gun Research" on Wednesday, CNN's Ali Velshi highlighted the need for objective research:
The way to figure out who is closer to being right in any particular argument is often scientific. You make an educated guess, you do a controlled experiment and you come up with a conclusion.
Alternatively, if you're the NRA you could rely on slogans and seek to silence all but the most friendly researchers. All of which begs the question: what are they afraid people might find out if more gun related research is conducted?
Here are a few bits of information from the present body of evidence the NRA probably wishes nobody ever looked into:
- High-capacity magazines that the NRA is feverishly seeking to keep legal were used in many of our nation's highest profile and most deadly mass shootings.
- More guns doesn't equal less crime.
- The assault weapons ban did in fact reduce the number of high-capacity magazines in the hands of criminals.
- Every year thousands of children and teens die from gun fire in America.
- U.S. guns are fueling Mexico's cartels in their war against the Mexican government, which has claimed more than 30,000 lives since 2006.
Velshi's rare debate addressing gun policy was a welcome change from the increasing tendency of cable news organizations to ignore the issue. All successful policy must be built on a foundation of facts and rigorous science. It is clear the NRA is scared of what increased scientific analysis would show about gun violence, so they spend their time silencing debate and quashing scientific inquiry.