Letter: CDC silenced by the gun lobby

Published: 9/13/2019 1:56:08 PM
Modified: 9/13/2019 1:55:56 PM


To the editor:

Scientific inquiry put us on the moon. Likewise it could guide us toward resolution of our current on-going gun violence ... if we properly funded and then didn’t suppress the Center for Disease Control (CDC), which is now silenced by the gun lobby. With improved auto safety or the search for cures of varied heath care problems, the CDC has been on the front lines seeking answers based on scientific facts, which obviously the gun lobby greatly fears. Now the NRA controls the debate as it blames mental health for the latest mass shooting, while the gun safety folks demand a ban of assault rifles. Fears are stoked about the Second Amendment, and do nothing gridlock continues ... as does the blood shed.

Currently we don’t even have a good data collection system to help learn about the many underlying causes of gun deaths. What’s the relationship between guns and mental health, alcohol/drug misuse, domestic violence, suicide, robberies gone bad, misuse of firearm by untrained people, mistaken indentity, the carnage of stray bullets and military ammo meant for killing, etc., etc. With complex problems, like cancer, sub categories are specifically “targeted” for special treatment, then studied for effectiveness. The same is needed to begin the process of solving gun violence and changing America’s current very troubled relationship with guns.

Every stakeholder needs to talk, and to be really listened to, while seeking common ground. The commonality is human safety and security, a need ever human shares. Otherwise, who among us is going to take the next random bullet??

In regard to our basic safety I feel our culture has already done way too much bloody research that clearly tells me that many civilians can’t be trusted to handle weapons of war responsibly. I’ve shot AK-47s and AR-15s, so I can see the allure, but on this one my individual desires are trumped by the common good. While I’ve been a life-long hunter I see no place for such weapons in the woods. And I don’t buy the fear-mongering about erosion of the Second Amendment when thousands of Americans loose all their rights when a bullet takes them out.

American can still have its guns, but each one of us who handles one must handle it with the upmost care.

Mike Beebe



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