The run up to the 2000 Presidential Election in the US was seen as a referendum on several hot button issues. To keep the metaphor rolling, let me say that no button burned with greater intensity than that of gun control.
The Democrats insisted that laws which restricted private ownership of firearms reduced crime and violence, but they were hampered by the amount of evidence which proved their position to be wrong. So they decided that the wrong questions were being asked.
The focus, so they said, needed to shift away from how many times each year that privately owned guns were used to prevent crimes. Data instead should be collected which showed how violence, death, and crimes were reduced when gun control laws were put in place.
So the Clinton Administration commissioned the Centers for Disease Control to conduct such a study. They even made sure that the panel of scientists tasked with collecting the data consisted almost entirely of people who had spoken out in favor of gun control laws in the past. Then the Democrats sat back, and smugly waited to be vindicated in their views.
Except it didn’t happen that way. The CDC study was wide ranging in scope, perhaps even definitive, but it could not find even a single instance where a gun control law reduced crime or prevented violence. Not even one! Instead of finding proof that their opinions were based in the real world, gun control advocates were faced with scientific evidence that strongly showed that they had been wrong all along!
How did the Democrats react? By any reasonable measure, they should have been very sad.
But instead the reaction was anger and hatred!
They pretty much denied that the CDC had found anything at all. Instead they insisted that the NRA had manipulated Congress into removing the funding for research into the effectiveness of gun control laws just before proof of reduced violence and crime was to be discovered.
See, it wasn’t that they were wrong. To a dedicated gun control advocate, that simply isn’t possible! Instead it is supposedly a vast conspiracy by people who actually like high crime rates and the death of innocents. There is no evidence of this, either, but their belief in a nationwide conspiracy just as strong as their faith in the effectiveness of gun control laws.
A decade passes.
Last year, President Obama voiced frustration with the lack of scientific studies which would prove that gun control laws reduce violence and crime. As he had recently enjoyed some success with whipping his base into a frenzy by calling for new restrictions on privately owned firearms, he decided to do something about it.
In January of this year, he commissioned the Centers for Disease Control to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence. And then he sat back, smugly waiting to be vindicated in his view that only more gun control laws would work.
Do I really need to go over the details once again? Just click the links to read about how guns are used more often for defending the innocent than victimizing them, and how gun control measures do not produce positive results. Once again, faith in gun control laws has been proven to be grounded in fantasy instead of reality.
This should have made President Obama very sad, as he has advocated laws which could have increased crime and violence.
I’m willing to bet that he will have a different reaction.
I’ve been involved in the gun control debate for close to a quarter of a century, and I have never come across a Liberal who is willing to accept the easily perceived reality that they are on the wrong side of an issue. As there is no evidence that Congress or the NRA interfered with the most recent CDC study, I’m pretty sure they will find another excuse to discount the facts. This time around I bet they will claim that the effort was too small, and the taxpayers need to fund a much larger and more comprehensive research project.
And what if the new study says exactly the same thing, which it almost certainly will? Then the Liberals will probably go back to claiming some sort of vast and incredibly influential conspiracy organized by the National Rifle Association.
(Hat tip to Glenn for some of the links above.)