Gun issues in Congress

December 11, 2018

by John McClaughry

House Democrats in Congress are vowing to push gun violence legislation and funding for research with their new majority.

Rep. Robin Kelly of Illinois says, “From listening to and speaking with leader Pelosi … gun violence prevention strategies and bills will be on the list of priorities.”

Kelly’s gun violence coalition, including some prominent doctors,  has called for funding the U.S. surgeon general to submit an annual report to Congress on the effects of gun violence on public health, and for federal legislation on universal background checks, among other ideas.

A recent study from UC Davis found that in the ten years following the implementation of California’s universal background check law, there were no changes in the rate of firearm or nonfirearm homicides — and while there was a decrease in firearm-related suicide rates, the same decrease was seen in nonfirearm-related suicides.

One leading gun violence researcher, Gary Wintermute, said that “A study like this one in California is going to be interpreted [as] background checks are useless, and that’s not what we’re saying,” he said. “What we’re learning is this policy, which makes intuitive sense, is not well implemented.”

So let’s cut through the spin here. The Democrats are keen on more gun controls to prevent gun violence, regardless of anybody’s Second Amendment rights, but the only thing they dare to come up with is more useless background checks, and requiring the surgeon general to make a report. This is all for show.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

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