President Joe Biden meets with the CDC and Director Rochelle Walensky.
(Photo by \White House (Adam Schultz))

In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and crisis, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has apparently decided to place her focus on guns. And according to her recent statements, she hopes that calling her new focus “preventing gun violence” instead of “promoting gun control” will make it palatable to America’s gun owners, who are already extremely suspicious of the Biden Administration’s numerous anti-gun actions thus far.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky Wants to Take on “Gun Violence”

“Generally, the word ‘gun,’ for those who are worried about research in this area, is followed by the word ‘control,’ and that’s not what I want to do here,” Walensky said in a recent CNN interview. “I’m not here about gun control. I’m here about preventing gun violence and gun death.”

In truth, Walensky has gotten off on a bad foot with her new emphasis, in which she—like her boss, President Joe Biden—is calling “gun violence” a “public health epidemic.” As most gun owners know, the term “gun violence” is an anti-gun term that those on the other side of the Second Amendment battle frequently use instead of what is really plaguing many American inner cities—criminal violence. And terming it a “public health crisis” further shifts the focus away from violent criminals and onto the firearm.  

Still, Walensky seems to be calling for more of the same old anti-gun studies the CDC is great at producing. Here’s how it usually works. First, they provide funding for devout anti-gun researchers to try to determine if gun ownership is a problem in relation to one topic or another. Then, they feign surprise when those same gun-haters in the so-called “academic” community prove yet again that violence is the fault of the gun instead of the criminal using it for no good. The reaction is always to limit the rights of gun owners, while ignoring the criminals who commit all the murders.

Including Gun Owners?

But this time Walensky claims she wants input on the topic from everyday gun owners like you and me.

“We cannot understand the research of firearm violence, firearm injury, without embracing wholeheartedly, the firearm owning community,” she continued. “I really do believe that the population of people who wants to own a gun doesn’t want people hurt by them. The majority of the population does not want people hurt by them. I want them at the table.”

Interestingly, only a few days after Walensky made that statement, National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) leaders called it into question. In a news item under the headline “CDC Director Calls For More Gun Studies, But Doesn’t Call The Gun Industry,” NSSF General Counsel Larry Keane indicated he’d be happy to share some proven ideas.

“Dr. Walensky said she even wants to include gun owners,” Keane wrote. “So far, Dr. Walensky hasn’t contacted NSSF. If she does, we have a few ideas that work to reduce the criminal acquisition and misuse of firearms, firearm suicides and firearm safety called Real Solutions. Safer Communities.

Industry Programs Fight Illegal Guns

Keane went on to list a number of important programs within the firearms industry that are really curbing criminal access to firearms and saving lives. But treating violent criminals who are killing innocent Americans like some kind of virus, as the CDC chooses to do, comprises a wrong-headed approach.

“The fact of the matter is criminal misuse of firearms is a concern; one that law enforcement and the courts must address,” Keane stressed. “The insistence of treating criminal activity as a sort of pathogen doesn’t properly address the issue. The mere presence of a firearm doesn’t make law-abiding citizens criminals-in-waiting. Additionally, education efforts, like those championed by the firearm industry, are proven to reduce negligent firearm misuse.”

Walensky’s newfound interest in gun violence research comes as anti-gun advocates continue to claim that Congress halted the funding of all so-called “gun violence” research by the CDC back in 1996. In reality, they are referring to the Dickey Amendment, a provision in the 1996 omnibus spending bill, which didn’t prohibit firearms research, it simply made it illegal for tax dollars to be used to advocate for gun control. Walensky and her boss, President Joe Biden, should know that.

It remains to be seen whether Walensky will really conduct some kind of outreach effort to everyday gun owners to get their input on solving the ongoing problem of criminal violence. If she does, I suspect most will inform her that gun ownership isn’t a dangerous thing; it’s a positive aspect of American life. Pursuing, catching, prosecuting and jailing violent felons who use guns to ply their trade has always been the answer to solving criminal violence problem, not limiting firearms to law-abiding American gun owners.

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