La La La…I Can’t Hear You!

Remember when you were a kid on the playground having an argument, and felt you were losing? Remember sticking your fingers in your ears and going “la la la” as loudly as you could, in order not to hear what the other kid was saying?

Some of you who are reading this were probably  never that childish, and most of the rest of us have since grown up.

All except Congress.

A congressional ban on gun violence research backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) has been extended in the aftermath of the Charleston church shooting that left 9 people dead.

As Public Radio International (PRI) reported recently, the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee voted to reject an amendment last month that would have allowed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study the relationship between gun ownership and gun violence.

The purported reason for the ban is that gun deaths are not “diseases.” Neither are cigarettes, but the CDC researches the health effects of tobacco. Guns certainly affect health; guns kill more Americans under 25 than cars. (More than 25% of teenagers ages 15 and older who die of injuries in the US are killed by gun-related injuries.)

The costs of gun violence are staggering: American taxpayers pay roughly $12.8 million every day to cover the costs of gun-related deaths and injuries. Total social costs have been estimated at 100 billion each year. That, of course, excludes the human losses.

The CDC used to conduct firearms safety research, but in 1996, the gun lobby persuaded Congress to restrict CDC funding of gun research; similar restrictions on other federal agencies followed.

Far from hiding its role, the NRA has publicly taken credit for preventing the research. In 2011, it issued a statement :”These junk science studies and others like them are designed to provide ammunition for the gun control lobby by advancing the false notion that legal gun ownership is a danger to the public health instead of an inalienable right.”

The CDC doesn’t do “junk science,” of course. And denying that guns pose a danger to public health is tantamount to an admission of insanity. But facts and evidence pose a special threat to the NRA extremists who no longer even reflect the position of most NRA members.

They can’t put their fingers in their ears, so–like the bullies on those long-ago playgrounds–they’re trying to deprive advocates of sensible gun control measures of data that they know would strengthen those advocates’ arguments.

It’s their version of “la la la–I can’t hear you.”


  1. I’ve never understood the NRA opposition to background checks and licensure of all gun buyers. We must register our cars, pass tests to show we know how to operate a car and know rules of the road, and provide proof of insurance. All of those make the roads safer for all of us and obviously have posed no threat to car ownership unless these sensible requirements are not met.

    I once attended an estate auction by a professional auction house and was surprised by the large display of guns (collected from various estates) just inside the door. I asked the auctioneer if they did background checks on those buying guns. He said no. I told him I had no desire to share the space with possible criminals looking for guns and left.

  2. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has worked with its dark ally, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in fostering the idea that Marijuana is a health hazard. It has obfuscated studies and has leant its reputation to prop up the war on some drugs. There is no reason to believe that CDC would never conduct nor condone “Junk” science. I don’t feel I can accept your premise that they wouldn’t do “Junk” science on firearms related deaths.

    That said, neither does the NRA have much positive going for it anymore. However, we have the right to possess firearms as individual citizens, without interference from government, and that should be held as an inviolable right.

    We have police departments that are essentially para military groups. We have draconian laws in place that affect our personal lives daily, that provides plenty of subjugation to government.

    We have a congress and a state legislature full of dark hearted morons who only do what they’re told in order to advance their own person power and wealth, and who otherwise don’t give a damn about the welfare of the people of this state and nation.

    And they want to know who has firearms, the only defense left since the court system has also been swallowed up by social engineers.

    Solving the problem of violence has to start with correcting the reasons people are violent in society. Locking people up for victimless crimes, sometimes for life. Denying a reasonable life because of one’s race, religion, gender or gender preference, or peaceful lifestyle, is more of a cause of violence than the existence of firearms.

    Maybe if we worked on the real causes of violence, we wouldn’t need to worry about the presence of inanimate objects.

  3. Neal, there is no such thing as “junk science”. There is science and there are things that those ignorant of science might mistake for it.

    Why? Mostly advertising. It’s generally good for sales to be thought of as based in reality so many pigs get lipsticked every day to so fool the public.

    Of course lies are not limited to science. The NRA for instance lies about the government in order to support their benefactors the gun industry. I was just reading yesterday about NRA victims in Texas protecting themselves from a US military training exercise just like ISIS does in the real world. The source of that craziness? Viral brainwashing for the sake of selling more guns. Make more money regardless of the cost to others.

    So junk is a major ingredient in modern culture now that we all have a junk dispenser in our living rooms but none of it is science.

    How can I say this so confidently? The scientific method requires science to be conducted publically based on measured reality, and reported first among scientists who are equipped for and motivated by skepticism. Imposters are identified and so labeled by those uniquely equipped to do so promptly and thoroughly. Look at all of the climate science imposters trained and motivated in fossil fuel myth factories around the world by such noted liars as the Kochs Bros.

    We all rely on science every minute and it has to be reliable to keep us alive and productive. It is.

  4. I’m not sure that money given to the CDC for research would provide any additional value over the statistics that we already have. Gettin the stats we already have out to the public for view might be a better way to go, and at far less expense.

  5. That our gun culture due to the NRAs success as an ad agency costs us enormously in public health is undeniable. The statistics are everywhere and conclusive.

    That the NRA is successful as an ad agency is as undeniable as the success of the illegal drug or prostitution industries. When I was young almost every family had a or some guns for hunting. The vast majority are still around. A well maintained killing tool lasts forever. This source:
    says that the number of guns in the US nearly doubled between 2008 and 2012.

    The question is to what degree should we subsidize this industry by continuing to pay in trauma and treasure for the consequences of their success?

    And, if the answer from we the people is enough is enough subsidy for this minority, what policy changes can effectively bring them under control?

  6. Back when America was a democracy and therefore free one of the foundations for that was that we the people owned the airwaves over which media communicated to us and we could regulate them for the common good. A manifestation of that was the Fairness Doctrine. Here’s more info on that:

    In hindsight it’s clear that public ownership of many more shared resources with regulation to use them for the common good would have been wiser but capitalists don’t maximize profit that way so they successfully funded brainwashing to lead the gullible away from what works for us to what works for them. Including away from using the commonly owned airwaves for the common good. They eviscerated the Fairness Doctrine.

    Now we are at risk for uncountable future costs because our enemies are using their ownership and control of airwaves to allow the dispersal of their carbon waste into the air proper. Same with the NRA’s success at spending our money to repair the consequences of their death and destruction business.

    The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. And the step of giving over what we owned to the engine of wealth redistribution has sent us on a path that’s now miles off course.

    Can we get back on track somehow?

  7. I’d no more financially or ideologically support NRA, a group of pot-bellied good ol’ boys with deep pockets and even deeper obsessions with their guns (no pun intended) than I’d financially or ideologically support PETA, a Norfolk, VA-based group given to celebrity infused titillating ads such as “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” while simultaneously euthanizing 2,454 of the 3,369 cats and dogs accepted by its Virginia shelters in 2014 as per the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The NRA and PETA both are fringe element groups that do not represent the thoughts of mainstream Americans by any stretch of the imagination.

    For years, I jokingly told friends and family that my tongue was a lethal weapon and that I possessed a ready supply of ammunition; however, it dawned on me that my style of ammunition was likely to go straight over the heads of any bad guys who’d wish to harm me or wish to make my private goods theirs by virtue of breaking and entering my home while I was present. With that thought in mind, I drove to Gander Mountain and purchased a small firearm for personal protection. Before the purchase could be completed, I filled out page after page of personal information which in turn was submitted via a computer for verification that I had no felonies, no documented mental health issues, and no documented record of violence. That process took about 30 to 45 minutes, and then I was allowed to complete the purchase.

    Following the recommendation of the Gander Mountain salesperson, I went to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department and completed a bit more paperwork, scheduled a meeting with a person who took my fingerprints and subsequently submitted my fingerprints to both Indiana and national crime record divisions, including the FBI. That simple process cost me approximately $70 and the firearm license was issued in about 6 weeks where I personally had to retrieve it at the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.

    I have absolutely no idea why anyone wishing to own a firearm would object to that simple process. I’ve paid more money for obtaining a simple driver’s license in the four states where I’ve lived and worked during my adult years. If a person wishes to own a firearm, then please do it correctly and complete the State licensing procedure.

    The Indiana State Police does maintain an accurate and updated listing of stats for firearm licenses.

  8. As a Boomer I can recall all the Westerns had at least one episode it seemed that had some one being shot and killed. Gunsmoke opened every show with Matt Dillon shooting down someone in the street. The Cops and Robbers shows of that era also was also filled with violence.

    Perhaps an honest appraisal could be done on why the Country of Denmark has less homicides than the City of Indianapolis. However, honesty is not something found in great quantities in our Political System.

  9. Louie, as another Boomer who’s visited Denmark on several occasions with my late husband whose grandfather left a small fishing village in Denmark all on his own at age 17 in the late 1800’s and traveled to America where he settled in Kenosha, Wisconsin, I can say that Denmark is a remarkable country, beautiful, peaceful, and rather small. It’s a country that I’ll forever remember for its Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, its quaint villages including Odense, and its tall ships manned by pink-cheeked apprentice sailors.

    With apologies to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, today there’s something rotten in the State of Denmark, a progressive country who might serve as a warning to the rest of the world with its immigration excess of people from afar who do not comprehend, respect, or even wish to assimilate into Denmark’s long culture of peaceful living.

    The Danes are now caught in a situation that is frightening to a long-standing peaceful group of people. Perhaps there is a lesson here to which other progressive countries should pay heed: be judicious in your immigrant policies.

  10. BSH, I read your article about a “lone wolf” killer but fail to get your point about Denmark. I suspect that there are Muslims and “lone wolf” murderers in every country of the world. What has that to do with the beauty and charm of Denmark or their liberal like most of Europe neighbors?

  11. Louie, you make a good point. I too spent hours of my youth and many quarters on cowboy movies. I never took them to be historically accurate though.

    My grandchildren grew up in the modern era of deadly video games but so far not a serial killer among them or their friends.

    But on the other hand there are more than 3X the people in the modern world than ours and instant sensationalist news reporting.

    It would be nice to have some well designed statistics on trends along these lines.

  12. Of course, gun violence is beyond out of control. It is epidemic. Children’s games on computer, movies, tv shoes, etc. run about amok. We nurture the gun mentality with extreme fighting in a cage. We are so far behind the first world advanced nations it is pathetic. We do have the potential of being among the best nations in the world. But we still have minority groups paying their to control. They are the lowest common denominator or the weakest link in the freedom with peace and justice chain. When Obama ran for president the first time I had a family who lived near me. One day they drove off to a big gun show in a nearby city. While there they spent a small fortune on guns and ammo. Within weeks their home was raided because detective had seen them smuggling drugs! NRA indeed.

  13. It’s important to approach the whole gun violence issue in a detailed way. There is gun violence–where people try to shoot each other, sometimes succeeding–and other gun violence, some of which is accidental and some of which is from suicide. If you look at the number of times guns are fired in the home, you will find that about 95% of the time, people related to the owners or the owners themselves seriously regret what happened. That includes suicides and accidental injuries. The last 5% are situations where someone decided to use their gun to hurt someone else, but in half of those situations, the person owning the gun has threatened someone else, rather than defending him/herself. I saw some recent data that reported only .1% of the times guns are fired are in self-defense. I don’t think it’s worth the risk, but if someone does, I guess they can load up on guns, knowing that if that gun goes off, they won’t likely be happy about it.

    I mentioned these facts to two friends who like their guns, and they smiled with one reporting that he shot himself twice and another holding up a damaged finger. Man, life is short enough without increasing the likelihood that I’m going to hurt myself or someone I care about. Just don’t go there.

Comments are closed.