Problem: not liking the truth. Solution: silence the people telling it.
Posted by Charles II on December 24, 2012
Via Barry Ritholtz, Arthur Kellerman and Frederick Rivara describe how the Republicans in Congress shut down research on the nature of gun violence:
The nation might be in a better position to act if medical and public health researchers had continued to study these issues as diligently as some of us did between 1985 and 1997. But in 1996, pro-gun members of Congress mounted an all-out effort to eliminate the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although they failed to defund the center, the House of Representatives removed $2.6 million from the CDC’s budget—precisely the amount the agency had spent on firearm injury research the previous year. Funding was restored in joint conference committee, but the money was earmarked for traumatic brain injury. The effect was sharply reduced support for firearm injury research.
To ensure that the CDC and its grantees got the message, the following language was added to the final appropriation: “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”
When other agencies funded high-quality research, similar action was taken….Congress extended the restrictive language it had previously applied to the CDC to all Department of Health and Human Services agencies, including the National Institutes of Health
These are not the only efforts to keep important health information from the public and patients.
* Florida and Washington State have sealed their records against the dangers of research.
* The National Defense Authorization Act forbids commanders from discussing private weapons with the servicemembers under their command, even if they fear suicide.
It’s very important that we not discuss the bodies piling up in shopping malls and schools. It’s very important that we silence any questioning of activities that lead to profits by the manufacturers of firearms.
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