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Gun science

Published April 20, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In any rational debate it is important to have a command of the facts. Unfortunately, the current gun control debate is not informed by facts but rather by conjecture and anecdotal evidence.

You would think that in a country whose murder rate is 20 times higher than in other wealthy societies, we all would want credible research to back up our positions, regardless of which side we were on.

Since 1996, Congress has prevented the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and now, since 2102, the National Institutes of Health, from spending any money that could be construed as advocating or promoting gun control.

The expanded 2012 restrictions were a direct result of a study that concluded that guns did not protect owners from being shot in an assault. This paper was dismissed by the National Rifle Association as junk science; however, more research could have suggested the exact opposite.

Consensus scientific conclusions and the policies that derive from them are informed from conducting a large number of rigorous scientific studies. The NRA, supported by Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch, does not even want that factual research.

William White

Salt Lake City