CDC and guns — here it goes again!

With the H1N1 “swine” flu season moving into full swing, and with AIDS/HIV and other deadly diseases continuing to plague millions of Americans, one might think that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), would have its hands full.  After all, the CDC “serves as the national focus for developing and applying disease prevention and control,  .  .  .  to improve the health of the people of the United States.”  You might be inclined to think that with all that’s happening here and around the world posing very real and very serious health risks to the American citizenry, the CDC would have sense enough not to squander its resources on matters wholly unrelated to health and infectious diseases.  If you made such a presumption, you’d be flat wrong.

The CDC, like many if not all federal bureaucracies, seems always to be searching for new projects and agendas in which to involve itself.  One “problem” on which the CDC has now focussed its attention, is gun control.  That’s right.  The Centers for Disease Control is interjecting itself into the debate over control of firearms in the United States. 

The CDC has tried this before.  During the administration of former President Bill Clinton, the agency twisted the English language and impermissibly expanded its already broad jurisdiction over health and disease-related matters, in order to justify spending taxpayer money on the political agenda of gun control.  The Congress thankfully slapped CDC’s hands and stopped it from this abuse of taxpayer money and agency jurisdiction.  Well, those loveable bureaucrats at CDC are at it again. Except this time, CDC is being even more clever — disingenuous is a more accurate term — in putting the square gun-control peg into the round disease-control hole.

The CDC says it is not funding research on ”guns” or “gun control.”  Instead, a CDC spokesman says – whether with a straight face or not I don’t know, since the communication was delivered by e-mail in response to a Republican congressional inquiry – the agency is studying “the web of circumstances” (whatever that is) that surrounds gun violence.  Thus, according to this nonsensical gobbledygook, it is proper in the CDC’s eyes for it to study how alcohol sales impact gun violence or the effects of injuries sustained by teenagers as a result of gun possession.   In other words, because some people who drink alcohol also might cause an injury or death to themselves or others by misusing firearms, and since alcoholism is a “disease,” it is appropriate for the CDC to study gun control.  This subterfuge makes a mockery of the process whereby federal monies are appropriated in a way that reflects at least a colorable relationship with the agencies’ defined missions.  

Some Republicans in the Congress are raising questions about this improper expenditure of federal funds by the CDC; but as members of the minority party, there’s little they can do alone to stop it.  Moreover, considering President Obama’s personal interest in and commitment to gun control (he used to be on the board of the Joyce Foundation, one of the country’s largest funders of non-government research on gun control), it is highly unlikely to say the least that he or the House or Senate leadership will step in and force CDC to operate within its jurisdictional and funding parameters. 

However, if those citizens and advocacy groups who actually care about the rule of law raise a sufficiently loud hue and cry, perhaps enough Members of Congress in both parties will force their leaders to rein in at least this rogue agency.

74 comments Add your comment

RADLY

October 30th, 2009
7:00 am

“Idiots” with guns kill people…..why doesn’t the CDC take a look at the social/demographic variables that are associated with creating these monsters? The same government that wants deprive its citizens of their constitutional rights….is the same bunch that created this mess to begin with. I think Forest said it best, “stupid id, as, stupid does!”

RD

RADLY

October 30th, 2009
7:01 am

Please pardon my typo…”is”…not id. Sorry folks.

RD

Opus X

October 30th, 2009
7:01 am

They should pay me to do the “research.” I know exactly what they are going to say before they even begin. It’s a sad day when the federal government uses the resources of the people against the (law-abiding, freedom-loving) people.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

October 30th, 2009
7:19 am

Well, maybe we need to get in our pickups and drive down to Clifton Road and let these CDC people know what we think about their gun control. There’s lots of windows in the fancy buildings they put up there. If we don’t do something, they’ll be making us do gay marriages next.

Have a good day everybody.

YellerSkeeters are PeterEaters!

October 30th, 2009
7:24 am

And now, the chimps are flinging their poop!

Observer

October 30th, 2009
7:30 am

If it hasn’t been apparent to you before, just think about it: Clinton era-guns; Bush era-terrorism; Obama era-guns. The CDC director serves at the President’s whim so, of course, the agency’s focus will be what is of concern to the sitting President.

Whatever

October 30th, 2009
7:32 am

So, the CDC started out as a federal pest control company with a sole purpose of killing mosquitoes in order to reduce malaria, which used to be a big problem in the south. It very organically branched out to other diseases, and away from just Control towards Prevention (Communicable Disease Center -> Center for Disease Control -> Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). At this late date I doubt we’ll see another name change but the fact is the CDC is the World’s most premier public health institute.

Health being the operative word. One of the Centers in CDC is the Center for Injury Prevention and Control. With injury being a public health concern this is appropriate. They study things like falls, car, accidents, and violence. In other Centers, such as where they study HIV/AIDS, they study the effects of violence on the treatment and prevention programs.

So, Barr, do you want them to ignore the study of gun control because you don’t like gun control? I don’t like religion. I think it’s very detrimental to humanity. But that doesn’t mean I will shove it in a box under the bed and pretend it isn’t there. Sheesh.

Robert M

October 30th, 2009
7:34 am

So the CDC wants to study a link between alcohol consumption (a drug and disease) and violence. This infringes on your rights how? I think some of you are really stretching on this one. It will take a whole lot more than the CDC to take your guns away.

Whatever

October 30th, 2009
7:35 am

Oh, and Observer is correct. The CDC Director is hand-picked by the President and the CDC focus areas are on whatever the current administration thinks is an important health issue.

And for what it’s worth, guns and gun control aren’t the main focus of the CDC. If you’re paying attention you’ll find it’s “main” focus is actually on a collection of arenas: Global Health, Influenza Epidemics, and Obesity.

bob barr is an idiot

October 30th, 2009
7:53 am

How did this guy get a job? Just look at the few posts above this, and realize that is the truth. bob barr…get a clue. i mean how old are you? 50? I know 12 year olds that could figure out why cdc has to spend money on gun control. And you didn’t even come up with a number Stop trying to arouse the redneck masses and report on something worthwhile.

Turd Ferguson

October 30th, 2009
7:57 am

Perhaps the CDC should also study how sitting on the toilet and taking a number 2 influences gun related deaths. Yea…that it…

Just more smoke and mirrors from Obobo and Co.

dgroy

October 30th, 2009
8:03 am

Having listened to the many things that don’t make sense that the Obama White House has come up with, it would not surprise me at all the the head man let it be known that he wanted this done and so it has been passed down the line until it reached the head of the CDC. Folks, this is a dangerous administration…..two of the most dangerous pawns are the “Evil Twins”…..Reid and Pelosi. Gun control is only a device to take control of the American People so as to make us less dangerous to our “Glorious Leaders”. To all you young people…..”Pay Attention”……your rights are being eroded right before your very eyes before you’re even old enough to do anything about it. And again, thank you Bob Barr, a great American for bringing this to our attention……one day you’ll be appreciated for what you’re trying to do.

MrLiberty

October 30th, 2009
8:03 am

This while physicians and hospital screwups kill way more people than guns and might actually come closer to what they should be worried about.

YellerSkeeters are PeterEaters!

October 30th, 2009
8:05 am

Trying to study the incidents of gun violence in conjunction with alcoholism? Even I see this as a reach, an attempt to restrict our 2nd Amendment Rights … and a waste of Federal money. Other groups, private groups, should be making this case — not the CDC. I want a cure for Cancer and/or HIV, but I’d settle for the cure to the Common Cold!

I mean, if that is the case, maybe they should consider making it harder to get a Driver’s License too. They’re is more of a concern here of underage drinking, and teen accidents! 16 to drive, 21 to drink, yet how is it so many teen accidents, vehicular deaths involve alcohol?

Steve

October 30th, 2009
8:31 am

Is the CDC also studying the number of alchohol related deaths due to motorized vehicles? I’m pretty sure that a much higher number than guns.

Whatever

October 30th, 2009
8:40 am

Steve – yes. Of course. But of course this article is written as though the ONLY thing they’re studying is gun control.

Chuck L

October 30th, 2009
9:35 am

“” They’re is more of a concern here of underage drinking, and teen accidents! 16 to drive, 21 to drink, yet how is it so many teen accidents, vehicular deaths involve alcohol?”"

Steve got it right.. We should be concerned with ALL DUI’s. Many think DUIing is a constitutional right. Why do bars have parking lost and those in this area are full much of the time. Times are hard.

Cew5x

October 30th, 2009
9:37 am

Well said, “whatever”. This blog post is a joke- first, the CDC actually has its focus on something else right now- a little thing called swine flu. Second, as part of CDC’s studies of injury and violence, it’s perfectly within CDCs jurisdiction to study links between gun use and alcohol use. Lastly, if Bob Barr wants to make his argument a little more credible, maybe he could include, oh I dont’ know, some SOURCES??

clyde

October 30th, 2009
9:54 am

Cew5x,

Google “cdc and gun control’, and you will find more than enough information to keep you occoupied for some time.

Turd Ferguson

October 30th, 2009
10:12 am

Cew5x

October 30th, 2009
9:37 am

You, Sir and Obobo, are the joke.

booger

October 30th, 2009
11:06 am

This administration is completely out of control. I keep expecting a grown up to arrive and say you gave it a good shot sparky, but I better take over now.

DebbieDoRight

October 30th, 2009
11:49 am

uh oh, you made a typo — I caught it and changed it for you, don’t thank me!:

The Bush administration was completely out of control. I expected a grown up to arrive and say you gave it a good shot sparky, but I better take over now.

Jefferson

October 30th, 2009
12:36 pm

That ought to boost gun & ammo sales — kids need shoes but we got bullets.

Piso Mojado

October 30th, 2009
12:36 pm

“…your rights are being eroded right before your very eyes…” on poster writes. I think you’re talking about the last administration, pal.

gatorman770

October 30th, 2009
12:43 pm

If the CDC wants to be studying something it should be investigating “the web of circumstances” (whatever that is) that surrounds gun violence by illegal aliens.

Steve

October 30th, 2009
12:46 pm

Piso,
With all the socialists/communists that Obama is surrounding himself with, I pretty sure this administration is solidly behind protecting your rights…as long as they agree with them.

Mutts R Stupid

October 30th, 2009
12:47 pm

They are ALL self important little idiots at CDC, interested only in what gits more money for CDC out of Congress. Prior to AIDS, CDC was a small failing agency in danger of being abolished. They have ridden the AIDS pony about as far as they can, and have now hopped on the homeland security bandwagon. To save money and lives, abolish CDC NOW, and make those self important people git real jobs. At least make them pay for parking like everyone else.

Mutts R Stupid

October 30th, 2009
12:49 pm

Does anyone remember the “hot tub orgy” that got a former female director at CDC fired?

William

October 30th, 2009
1:18 pm

Well you have to believe that socialism is permeating through all of government by now. Everyday we will hear some lunatic liberal insertion of marxist ideology. I can not understand how the Democratic party allow the wacko left take charge of their party. Kinda makes you want to become a third party member.

ron2112

October 30th, 2009
1:25 pm

I just don’t understand the mind set of some of the knuckleheads on this site, and I think you can figureout who you are, this is about control of the people what does CDC stand for disease, I just can’t
figure out what disease a gun is, does it effect the brain I don’t think so or maybe it effects the GOVERNMENT LIBRAL/SOCIALIST outright take over of our rights.Therefor it’s a disease that must be eliminated
so the take over can be swift & smooth. Hitler said it best in 1935,
THIS YEAR WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY, FOR THE FIRST TIME A CIVALIZED
NATION HAS FULL “GUN” REGISTRATION. OUR STREETS WILL BE SAFER OUR POLICE MORE EFFICENT, AND THE WORLD FOLLOW OUR LEAD INTO THE FUTURE.
That semed to work out well for the “JEWS” now didn’t it. So I ask this of the oBAMA bin DUMBO fans do you like paying higher tax’s so the CDC
can tell you whats best for your’e family, or would you rather have that money in your’e control to decide whats best.

progressive liberal

October 30th, 2009
2:38 pm

I WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO CONTROL MY LIFE!!!

Bunck

October 30th, 2009
3:19 pm

It has been common knowledge since the gun had been invented that guns and alcohol don’t mix. It has also been common knowledge that any act involving alcohol results in an increase in accidents and makes people who consume alcohol lose there inhibitions. So why is the CDC spending tax payer money to show a relationship that alcohol increases gun accidents when that is comon knowledge? I can only conclude gun control people need the CDC to confirm it for them what is common knowledge. Unforutnately, this new knowledge for gun control people will lead them to conclude that a CCW person walking past a liquor store will committ mass murder. Gun control fanatics will then demand from their messiah Obama to make liquor stores a gun free zone.

Nan

October 30th, 2009
3:32 pm

Given all the rancorous debate about guns and gun-related deaths, it would be nice to see some solid epidemiological studies done on the issue. One thing everyone seems to be forgetting is that “common knowledge” is often wrong. It was once common knowledge that the sun revolved around the earth, diseases were caused by bad air or foul odors, and that maggots appeared spontaneously in rotten meat. It would be nice to have some actual facts used in a debate for a change instead of emotion and hyperbolic rhetoric.

BTW, Mr. Barr seems to be forgetting the CDC is the Centers for Disease Control, not the Center, and one of those Centers is the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Investigating gun-related injuries and deaths certainly falls under its purview.

Bircher

October 30th, 2009
3:36 pm

The CDC is the center for disease control. Get back and focus on Ebola and dangerous viruses. This stuff about the cost of guns on medical care is political. I want to see a study about the cost of gay anal sex on our health care system. How much have it costs to treat STDs because of gay anal sex?

Kevin

October 30th, 2009
3:38 pm

Big government is always looking for new ways to take our rights away.

Jimbo

October 30th, 2009
3:58 pm

Well … how about drug tests to qualify for welfare? HELLOOOOOOOOO.
Sound racist? GREAT!
obozo is an idiot.

deegee

October 30th, 2009
4:01 pm

Maybe they should make it harder for people to crash their personal aircraft into the homes of innocent victims. I hope we don’t find out that the pilot was a senior citizen. BTW, the gun violence has to stop, too.

Spense

October 30th, 2009
4:06 pm

The director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD & TB Prevention at the CDC, said in opening remarks at the conference Aug. 23, 2009 that gay and bisexual men account for half of new infections. 2.5-3% of the adult male population accounting for 50% of new infections. And said gay & bisexual men are 50 times more likely to have HIV/AIDS. Even though everyone has known for decades how the deadly contagious diseases are transmitted, they obviously care more about having sick perverted sex than for society or each other. The homosexual lifestyle should be made illegal, not guns!

Color me dead

October 30th, 2009
4:07 pm

I think the CDC should study the incidence of bodily injury arising out of exposure to, ingestion or inhalation of, lead or lead compounds and especially the injection of lead solids when propelled and contaminated by GSR.

Jimbo

October 30th, 2009
4:11 pm

@ Nan
Gun owners in Australia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The first year results are now in:

Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent

Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent

Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!

In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, thecriminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns!

***Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety***

Jimbo

October 30th, 2009
4:13 pm

@ Nan

Subject: Gun History Lesson

A Little Gun History Lesson
In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

——————————

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

—————————

Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

——————————

China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

—————————-

Guatemala established gun control in 1964.. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Robert M

October 30th, 2009
4:16 pm

Some of your morons should learn how to think and research for yourself.

Quoted from the website, here is the MISSION of the CDC: “Is to collaborate to create the expertise, information, and tools that people and communities need to protect their health – through health promotion, prevention of disease, injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats.”

Like it or not, the CDC is the central health organization of the nation. It has been this way since the 1940s. It was this way under republican and democratic presidents. They research thousands of different things from workplace injury to malaria. Sounds like some of you would rather micromanage the agency to fit your political agenda.

Sam

October 30th, 2009
4:56 pm

I guess the CDC is putting this probe under “lead poisoning”

Joan

October 30th, 2009
4:56 pm

It is the nature of a bureaucrat to want to build an empire. Those at CDC simply want to expand the fiefdom—and why not, every other aspect of government is in bloat mode. It will stop only when the taxpayer has run out of money to keep feeding the pig.

Bunck

October 30th, 2009
6:06 pm

Nan
Wow! I need to wait for a scientific research from the CDC before I can tell my drunk friend who has a loaded gun in their hand, with the finger on the trigger, to not hold a gun while drunk because the research about drunks with guns increasing the likelihood of accidental shooting is not complete from the CDC. I might be telling a lie to my drunk that friend holding a gun while drunk he might accidentally shoot someone untile the CDC reasearch proves it. After all, only scientific research proved the christian world was wrong that the sun revolved around earth therefor all assumptions are wrong untile proven scientifically like the scientific research in 1994 MMWR by CDC that the increase in access to gun leads in the increase in accidental shootings. Yet the CDC Center for Injury Prevention and Control shows accidental deaths by the gun have decreased yet there are more guns now in the hands of the public then in previous years.In 1994 CDC predicted that gun deaths ( homicide & suicide) will outpace car deaths yet an April 2009 CDC\NCHS study pointed out in 2006 there were 30856 gun related deaths while there were 43664 car related deaths. I guest scientific CDC research is no better then common knowledge that the sun revolved around the earth because both conclusions were derived at by prejudice.

Why is it then a crime for a CCW have a gun in their possession while intoxicated when there is no reasearch from CDC proving a CCW while intoxicated has impaired judgement? That just wouldn’t hold in court since the CDC Center for Injury Prevention and Control hasn’t done the research.

Sunshine and Thunder

October 30th, 2009
6:38 pm

To the CDC:

“Remember, if you’re not part of the solution there’s plenty of money to be made prolonging the problem.”

Jenny

October 30th, 2009
11:16 pm

Overall, the debate on the issue here is not too bad – some extremists on both sides, but some serious and thoughtful folks on both sides too.

The original post, though, is atrocious. While I grant that Mr. Barr has the legal right to express his views, I can’t imagine why the Journal-Constitution allows him to publish in their newspaper. This blog post is not simply ill-informed, it is intentionally misleading, which is a form of dishonesty.

For example, in the second sentence, Mr. Barr offers a direct quote of the CDC’s mission: “serves as the national focus for developing and applying disease prevention and control, . . . to improve the health of the people of the United States.”

The three dots – the ellipsis – indicate that something has been omitted. An honest ellipsis stands for unrelated words in the original quote. A dishonest ellipsis stands for words whose omission shows that the author is intentionally misrepresenting the meaning of the original quote.

In this case, the complete sentence being quoted is, “CDC serves as the national focus for developing and applying disease prevention and control, ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, AND HEALTH PROMOTION AND EDUCATION ACTIVITIES DESIGNED to improve the health of the people of the United States.” [emphasis mine.] In other words, it very clearly DOES NOT restrict CDC activities to a narrow understanding of disease.

Mr. Barr, as I said, you’re entitled to your opinion no matter how irrational it may be. But please, at least be honest.

Bunck

October 31st, 2009
3:15 am

Jenny

How does the CDC conclude the possession of a gun a disease? Then why not CDC make car possession also a disease since both inanimate objects when operated by individuals sometimes causes death? If it is a disease the CDC will then conclude the disease is in every member of law enforcement. To cure the disease of gun possession all law enforcement will have to be disarmed.

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