CDC study says gun violence has been ‘shown to be contagious’

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new study on firearm-related violence. And as notes, some results may come as a shock to those on both sides of the issue.

Obama signs executive orders
President Obama signs 23 gun control executive orders.

Commissioned by the Committee on Priorities for a Public Health Research Agenda to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence, the study was conducted to back up President Obama’s 23 executive actions, signed in January to enact gun control.

Executive action #1 read:

“Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.”

One would wonder why the CDC is doing a study on firearms. According to Obama’s executive orders, “firearm violence is also a serious public health issue that affects thousands of individuals, families, and communities across the nation.”

But the study also noted that “violence, including firearm related violence, has been shown to be contagious.” Therefore, gun violence is being studied in the way a contagious disease would be.

The study acknowledged the right to bear arms as a basic human right set forth by the U. S. Constitution:

“An individual’s right to own and possess guns was established in the U.S. Constitution and affirmed in the 2008 and 2010 Supreme Court rulings in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago.”

According to the study, accidental deaths from firearms accounted for “less than one percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010,” and mass shootings are a “small fraction of total firearm violence.”

But the study also found that guns are more likely to be used in a defensive manner rather than in criminal or violent activity and when used for self-defense victims often show a lower injury rate.

“Defensive uses of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed. Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”

The study concluded that the type of interventions sought by anti-gun activists do little to reduce gun violence, including background checks and bans on certain types of guns. noted that the results of the study were surprisingly unbiased and similar to another conducted in 1994 that found “insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws reviewed for preventing violence.”

The entire CDC study is available here.


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