One small bright spot popped up this week in the middle of a frenzy of gun control talk in Washington. The House Appropriations Committee took a vote on a spending amendment which would have provided funding for the CDC to study “the underlying causes of gun violence” and to make recommendations regarding same. Despite all the clamor coming out of South Carolina, the measure didn’t pass and the CDC will – at least for now – have to stick to matters actually related to disease control.
The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday rejected, 19-32, an amendment from top Democratic appropriator Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) that would allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the underlying causes of gun violence.
The CDC hasn’t done any such research since 1996, when the National Rifle Association accused it of trying to use science to promote gun control. Congress threatened to totally defund the agency if the work continued, and appropriators ever since have included a prohibition on funding that kind of research with spending bills.
A House GOP staffer said the existing provision technically doesn’t bar gun-violence research. Rather, it blocks any gun-control advocacy by the CDC. However, Republicans would consider any CDC findings that recommend limitations on guns to be gun-control advocacy.
At a quick glance we might wonder what in the world the Center for Disease Control would be doing getting involved with gun related injuries in the first place. A gunshot isn’t a disease unless you survive a botched medical procedure and come down with lead poisoning at a later date. But liberals have long been keen on treating guns themselves as a social illness and one in need of redress. In that light, it’s not all that shocking that Democrat administrations would try to enlist the CDC into the gun grabbing battle. It’s a powerful bit of symbolism if they can accomplish it, much the same way that the Left attempts (with frequent success) to redefine the language to best suit their own purposes. Before too very long I expect the CDC to begin examining whether or not favoring tax cuts qualifies as a mental disorder.
For the time being at least, the CDC will stick to what remains of its core functions. So getting those majorities in both chambers of Congress wasn’t a complete waste of time after all. For purposes of revisiting this post later, I’ll emphasize the fact that I said “complete.”