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July 14, 2017

Gun Control Groups Shamelessly Use Healthcare Debate to Prescribe Gun Control


By Larry Keane

Bloomberg.com and others are covering a recent Brady Center report that attempts to make a connection between gun violence and the current health care reform debate under way in Congress.

It is all too convenient for the professional gun control lobby to throw out figures about the health care costs of firearm incidents. What they don’t mention is the fact that incidents of both gun-related violence and accidents are down across the board, even as the number of legally purchased firearms has increased over the past two decades. They also fail to mention that modern medicine is costly across the board due in part to the fact that new life-saving procedures are constantly being developed and implemented.

We do know that guns and law-abiding gun owners are not the problem. In fact, missing from the gun control advocacy’s equation is the cost savings of instances of defensive gun use. Each time a crime is thwarted or prevented due to the legal use of a firearm by a gun owner, health care expenses are avoided. The real question here is how many more incidents would be reported if the gun control groups were successful in their ill-advised policy prescriptions?

Even with significant declines in gun-related violence and in accidental injury rates, the firearms and ammunition industry continues our successful programs to address the misuse of firearms. One of our programs is Project Childsafe, promotes genuine firearm safety through the distribution of safety education messages and free firearm safety kits to communities across the U.S.

We know that most criminals, about 80 percent according to government surveys, obtain their firearms illegally through theft or on the black market. That’s why NSSF proactively matches ATF rewards for thefts and burglaries from our licensed retailers.

Illegal straw purchases are the target of another NSSF-led program, Don’t Lie for the Other Guy. Industry, in partnership with the Department of Justice, assists law enforcement in educating firearms retailers to be better able to identify and deter illegal straw purchases and to raise public awareness that it is a serious crime to illegally purchase a firearm for a prohibited person.

Suicides make up about two-thirds of firearm-related incidents. NSSF has partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on a first-of-its-kind national plan to build and implement public education resources for firearms retailers, shooting ranges and the firearms-owning community about suicide prevention and firearms.

It’s no surprise that the gun control advocacy groups fail to mention the efforts of the industry and the important progress that has been made in reducing the unfortunate instances of criminal misuse of firearms and accidents. After all, this is the same article that sees no problem with citing research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – while also inaccurately stating that the CDC is not allowed to conduct such research. In fact, the CDC recently acknowledged they are not prohibited from conducting research. It’s time for the gun control lobby and the media that covers their misleading “research” to stick to the facts.