I want to know more about Firearms. Why won’t the NRA let me?

I consider myself left-leaning but moderate when it comes to issues of gun ownership. I have plenty of friends who are responsible gun owners. But (as any of you watching my feed yesterday can tell), I’ve been getting increasingly upset as these high profile mass shootings have become a dismal routine–not to mention the 82 firearm related homicides here in Oakland this year.

In 2014, there were 33,183 deaths by firearm in the United States. This is proximate to the 32,719 deaths related to automobiles in 2013. So what’s the difference? We have an entire Department of the Federal Government that is dedicated in part to studying and mitigating the deaths on our roadways. And it works. Death on the road is declining, in large part due to applications in policy.

The problem is, our ability to make informed decisions in shaping policy is being smothered by the National Rifle Association. They are by far the most powerful lobbying group representing the manufacturers of firearms. And the politicians that they influence are in control of Congress.

The NRA has banned the CDC from researching gun violence.

This is what I angrily reject. It’s not the firearms themselves. Instead, it’s that our lawmakers are denying our ability to treat this as a public health issue. And instead of opposing any particular action, they issue a blanket suppression of any research that might lead to policy changes that they might not like.

I’m not angry at guns, how can I be angry with an inanimate object? Instead, I’m angry at the apathy displayed by these companies, by the organization which represents them, and by the national supporters of that organization. Who insist that the only recourse for people hurt or threatened by their product–is to buy more of their product.

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