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Unwilling defenders of gun rights.

Last December, the National Academy of Sciences, which operates under a congressional charter and describes itself as "Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine," released a 328-page report on gun-control laws entitled Firearms and Violence." A Critical Review. In its report "based on 253 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government publications, a survey that covered 80 different gun-control measures and some of its own empirical work, the panel couldn't identify a single gun-control regulation that reduced violent crime, suicide, or accidents," reported the December 29 New York Post.

But instead of bringing national attention to the pervasive lies and unjustified assertions of gun-control proponents, the Academy of Sciences discounted some of its own research, advocated measures opposed by gun owners, vilified gun owners, and misrepresented some of its data.

In short, the panel claimed (in the words of an Academy press release) that "the accuracy of responses in gun-use surveys ... has not been thoroughly investigated"--meaning that the Academy is discounting its own research. The Academy claimed that the government needed to obtain "extensive data on gun ownership and use" (essentially advocating gun registration initiatives--like those which preceded gun confiscation in England and Australia). The Academy further noted "that individuals--especially those who use guns illegally --will always be reluctant to disclose [gun] ownership information" (equating gun owners who oppose registration initiatives with criminals).

And the Academy claimed that "there is no credible evidence that 'right-to-carry' laws, which allow qualified adults to carry concealed handguns, either decrease or increase violent crime." Stifling evidence that right-to-carry laws do reduce violence, the Academy panel selectively chose only part of a non-Academy study to make this claim. But the excerpted study was taken out of context, since the full study shows that right-to-carry laws are beneficial at reducing violence.

In summing up its "findings," the Academy said much more research needs to be done in this area. The Academy, seemingly strangely, is in essence saying that the years of work and the millions of dollars spent on the study went for nought and that virtually no conclusions can be drawn from its work.

The strangeness of the Academy's claims becomes much less strange, however, when one realizes, as was noted in the January 11 Investor's Business Daily, that "all but one of the [Academy panel] members were known before their appointments to favor gun control," and that the members were designated by the Clinton administration, an anti-gun administration.

It's a good thing that the National Academy of Sciences has experience with medicine because having to publish statistics that refute its members' own errant beliefs is obviously proving to be a tough pill to swallow.
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Title Annotation:Insider Report
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 7, 2005
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