The New York Times reported on Wednesday that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has successfully squelched all research on gun violence performed by the National Center for Injury Control and Prevention, a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This un-performed research could, for example, help communities understand whether carrying firearms makes them safer or not.
The NRA’s representatives in Washington fought a pitched battle against public health scientists in the 1990’s. The NRA said that studying gun-related injuries and death was biased against gun owners and political. The scientists disagreed. The NRA won, essentially by removing the research funds from the CDC’s budget. Those dollars have never been put back into their budget.
That’s what I call an effective lobby.
Imagine for a moment what would happen if other “special interest” groups in the US had this same degree of clout?
What if the environmental community had enough power to limit all Federal funding of scientific studies that showed that pesticides were safe for farm workers or consumers?
Or if the anti-nuke movement could stop all funding for the DOE’s Stockpile Stewardship Program because it continued the testing and development of nuclear weapons, a violation of the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Or if the coal industry could not receive any federal funds in support of its promotion of “clean” coal?
That’s why I want an environmental lobby group that’s as powerful and effective as the NRA. What about you?