NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre plans to slam the White House’s gun-control proposals during testimony Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.According to his opening statement, released Tuesday by the NRA, part of LaPierre’s opening statement to the Senate panel will focus on a claim that fatal firearm incidents are at their lowest level in more than 100 years.
“Teaching safe and responsible gun ownership works – and the NRA has a long and proud history of teaching it,” LaPierre will say.
“Our ‘Eddie Eagle’ children’s safety program has taught over 25 million young children that if they see a gun, they should do four things: ‘Stop. Don’t touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult.’ As a result of this and other private sector programs, fatal firearm accidents are at the lowest levels in more than 100 years.”
According to the NRA that claim is based on centre for Disease Control data of fatal injury reports. What the NRA doesn’t say is that the NRA’s lobbying efforts have helped defund the CDC by about 96 per cent since the mid-1990s.
In fact, the CDC explicitly warns on its page of fatal injury reports that data from 1999 and after cannot be compared to years prior:
Note: The coding of mortality data changed significantly in 1999, so you may not be able to compare number of deaths and death rates from 1998 and before with data from 1999 and after.
The way the CDC researched incidents of firearm-related deaths changed drastically after 1996, when the centre was pushed into re-allocating money spent on gun research to conduct research on traumatic brain injuries instead.
The NRA didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
As part of his gun-control proposal, President Barack Obama called on Congress to provide $10 million in funding to end the CDC’s freeze on gun-violence research. That would include an investigation into whether there is a link between gun violence and violent media.
LaPierre will testify tomorrow alongside Mark Kelly, the husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was critically injured after being shot in the head in 2011.
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