The Congressman Who Restricted Gun Violence Research Has Regrets

As fellow commentator James Vargo said so well “If you are terrified of research into a subject, you already know that you are wrong.” Unfortunately for us, this modus operandi dominates the Republican mindset; do not search too deeply for fear you may find somethng contradictory to your pre-determined worldview. This works perfectly for those who are deeply religious because it exists hand in hand with the concept of faith, blindly accepting a power regardless of fact or evidence. I worry that faith having been elevated to such a station, it is to the detriment of fact, evidence and research. I can prove this assumption just by bringing up the current crop of Republican presidential candidates who are still peddling supply-side economic theory despite the fact that we have close to forty years of data that disproves its raison d’etre (job creation) or who are disputing the fact that climate change is something we need to address especially in light that the Pentagon has determined climate change to be one of the top three national security risks. Jeb Bush himself said “stuff happens” and because “stuff happens” we shouldn’t do anything about it because as you know “stuff happens”. The Republican leadership held up our Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murphy’s confirmation right up to December of 2014 precisely because of his desire to link gun violence to public health and we were forced to go through the whole Ebola scare without a Surgeon General, thank you Republican Party. I don’t know how we will ever detach our national identity from this sick love affair with guns, it does go beyond legislation for some, it is almost a sickness or addiction, this need to be armed without acknowledging how dangerous you are to yourself and others. I do still believe that the first step is strong federal legislation that tackles the black markets particularly the inter-state market, the gun shows and online markets. If we did that just as a first step it would be a game changer. We simply need the political courage to do it.
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