NIH studying gun control issues again

After getting their hands slapped for shoddy research with predetermined anti-gun outcomes 13 years ago the NIH is again doing research on gun control topics:

More than a decade after Congress cut funding for firearms research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), another federal health agency has been spending millions of dollars to study such topics as whether teenagers who carry firearms run a different risk of getting shot compared with suffering other sorts of injuries.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also has been financing research to investigate whether having many liquor stores in a neighborhood puts people at greater risk of getting shot.

Such studies are coming under sharp scrutiny by Republican lawmakers who question whether the money could be better spent on biomedical research at a time of increasing competition for NIH funding. They’re also leery of NIH research relating to firearms in general, recalling how 13 years ago the House voted to cut CDC funding when critics complained that the agency was trying to win public support for gun control.

“It’s almost as if someone’s been looking for a way to get this study done ever since the Centers for Disease Control was banned from doing it 10 years ago,” Rep. Joe L. Barton, Texas Republican, said of one of the NIH studies. “But it doesn’t make any more sense now than it did then.”

“Gun related violence is a public health problem – it diverts considerable health care resources away from other problems and, therefore, is of interest to NIH,” Don Ralbovsky, NIH spokesman, wrote in an e-mail responding to questions about the grants.

“These particular grants do not address gun control; rather they deal with the surrounding web of circumstances involved in many violent crimes, especially how alcohol policy may reduce the public health burden from gun-related injury and death,” he said.

It’s not guaranteed to be a bad thing. But it should be watched just as closely as if they were studying violence initiated by Jews/blacks/homosexuals with an eye to create public policy which restricts those groups more than others.