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On guns, President Obama prefers politics over reality

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: July 11, 2013

THE economy remains the voting public's top issue, yet President Barack Obama has focused on anything but job creation since winning re-election.

Obama claims he pursues lower-priority goals based on “science.” Yet when he recently announced a climate change initiative, the president ignored scientific data showing global warming projections have been wrong for more than a decade.

Obama has been just as willfully blind to hard data when pushing another pet cause: gun control. In January, seeking to exploit the Newtown tragedy, Obama issued a slate of executive orders, including one directing a federal review of firearm violence research. The report, prepared by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, has been released. But you probably haven't heard about it for one simple reason: The findings don't support the gun control agenda.

While more than 105,000 people were wounded or killed in the United States in firearm-related incidents in 2010, what often goes unmentioned is that most were suicides, not individuals gunned down by others.

The federal report states, “Between the years 2000 and 2010, firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearm related violence in the United States.”

The report, citing FBI data, also acknowledges “crime rates have declined in the past decade and violent crimes, including homicides, specifically, have declined in the past 5 years.” The period studied coincides with increased gun ownership.

Gun control proponents have sought bans on so-called “assault weapons,” yet those guns are rarely used for criminal activity. The government report notes, “Handguns are used in more than 87 percent of violent crimes.” And Americans have good reason to seek guns for self-defense: “Over 600,000 victims of robbery and other crimes reported that they faced an assailant armed with a gun,” the report says.

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by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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