sardia wrote: I concur, brutality by law enforcement is a bad thing. Still no reason to make the other sections within the ATF hamstrung. Yup, making that clerk wade knee deep in paperwork sure showed those field agents. They won't ever brutalize their suspects again.
Yeah, focus is often lacking when agencies get disciplined. Tends to fall on everyone in the agency in the form of new strictures or reduced funding. It's unfortunate, but congress tends to not be great at singling out the most efficient way to do something.
I disagree with your assessment of the CDC funding restriction. It isn't how the people at the CDC feel about the language. They interpret it as
"The statutory language, which remains in appropriations legislation for the Department of Health and Human Services to this day, is that “none of the funds made available in this title may be used, in whole or in part, to advocate or promote gun control.” I think it’s fair to say that this language has been interpreted at times to mean that none of the funds could be used to support research that, depending on its findings, might be used in support of efforts to alter current firearm policy.
To make sure federal agencies got the message, Rep. Jay Dickey (R-Ark.) sponsored an amendment that stripped $2.6 million from the CDC’s budget, the exact amount it had spent on firearms research the previous year."
That's not "don't push an agenda", this is don't fund studies that involve guns. I mean if you want to make sure the CDC officials are not being paid off by the NRA or that the studies being funded are objective, yea that's good. But this isn't how or what Congress is doing. The CDC was one of the biggest sources of funding for gun studies, so this isn't small potatoes.
Well, keep in mind that the initial study
that kicked this off was denounced by the head of the GA AMA(this was mostly a Georgia event) as "junk science", and does kind of purport to draw sweeping conclusions from the data of a mere three countries, and leaps from correlation to an entirely unsupported causality.
Additionally, the CDCs $2.6 mil was merely earmarked for prevention of traumatic brain injury. So, while this likely did mean it was a "stop supporting gun control" statement, it isn't as if it meant lower investment in public safety. I realize you haven't claimed this, but I thought it an important clarification.
Now, every federal agency I've known of has had a lot of strictures, many MUCH more onerous than this one. Normally, when you want to research something close to the line, you run it through your agencies legal division, and get the thumbs up/down. In this case, they either seem to have an extremely risk adverse legal department, or there's simply a lack of interest in studying the topic. Or...wait, maybe they kept doing research anyway. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/yrbs/pdf/us_violence_trend_yrbs.pdf
actually breaks down violence by weapon carrying tendencies. It was done after '96. It simply avoids the provocative title and unproven causality. Also, has a much larger dataset. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6018a1.htm?s_cid=mm6018a1_w
directly mentions gun control among the ways being used to try to stop firearm violence. Definitely done after '96. Seems to take a much more holistic view than simply trying to say "guns are bad", though. Instead, they're analyzing a specific problem and outlining a number of solutions.
So, from those sources, I'd say the stricture is having exactly the intended effect. They haven't been diverted away from studying anything to do with gun violence, they merely can't use it to lobby for gun control.