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Johns Hopkins Adds An Anti-Gun Advocacy Operation to Its Gun Control ‘Research’ Portfolio

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The line between non-biased data-based research and agenda-driven advocacy is getting blurrier. A new announcement from a renowned research university in Baltimore, Maryland, is continuing the trend.

The Johns Hopkins University announced a new partnership with an affiliate of the gun control advocacy group Coalition to Stop Gun Violence to create the Center for Gun Violence Solutions. The university’s web of “non-biased” gun control research now becomes even more tangled as they are already home to the Michael Bloomberg School of Public Health and Center for Gun Policy and Research.

It’s a playbook the gun control industry uses to cloak opportunities to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans under the cover of “science” and study criminal gun misuse through a lens of “public health.”

Brand Dilution

Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins is America’s first research university and has achieved world-renown for cancer research, the development of CPR, discovery of numerous vaccines and health protocols and even the supersonic ramjet engine. That brand, though, is being diluted by naked partisan gun control groups pushing an agenda.

Baltimore’s WJZ news announced, “A center at Johns Hopkins studying gun violence and another organization have merged, forming the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions, which will look at shootings in the U.S. through a public health lens.”

The Bloomberg School is, of course, named for billionaire, failed presidential candidate, and perennial gun control backer Michael Bloomberg. Uncoincidentally, Bloomberg is also behind the gun control groups Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns. He funds The Trace, an agitprop generator and mouthpiece for gun control efforts which has also infiltrated newsrooms at USA Today under the guise of “collaboration.”

Daniel Webster, the new co-leader of the Center for Gun Violence Solutions, said, “With our new colleagues, we will now have even more capacity to bring meaningful policy change through evidence-based advocacy.” Research topics will include violence intervention programs, licensing for firearms, political violence and so-called “ghost guns.”

Daniel Webster Johns Hopkins Bloomberg
Daniel Webster

The last word of Webster’s comment – advocacy – is what’s problematic here, particularly when coupled with the fact that several of the items listed, like firearms licensing and so-called “ghost guns” are matters of regulatory policy and laws set by Congress. Pushing research as advocacy doesn’t make the Johns Hopkins gun control project a research institution, it makes them a special-interest group.

‘Public Health’ Ruse

The gun control mission of the partnership isn’t the only problem. The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions will look at the problem through, “a public health lens.” That has significant implications on the American public if that biased advocacy then leads to public policy and infringes on the Constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.

“While we all might share the goals of a safer society, this new merger between the private university and a longtime anti-gun group is going to be pushing for ‘solutions’ that make us less safe by depriving us of our ability to protect ourselves,” noted Bearing Arms’ Cam Edwards.

Lumping criminal firearm misuse into “public health” is a scheme used by national gun control groups and policy makers pushing restrictions. An analogy by physician Dr. Paul Hsieh makes the case.

“Which of these things is not like the other? Measles; Influenza; Tuberculosis; Murder. If you picked #4, “murder,” you’re right. The first three are medical diseases. In contrast “murder” is not a medical problem, although it is a tragic cause of death.”

Tom Knighton, also of Bearing Arms, makes a succinct and appropriate response when gun control advocates argue, as they often do, that “public health” issues are sometimes more important than protecting “gun rights,” or any rights for that matter.

Knighton countered this flawed approach, writing, “When you try to say that so-called gun violence is a public health issue and somehow arguments about rights no longer matter, then you’ve crossed a line. Rights always matter.”

Bottom line, there is no inoculation to prevent crime.

Johns Hopkins University and the Bloomberg-funded Center for Gun Violence Solutions are no doubt aware of these realities and are comfortable with the tarnish it brings to any of the research and solutions it promulgates.

Empowerment Vs. ‘Crisis’

During the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, and leading up to the 2020 presidential election, Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action and Everytown hosted a series of Veepstakes virtual town hall meetings hosted by Shannon Watts. One theme repeated by Watts again and again was that “gun violence” was not just a “public heath” crisis, but also a “women’s health crisis.” She claimed more gun control was needed to ensure the public health and safety of women.

kamala everytown veepstakes

The reality is that more women than ever exercised the Second Amendment rights of self-protection and purchased a firearm during those same months. As much as 40 percent of all first-time gun buyers over the past two years have been women.

If it were up to Watts, Bloomberg’s gun control groups and universities like Johns Hopkins pushing “gun violence” advocacy under the umbrella of “public health,” the rights of millions of those gun-owning women would likely be restricted and their lives in greater danger – not less. Don’t expect Johns Hopkins to research that, though.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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