Back in 2021, you may recall that the Biden-Harris Administration announced a ‘comprehensive strategy’ to reduce violent crime, which is more or less a euphemism for gun violence. They took some dough out of the $1.9 trillion Covid Rescue Plan and set it aside to give various jurisdictions money to expand community policing and ATF enforcement activities, along with investing in ‘proven Community Violence Intervention Programs.’

              A good friend has just sent me an email from a group, CT Against Gun Violence (CAGV), alerting everyone to a new funding program from the CT Department of Public Health, which will cover costs of community violence intervention programs for one to three years.

              CAGV started its efforts in 2020, and this new initiative, which I suspect is using monies set aside from the Rescue Plan, is proof that CAGV’s work is “beginning to pay off.” You can learn more about CAGV’s history and efforts right here.

              Let me make it clear that what I am about to say does not represent some back-door method to spike the efforts of any group which promotes a program for effective gun control. Notwithstanding the fact that I am a Lifetime Patriot Benefactor Member of the NRA (which means I give them enough money so they can’t throw me out) I am foursquare in favor of controlling the ownership of guns which are used to commit 120,000+ intentional fatal and non-fatal gun assaults every year.

              On the other hand, I am also foursquare against gun-control programs which are designed to reduce the interpersonal violence caused by guns but avoid or ignore the principal reason why such violence occurs, which happens to be the manufacture, sale, and possession of certain kinds of guns.

              The United States is the only country in the entire world that grants law-abiding residents’ legal access to guns which are designed to be used only for the purpose of ending someone else’s life besides the life of the person with access to that gun.

Note I am not talking here about suicides, which are also a form of violence according to the World Health Organization. But individuals who suffer mental anguish to the point of wanting to end their lives will, for the most part, find a way to do it even if they can’t get their hands on a gun.

              Sweden’s basically an unarmed population but has a suicide rate higher than the suicide rate in the United States – ditto Japan, Norway, and Belarus.

              Thirty years ago, two brilliant researchers, Art Kellerman and Fred Rivara, published research which definitively linked guns in the home to the medical risk of homicide. This research did not qualify guns as being safely or not safely stored.

              The response of the gun industry to this research was to prohibit the CDC from supporting gun violence research for nearly the next three decades. Frankly, I couldn’t blame the gun companies for finding a willing Congressional toady – Congressman Jay Dickey – who sponsored the bill which kept the CDC from giving out the kind of research monies which had been used by Kellerman and Rivara to do their research.

After all, if you manufactured a product that has been around for 150 years and now you were told that the product was too dangerous to be sold, wouldn’t you try to find some sponsor in the government to bail out your ass and the asses of all the people working for you?

The CDC re-opened the gun research spigot two years ago, so the groups and organizations which support such work have now come up with a narrative which is used not only to justify figuring out what to do about gun violence but is an approach which neatly sidesteps all that messy talk about gun ‘rights’ and 2nd-Amendment ‘guarantees.’ After all, the word ‘intervention’ can mean all kinds of things, but the one thing it doesn’t mean is taking away the guns.

Unfortunately, to paraphrase the original 2021 announcement out of the White House about using monies from the Rescue Plan to reduce gun violence – ready? – THE ONLY PROVEN WAY TO REDUCE GUN VIOLENCE IS TO GET RID OF THE GODDAMN GUNS. Now I understand why Trump uses all caps for his tweets or his truths, or whatever he calls his daily/nightly rants.

I once asked the head of a community intervention program whether his staff would report that someone who had just agreed to step back from a violent, street-corner interaction was walking away with a gun in his pocket and here was his response:

“Oh no. Our people would never tell the police that someone who had responded positively to their request to refrain from violence had a gun. If our folks were identified as working with the cops, nobody would listen to them at all.”

If someone can show me a more serious threat to community health than a teenager walking down the street with a Glock in the seat of his pants, I’m all ears.