Verrit.Com Isn’t Reliable No Matter What They Or Hillary Says is a new website founded by Peter Daou. They call themselves the media for the 65.8 million. That is a play on the popular vote received by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election. Daou was an advisor to Clinton in her 2008 run for the presidency.

The website claims to have verified all the political nuggets that they put into little digestible bites. They even put a verification number of that little nugget of wisdom.

Verrit collects and contextualizes noteworthy facts, stats, and quotes for politically engaged citizens. Each “verrit” is a verified item of information marked with a 7-digit identification code. To authenticate a verrit, enter the code in the search bar and match it to our database.

The website and its “service” has been endorsed by Clinton. That said, it is getting grief from both the left and the right. Politico says it looks like “North Korean Agitprop.” The Washington Examiner calls it, in an opinion piece, “a leftist partisan blunder.” Finally, even the Washington Post – Pravda on the Potomac – calls it a media platform that “is looking worse and worse.”

Let’s look at one of their cards dealing with “gun violence” (sic).

You know that old saying about how figures lie and liars figure? This is one of them.

First, who in their right mind would use Newsweek as your source for anything authoritative? Really?

Second, it also depends on how you define children. To see what the real numbers showed, I went to the authoritative source on mortality statistics in the United States:  the Center for Disease Control and their WISQARS database.

The database has a tool where you can generate charts showing deaths by age and by cause. I broke down the age groups into less than one, 1-4, 5-9, 10-14, and 15-19. While it generated numbers for all age groups I don’t consider anyone over 19 to be a “child”. If I could have specified less than 18 only, I would have done that as 18 is the age of majority in virtually all the states.

Here are the top five leading causes of death for those under the age of 20 in the United States in 2015:

  1. Unintentional Injuries (minus firearm related) —- 7,863
  2. Congenital Anomolies —- 5,792
  3. Short Gestation —- 4,084
  4. All Firearm Related Deaths Combined —- 2,761
  5. Malignant Neoplasms (cancer) —- 1,802
So obviously, Newsweek and are wrong. Guns are NOT the third leading cause of death for children in America. To give you a better idea about firearm related deaths, I broke it down by age, type of death, and whether it involved a firearm in the chart below. All the data comes directly from the CDC database mentioned above. I would encourage everyone to run their own chart as they allow you to drill down.

Age Group Total Deaths Homicide w Firearms Suicide w Firearms Unintentional  w Firearms
Under 1 23455 263 8 0 0 1291 1
1-4 3965 369 50 0 0 1235 25
5-9 2402 140 69 0 0 755 7
10-14 3009 158 121 409 139 763 15
15-19 10186 1587 1397 2061 877 3919 52
Total 43017 2517 1645 2470 1016 7963 100
a Firearm

I have underlined the deaths involving a firearm. All of these numbers are from 2015 which are the latest available.

What struck me about these numbers is that below the age of 15, the number of homicides and suicides involving a firearm are rather low. However, it is the cohort between the ages of 15 and 19 that are of concern. Without having the ICD-10 data that would allow me to drill down even further, I can only surmise what is behind the number of homicides in the later teen years. I would speculate that much of it is drug and gang related but I can’t say that for sure.

Suicides for this cohort are almost evenly divided between those involving a firearm and those that involve suffocation. Suicides in the younger 10-14 age range are more likely to involve suffocation while in the adult cohorts firearms are more likely to be used.

The bottom line here is that those opposed to the Second Amendment will fudge their numbers and that Verrit can put out as much “fake news” as anyone else even if it has a gimmicky verification number. If you want reliable data, you have to go to reliable sources. Even then, you have to dig to get it.

The Empty Chair Makes An Empty Gesture With The Empty Chair

Sometimes the headline just writes itself.

So it is with the announcement that President Barack “Empty Chair” Obama will leave an empty chair in the First Lady’s box at the State of the Union Address. The empty chair is help vacant for the victims of gun violence (sic).

A Vacant Seat for the Victims of Gun Violence

Last week, the President took a series of commonsense steps to help reduce gun violence in America and make our communities safer.

We leave one seat empty in the First Lady’s State of the Union Guest Box for the victims of gun violence who no longer have a voice – because they need the rest of us to speak for them. To tell their stories. To honor their memory. To support the Americans whose lives have been forever changed by the terrible ripple effect of gun violence – survivors who’ve had to learn to live with a disability, or without the love of their life. To remind every single one of our representatives that it’s their responsibility to do something about this.

To see what an empty gesture that this is, let’s drill down through the numbers. The gun prohibitionists at Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors tell us that 88 people die daily due to “gun violence” (sic). Using their own numbers, this includes a daily average of 55 people who commit suicide using a firearm. This is disingenuous as it blames the instrument for their deaths. We don’t talk about intentional overdose violence or Golden Gate Bridge violence or subway violence but all are a means by which people have killed themselves. Realistically we should be more concerned with the why of suicide than the how but then that wouldn’t fit the narrative.

After you take out the 55 people a day who commit suicide using a gun, you are left with 33 deaths per day. Of these, still using Everytown’s averages, about 2 daily are due to unintentional injuries and undetermined circumstances. That leaves 31 homicides per day and here is where it gets interesting.

During 2013, according to the CDC, there were 11,208 homicides that involved a firearm. Breaking it down by race and ethnicity, you find that non-Hispanic blacks accounted for 56.8% of homicide victims, non-Hispanic whites for 25% of homicide victims, and those of Hispanic ethnicity for 15.6% of homicide victims. Asians, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and “other” only were victims in 2.6% of homicides.

Current census statistics show that non-Hispanic blacks are only 12.4% of the total US population with those of Hispanic ethnicity making up another 17.1%. Non-Hispanic whites account for 62.6% of the population. So while Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks make up only 29.5% of the US population, they account for 72.4% of homicide victims.

Given that non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics make up the great majority of homicide victims, I had to speculate about the age distribution. The CDC 2013 aggregate statistics didn’t give this info but their WONDER database did allow for searches by race and age groups.

Whites showed a fairly even distribution with tails for the young and elderly. The 25-29 age group was the peak age group for homicides among whites at 12% of white homicides. Murder victims between the ages of 15 and 34 account for 38.8% of all white murder victims. Keep that number in mind.

Hispanics and non-Hispanic black murder numbers were skewed younger and less evenly distributed by age. Hispanic murder victims between the ages of 15 and 34 accounted for 68.6% of all Hispanics murdered. The peak age group was between 20 and 24 with 24.1% of all Hispanic murder victims. Non-Hispanic blacks showed similar results. 71.9% of black murder victims were between the ages of 15 and 34 with the peak age group being the same 20 to 24 years of age as Hispanics. That age group accounted for 25.9% of black murder victims.

I am not a criminologist but even common sense (a word beloved by President Obama) would indicate that gang and drug-related crime is behind the significant concentration of deaths among younger blacks and Hispanics. Efforts concentrated on suppressing gangs combined with a more realistic policy on drugs would have a greater impact on reducing so-called gun violence (sic) than any of the gun control efforts that President Obama is seeking. However, given the unholy alliance in cities like Chicago between gangs and the Democrat machine, I doubt anything will be done to suppress the gangs. It is far easier to demonize guns and legal gun owners than it is to attack the root causes of either suicide or homicides.

Doctors For Responsible Gun Ownership Respond To Dr. Carson’s Suggestion

I had the opportunity to sit down with some of the physicians involved in Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership while at the recent Gun Rights Policy Conference. I was impressed by their dedication to gun rights and am glad that they are on our side.

Last week presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson hinted his possible support for the creation of a database of “dangerous people” to reduce mass shootings by preventing such people from gaining access to firearms. Dr. Carson further stated he does not oppose repealing the ban on federal funding for gun research at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Timothy Wheeler, director of DRGO, has released an open letter to Dr. Carson on these issues. Dr. Wheeler was one of the physicians who testified before the House Appropriations Committee back in 1996 about the CDC’s misleading research and its anti-gun advocacy.

The open letter is below:

Dear Dr. Carson:
As a nationwide group of fellow freedom-loving health care professionals, we are glad to see your candidacy for President.  We are gratified to have seen a change in your public statements on firearm policy since you entered the primary race. Along the way you have apparently become educated in the demographics and political philosophy of the American right to keep and bear arms.  These are things your otherwise extraordinary career may not have prepared you for, and we thank you for making the effort to learn them.
Still, your recent remarks supporting restoration of funding for gun research to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) make us wonder if you know why Congress reined in the CDC’s gun control research in the 1990s.
Part of the mission of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership is to guard against biased, agenda-driven advocacy science that attacks the right of gun ownership under the guise of legitimate science.  Unfortunately, gun control advocates at the CDC long ago assumed a central role in funding and supporting such advocacy science.  And as you know, research motivated by a political agenda is not real science at all.
I was one of three medical doctors who testified before the House Appropriations Committee in 1996 about the CDC’s misdeeds. We presented testimony documenting the CDC’s political agenda against gun ownership. Further, we showed the committee evidence of misuse of taxpayer money to fund gun control advocacy:
  • The CDC funded research culminating in numerous medical journal articles. The articles invariably proclaimed gun ownership to be a public health hazard. The most controversial was “Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home,” (New England Journal of Medicine 329, no. 15, October 7, 1993). Its authors claimed that keeping a gun in the home increased the risk of becoming a homicide victim.
  • The authors incorrectly used a case control method to claim a causal relation between gun ownership and homicide risk. They improperly generalized from a highly selection-biased study group of inner city homicide victims to gun owners across the country, even in rural and low-crime areas.
  • In an official 1993 CDC publication, Public Health Policy for Preventing Violencesenior CDC administrators proposed allowing only police, guards, and the military to have guns. As an alternative they proposed the outright prohibition of gun ownership (see page 19 of original document).
  • In 1995 CDC grant money was used by the Trauma Foundation, a group of San Francisco gun control activists, to publish a newsletter promoting gun control. The CDC-funded newsletter advised readers to “organize a picket at gun manufacturing sites” and to “work for campaign finance reform to weaken the gun lobby’s political clout.”
  • The director at that time of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Control and Prevention, Dr. Mark Rosenberg, has repeatedly made derogatory public statements about gun ownership. In a December 9, 1993 Rolling Stone interview Director Rosenberg was quoted as saying he “envisions a long term campaign, similar to tobacco use and auto safety, to convince Americans that guns are, first and foremost, a public health menace.”
We would not be surprised if you are unaware of the valid reasons for Congress’s defunding of CDC firearms research. Most major media outlets refuse to mention that history in their many protests about the defunding, since they are almost all unapologetic supporters of strict gun control.
More detail on the history of Congress’s defunding of the CDC is available at DRGO’s website in the three-part series titled “Public Health Gun Control: A Brief History”.  Broader commentary and documentation of the public health community’s deliberate campaign against gun owners is available at the website. We invite your critical review. And we wish you the best in the months to come.
Yours truly,
Timothy Wheeler, MD
Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership
A Project of the Second Amendment Foundation

HR 321 — Firearm Safety and Public Health Research Act of 2013

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced HR 321 – Firearm Safety and Public Health Research Act of 2013 – last Friday. As of today, it has 32 co-sponsors. The intent of the bill is to get around the restrictions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 on the promotion of gun control by National Institutes for Health and the Center for Disease Control.

HR 321 would provide the funding for the implementation of President Barack Obama’s Presidential Memorandum issued on January 16th which directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct research into the causes of “gun violence” (sic) and ways to prevent it.

Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following:

Section 1. Research. The Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary), through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other scientific agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, shall conduct or sponsor research into the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it. The Secretary shall begin by identifying the most pressing research questions with the greatest potential public health impact, and by assessing existing public health interventions being implemented across the Nation to prevent gun violence.

Sec. 2. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

The text of HR 321 is rather simple as might be expected of a bill that amends one section of an appropriations bill.

To amend the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013 (Public Law 112-175) to permit research on firearms safety and gun violence.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


The Act may be cited as the `Firearm Safety and Public Health Research Act of 2013′.


The Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013 (Public Law 112-175) is amended by inserting after section 155 the following:

`Sec. 156. Notwithstanding section 101, sections 218 and 503(c) of division F of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74) shall not apply to amounts made available by this joint resolution insofar as such sections relate to any activity to conduct research on firearms safety or gun violence.’.

This bill’s sole intention is to subsidize with our tax dollars junk research that will be used to promote more gun control. In my opinion there is no such thing as “gun violence”. There is violence and the tool chosen is immaterial when you are looking for the causal factors. We don’t speak of “hammer violence”, “blunt object violence”, or “fist violence”, so why should speak of “gun violence” as if it is some weird permutation of a violent act.