Among the 23 “executive actions” President Obama announced yesterday amidst great fanfare (and shameless exploitation of children) is this:

“Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.”

Obama may want to put a hold on that one, until he comes to grips with what happened the last time a U.S. president tried it.

During the late ’70s, President Jimmy Carter and his inner circle determined to push through comprehensive new federal gun-control legislation. They decided the best way to grease the congressional skids would be to have a massive scientific study conducted which, in the end, would proclaim that gun-control laws were effective in reducing crime.

So the Carter folks handed out a major gun-control research grant to University of Massachusetts sociology professor James D. Wright and his colleagues Peter Rossi and Kathleen Daly. They spent four years and lots of tax dollars to produce what would be the most comprehensive, critical study of gun control ever undertaken. In 1981, they published the results of their research – an exhaustive, three-volume work titled “Under the Gun.”

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