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Government Anti-Gun Propaganda Making House Calls

by Howard Picard

July 30, 2001

Inspecting a handout my wife had brought back from our nine-year-old's physical, page 3 caught my attention:

"Help Stop Firearm Injuries!"


"The safest thing is NOT to have a gun in your home, especially a handgun."

This "tip sheet" is produced and distributed (apparently to at least its California members) by, Kaiser Permanente, the health maintenance organization, and is titled, "Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures" (page 1, page 2, and page 3).

This press release announces the launching of a childhood program called "Bright Systems" which also describes the handout as being "chock-full of helpful and at times vital age-specific information." One member is quoted describing the handout as, "quite effective." (No mention is made of the "gun safety" tips.)

According to a Kaiser employee (from an exchange of e-mails which includes a refutation to some of the nonsense/propaganda contained in the handout), "We are currently in the process of updating these pieces and appreciate your comments at this time." Also...

"Please direct all future comments through the Kaiser Permanente internet site (, or by written correspondence to:

California Member and Marketing Communications
1800 Harrison St., Ninth floor
Oakland, Ca 94612-3418.

"They will be able to respond and/or direct any comments to the appropriate groups within Kaiser Permanente."

Hopefully all Kaiser Permanente members reading this page will take the time to convey their comments to Kaiser. Also, perhaps such groups as Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership and Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws will not only contact Kaiser, but contact and urge pro-gun rights oriented employees of Kaiser to speak-out.

It was also claimed "information included in these pieces are based on Clinical Preventive Services guidelines published by the US Preventive Service Task Force/Dept. of Health and Human Services." See Chapter 59 for an example of your tax dollars at work. The guide's entire "task force" members and reviewers, and more, are available here. Perhaps if enough people contact the Department of Health, or some of the national gun rights groups get involved, a third edition of these guidelines can be published (or at least a significant revision of Chapter 59).

Of course what "gun safety" tip sheet would be complete without squawking, "Every 2 hours, someone's child is killed with a loaded gun?" We're all somebody's child, aren't we? Obviously this is just another twist on the 12 "children" a day theme. It's almost funny that on page 2 when talking about puberty, children as young as 8 are referred to as "young women" and "young men," but with gun deaths, "children" include young adults up to 19 years of age.

Now don't go away, because there is more that requires action. The handout advises:

"To receive free information on how you and your family can work to prevent violence in your community, call the Crime Prevention Coalition at 1-800-WE PREVENT [1-800-937-7383]. [emphasis original]

The Crime Prevention Council's day-to-day operations are run by the National Crime Prevention Council. Yeah, so what? Well, the NCPC has produced a very anti-gun rights pamphlet. I received one in the mail from my 13 year-old's junior high-school earlier in the year. You can view the contents of the pamphlet here, courtesy of the Mesa, Arizona Police Department. (Hopefully, somebody in Mesa can persuade the police to remove this misleading pamphlet from their Web site, not to mention the fact that it is most likely being distributed by them as well!)

I sent a letter to the NCPC refuting the contents of the pamphlet as well as voicing my objections, but I have not received a response (it's been 2 weeks).

Casually poking around both the Crime Prevention Coalition's and NCPC's Web sites, one can easily conclude that the sites are rather innocuous as they relate to gun rights. Note the CPC's members, and the NCPC's corporate partners. (Although, I did find this gun rights hostile page at the NCPC's site.) The NCPC can produce 99 out of 100 pamphlets that are gun rights neutral, but guess which one is going to receive the widest distribution?

So what can gun rights activists do? 

Tell the Department of Justice to Stop Throwing Your Money in the Toilet Although the bottom of this page has possible NCPC contact points, it is probably far more fruitful to contact John Ashcroft's Department of Justice. The CPC is substantially funded and chaired by the Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice (see structure). (Ideally, the government would stop funding the CPC entirely, but at least the gun demonizing propaganda should be stopped.)

It's a shame that even something as simple as gun safety has to be politicized. The "blood" of gun violence victims is not on the hands or the consciences of gun rights supporters, but on those who have refused to acknowledge, preserve, and guarantee the rights of law-abiding gun owners. (It also lies with the ignorant and apathetic who do nothing.)

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The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops. Noah Webster, An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution Proposed BV the Late Convention (1787).

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