PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Letters

Prohibited research

By From page A5 | April 28, 2014

EDITOR:

Larry Weitzman was at his polemic best while ranting about a Harvard University student stating in an article in the Harvard Crimson that a standard of “academic justice” should be applied to research promoting or justifying oppression to ensure that such research does not continue (Mountain Democrat, April 7).

This is neither a liberal nor conservative idea and should be anathema to all of us. If research promoting racism, sexism or other subjects that we find abhorrent is published or espoused, we should properly refute the research rather than prohibiting it.

It is breathtaking and comical how Mr. Weitzman moves from the suppression of research to the burning of books by oppressive thinkers (including Thomas Jefferson), to the abolition of academic freedom, to the confiscation, then abolition, of property, to taking control of the airwaves to control speech, to control of the Internet, and to implanting electronic devices in all newborn babies to monitor their movements, associations and learn their thoughts. Wow.

Yes, he did say all these things. And all because the author of the Crimson article is a radical liberal if not socialist/communist. No wonder Mr. Weitzman is so frightened of progressives.

Unfortunately, one does not have to look far to find suppression of research. There is an urgent need for research on the public health aspects of gun violence to devise procedures to mitigate it. Important data collection on gun violence was being performed in the 1990s by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention until Congress, allied with the NRA, passed legislation that stopped funding the research. Since then all Centers of the National Institutes of Health have been given similar treatment. Other funding sources are not available for such extensive studies. These data are essential to gain a better understanding of the causes of gun violence and ways to mitigate it, but the NRA wishes to suppress such research rather than dealing with the results.

JOHN HERRMAN
Placerville

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