Washington – House and Senate Republicans decided to keep in place a 17-year-old ban on using any government funds for research into lessening gun violence.
The recently released omnibus bill, which would release a congressional ban on any money for the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health to do gun violence research was passes by house republicans.
In 1996, former Representative Jay Dickey of Arkansas authored an amendment that essentially banned the Centers for Disease Control from conducting research on gun violence. Congress removed the CDC’s $2.6 million budget for research into this subject in 1997, after the National Rifle Association (NRA) asked for congressional intervention.
Now, when mass shooting reports are happening everywhere in the United States and school shootings have been happening with regularity for year and the data of the problem are alarming. According to by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there are about 33,636 gun deaths a year in the United States and there here are another 180,000 or so people injured by firearms annually in the country. Of the 33,636 deaths from firearms counted in 2013, 21,175 were suicides, 11,208 were murders, 748 were motive undetermined, and 505 were accidents.
On the other hand, it appears that nothing is really being done to solve the problem. There is no national registry of victims of firearm violence, comparable to the registry we have to follow victims of the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks, or to any number of other large-scale health threats, but not gums. The consequences of gun violence are essentially limited to statistics on firearm deaths and injuries. While gun violence is a public health problem, it is not studied the same way other public health problems are.
Gun control advocates, politicians and public in general intend to chance this. In In the wake of a school shooting in Oregon this fall for a moment it appeared that congress was willing to undo the research ban that prevents the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from conducting gun-related research.
Along with gun control activist, presidential candidates from both parties such as Hillary Clinton and Ben Carson said it was time to reconsider the bill and even the original author of the ban, Jay Dickey called on lawmakers to undo it.
“Back in 1998, I took part in cutting off gun violence research dollars at the federal level because of what was considered a misapplication of the dollars by the CDC. I have recently expressed my regrets that we didn’t continue that research with the provision that nothing shall be done in this project to infringe the rights of gun ownership as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution in the Second Amendment,” Dickey wrote in a letter.
Bus despite all the arguments House Republicans refuse to even take the most basic steps to help lesson this loss of life Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force said.
“No one can offer one good reason to keep this ban in place. This rider has prohibited experts at the CDC from reaching the causes and best ways to prevent gun violence for nearly 20 years. The omnibus bill gave us a chance to fix that, but once again Republicans refused to simply get out of the way and let our experts do what they do best — conduct research that will save some lives.” Thompson added.
The only information people know about is the number of deaths injured by gun. There is no data about the psychological consequences of firearm violence, either among those injured or among their loved ones. There is no information on how common substances such as alcohol influence on the risk of firearm homicide or suicide. There is no information about the real costs of firearm violence, including physical, mental and community harms linked to firearms and politicians, gun control activists and the general citizen believes it is time to change that.
Source: The Huffington Post