20 Year Funding Ban on Gun Violence Research


Every so often we stumble upon information capable of stopping us dead in our tracks. It happened this evening – walked in from work to find an emailed link from my husband. A Washington Post article appeared, the headline read –

Hours Before San Bernardino Shooting, Doctors Urged Congress to Lift Funding Ban on Gun Violence Research

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/12/02/hours-before-san-bernardino-mass-shooting-doctors-were-on-capitol-hill-petitioning-congress-to-lift-ban-on-gun-violence-research/

WTF? Gun violence research is banned in America? How is this possible? Gun rights activists, supporters and lobbyists produce parades of statistics supporting a decline in violence. Tireless assertions of “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” wait in ambush for gun reform sentiment. Mental health, not guns are to blame – reality of gun rights activism, the truth behind bat shit I scrape off my wall.

A few hours before the San Bernardino mass shooting, advocacy group Doctors for America , American College of Preventative Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics handed Congress a petition signed by 2000 doctors. The petition demanded an end to the Dickey Amendment of 1996, a federal law stating in part –

“none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

To comprehend the scope of this statement, we need to understand driving force and consequences. In 1993 CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention funded a study concluding an increased risk of homicide in homes with firearms. The NRA went ballistic, lobbying government to shut down the National Center for Injury Prevention. Enter Republican Congressman Jay Dickey from Arkansas. Dickey penned a congressional compromise, the Dickey Amendment became law in 1996. Wary of magnitude and influence of an increasingly powerful NRA lobby, gun violence researchers chose abandoning studies over risking loss of federal research funds. ( In 2013 the CDC budget was $6.3 billion, employing 14,000 at city, state and national levels – far too much to risk on pissing off the NRA )

From Huffington Post article linked below –

“Well over half a million people have died by firearms since 1996, when the ban on gun violence research was enacted, according to a HuffPost calculation of data through 2013 from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to its sponsors, the Dickey Amendment was supposed to tamp down funding for what the National Rifle Association and other critics claimed was anti-gun advocacy research by the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention. In effect, it stopped federal gun violence research almost entirely.”

I urge you to read this article – hang on to your trousers when you reach the part re a 2011 New York Times article claiming –

“But there’s also also apparent reluctance on the part of the agency to re-enter the political fray. As the New York Times reported in 2011, the CDC tips off the NRA as a courtesy when any affiliated researchers publish firearm-related studies. And even after President Barack Obama (D) issued an executive order following the Sandy Hook massacre, calling for the CDC to “sponsor research into the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it,” the agency still hasn’t returned to studying gun violence.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dickey-amendment-gun-violence-research-ban_us_56606201e4b072e9d1c4eaaa

 

 

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