What can we learn about gun violence?
In 2018, Congress revised the Dickey Amendment, a law passed in 1996 that prohibited the Center for Disease Control and Prevention from using federal funds intended for injury prevention from being used to advocate for gun control. In effect, any study of gun violence and the problems it causes in our society was shut down from 1996 until 2018.
Today, the CDC can research gun violence, as long as it isn’t lobbying for gun control. About $50 million has been approved for such research in 2020 and 2021.
There is so much we need to know about gun violence, and we need some comprehensive research if we are to find any effective way to stop the mass shootings that have been taking place throughout the country.
First, we could use some definitive data on just how many people are killed or injured by guns. With the CDC sidelined for 22 yaers, there have been various law enforcement studies, and advocacy groups keeping count, but we need a single, standard accounting.
Then, we need to figure out what is driving this violence, and find ways to combat it.
Congress should be able to find some funds besides the $50 million in spare change that was already allocated for this important research.