19th Dec 2019

Federal Budget Includes $25 Million for Gun Violence Research

Source Credit to gunsamerica.com by LEVI SIM on DECEMBER 18, 2019

(Photo: Levi Sim)

It’s that time of year, again: The federal government is in danger of shutting down if budgets aren’t ratified by this Friday.

The House of Representatives passed a $1.37 trillion spending package on Tuesday. It includes money for President Trump’s border wall, increasing the age for buying tobacco from 18 to 21, and $25 million for research on gun violence.

The money allotted for gun-violence research is to be divided between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The idea is to use the money to research all the underlying causes of firearm fatalities and injuries in the U.S.

“It’s discovering what science can do for a problem like this. If you look at what science can do for heart disease, for cancer. It’s saved tens of thousands of lives,” Mark Rosenberg, former director of CDC research on firearm violence, told USA Today.

“This is going to unlock a vein of pure gold that people on both sides of the aisle will appreciate,” he added.

Ideally, scientists gathering information should not be a threat to anyone. Science should lead to making informed decisions. The problem, of course, is that anti-gun lawmakers, advocates, and media personalities often misrepresent the truth to push a gun-banning agenda.

For instance, other media outlets report today that 40,000 Americans are killed each year by gun violence. They cite a report from the CDC about 2017’s records.

However, that was specific to 2017, not “each year,” and nearly 60 percent of those deaths were suicides, which has much more to do with mental health than it does with purported “lax gun laws.”

Injury Deaths Involving Firearms in 2017
Total deaths
Untintentional
Suicide
Homicide
Undetermined
Legal Intervention/War
(Source: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_09-508.pdf, page 51)

Government-funded research into gun violence was significantly reduced over the past three decades after the passage of the 1996 Dickey Amendment.

The Amendment was enacted to prevent agencies like the CDC or the NIH from promoting or advocating for gun control. It was not designed to dry up funding for research but that’s what happened.

Last year, lawmakers edited the language of the Amendment to make it clear that the Fed could appropriate money to study the underlying causes of gun deaths and gun-related injuries in America.

And now it’s moving forward with that initial $25 million. (Maybe it’s just me but that seems like a big check to cut to tell us what we already know: the vast majority of violence, including gun violence, is fueled by gangs and drugs — including alcohol. Crackdown on violent gangs and get more people to embrace a sober lifestyle and violence across the board will decline. It’s not rocket science.)

Anyway, the 2020 spending bill has passed the House, but it must pass the Senate and be signed by President Trump by Friday, or else the government may be shut down. Again.