Research needed to inform policies to reduce gun violence

Research needed to inform policies to reduce gun violence

Gun Rights

People applaud Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior Aalayah Eastmond after she testified before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence, at Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. Despite strong public support for universal background checks for firearm purchases and presidential support for red flag laws , we are not optimistic about Congress passing legislation to restrict gun access or firepower. But, one thing both parties should agree upon is the need to study gun violence. There is a glimmer of hope. An omnibus funding bill passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump in March 2018 included language clarifying that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the authority to conduct research into the causes of gun violence. However, it did not include funding for that research. Congress has to approve the funds for the CDC’s research activities, so the language change is meaningless without specified funds. CDC Director Robert Redfield said the agency is ready to do this research, but it needs money from Congress to fund it. “Basically, what we need to do is get a funding mechanism for Congress to instruct us to do that research,” he told CBS News last year. There is progress on this front. In June, the U.S. House passed a measure to allocate $50 million toward research into gun violence and safety. The money would go to the CDC and National Institutes of Health. Maine Reps. Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree voted for the bill. […]

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