Report: Congress to Fund Gun-Violence Research for First Time Since 1996
House Democratic aides revealed on Monday that Congress would allocate $25 million to federal agencies to study gun violence, the first step towards addressing preventable mass shootings in over two decades, according to New York Magazine.
The package will be split evenly between the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health to study how to prevent gun violence in the U.S., which has a higher rate of violent gun deaths per capita than Iraq and Afghanistan.
Of the 30 causes of death studied in the U.S., gun violence is at the very bottom. Although it contributed almost 40,000 deaths in 2017, the highest toll since 1968, the Washington Post noted, “As many people die because of gun violence, for example, as of sepsis infection, yet funding for gun research is less than 1 percent of that for sepsis.”
The late Republican representative Jay Dickey expressed regret for his contribution to a 1996 budget rider, dubbed the Dickey Amendment, effectively banned the use of federal funds to research anything that would “advocate or promote gun control.”
The research package is half of what Democrats pushed for, but Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut said in a statement that the research would help legislators “better understand the correlation between domestic violence and gun violence, how Americans can more safely store guns, and how we can intervene to reduce suicide by firearms.”
Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy said, “It’s not often that you can feel a seismic political shift at the very moment it’s happening… Our movement is winning. It’s just the start.”
The seventh anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting, which left 20 children and six adults dead, took place Saturday.