In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history in Orlando, FL, the American Medical Association voted overwhelmingly June 14, 2016 to call on Congress to lift the decades-old ban on federal funding on gun research.
Since 1996, there has been an effective “ban” by a lack of funding of CDC research on gun violence. The story dates back to 1996 when the National Rifle Association (NRA) became upset after Centers for Disease Control (CDC)-funded research suggested that having firearms in the home sharply increased the risks of homicide. The NRA then successfully got Congress to remove the CDC’s funding for gun violence research which at time amounted to $2.6 million a year. Congress then passed a measure called the Dickey Amendment (drafted by then-Rep. Jay Dickey (R-Ga.)) which stated the CDC can not use spend funds “to advocate or promote gun control.”
After nearly two decades of “gun-shy” (pun intended) CDC directors who refused to take on the issue, the Newtown massacre of schoolchildren in 2012 occurred and President Obama issued an executive order instructing the CDC to “conduct or sponsor research into the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it.” The CDC however does not have any funding to cover the research and Congress has repeatedly rejected bills to provide up to $10 million of funding for the research.
More than 30,000 Americans die each year from guns used in homicides and suicides. The United States has some of the highest death rates from guns in the world and seven times as high as our neighbors to the north, Canada. Pediatric deaths are also particularly high.
This is not a constitutional issue but just a way to look at ways to decrease gun violence in the U.S.