Let the CDC, NIH do their jobs

editorial, Daily Local News, 12/11/15, originally “One crucial step that could be taken to understand gun violence,” Brattleboro Reformer, 12/9/15

There is one immediate step that could help us understand America’s obsession with guns and its repercussions on our society, well-being and sense of safety.

As Jared Keller notes for Pacific Standard Magazine, that immediate step is repealing the Dickey Amendment, the 1996 appropriations rider, named for former Rep. Jay Dickey, that effectively bans the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health from researching the causes of gun violence.

Just a few hours before the nation was forced to bear witness to yet another mass shooting, wrote Keller, a group of citizens called on legislators in Washington, D.C., to do something about gun violence. In a letter addressed to Congress, nine medical associations called for a repeal of the Dickey Amendment. This sentiment has been echoed by legislators over the years, most recently Rep. Jackie Speier of California, who wrote the nation spends “$240 million a year on traffic safety research, more than $233 million a year on food safety, and $331 million a year on the effects of tobacco, but almost nothing on firearms that kill 33,000 Americans annually.”…

read more at Brattleboro Reformer

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