The NRA has funded a ban on federal funding for gun violence research. Congress, backed by the NRA, voted to ban federal funding for gun violence research. According to an Institute of Medicine panel report there is a clear research agenda for answering life and death questions about gun violence. But in order fir any study to happen, Congress needs to lift the NRA funded ban.
The panel convened in response to President Obama’s directive that the CDC develope a plan for research on gun violence. It was tasked with developing a list of questions about gun violence that haven’t been sufficiently examined by current research. Since the 1990’s the NRA supported legislation has stripped the CDC of $2.5 million in grant money. That is the exact amount the CDC had for gun violence research. The legislation also stipulated that no funds made acailable for injury prevention and control at the CDC may be used or advocated to promote gun control.
Federal funding makes up 60% of all support for acedemic research. The federal ban has crippled research in a field as specific as the effects of gun violence. Today there are fewer than 20 acedemics working on gun violence. Very odd for something that causes 32, 000 American deaths per year.
Because of this ban there is a whole in the data about gun possession, distribution, ownership, aquisition and storage. What data there is, is weak and of little use. The panel identified 14 priority areas for federal research. For example, Improve the understanding of whether reducing criminal access to legally purchased guns reduces gun violence. Are there methods to enhance the reporting of stolen guns in order to reduce illegal access. To what degree would mandatory reporting of private ownership of guns be effective in reducing illegal access.
Despite the gaping hole in gun violence research, there is string evidence of a few things. Counties with more guns typically have more crime. The best available evidence suggests that background checks significantly reduce gun homicides. Stopping criminals from breaking once they have broken into your home with your gun is very uncommon, in fact the evidence suggesting that is dubious. Since Sandy Hook, more than 4, 200 have been killed by gun violence. There was also a spree of accidental shootings at gun shows. As well as children shooting other children.
What is unfortunate here is the incredible power lobbyist have over the laws governing our country. The NRA asserted their power by paying over $300, 000 to Senators before the Manchin/Toomey Gun Bill vote. The Republicans say they stand up for the 2nd Amendment, but they only seem to stand for the second part of it. But I guess that is what they are payed to do, not by the people but by their corporate sponsors. A few of the Democrats are just as bad, voting against their party and President Obama. There was a lot of solidarity shown for a change on the Democrats side. This debate is not over and the NRA will lose. We need to stay persistent and believe or your neighbor will be parking a rank in their driveway.