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Gun Control

  • Gun Violence Research Gets Little Support, So States Step In  Washington Post by Michael Ollove — As deaths from mass shootings have mounted across the United States, some states are moving to collect hard data to guide their decisions about guns — even as the federal government has retreated from such research in the face of pressure from pro-gun groups. The New Jersey legislature, for example, is weighing a measure that would create a gun-violence research center at Rutgers University. The center would be modeled on the new Firearm Violence Prevention Research Center at the University of California at Davis, which launched last summer with $5 million in state money over five years. The impetus for both initiatives is a vacuum created by the federal government's virtual abandonment of research into gun violence — its causes, its patterns, its perpetrators, its victims and the best ways, based on scientific evidence, to curtail it.

  • Congress Quashed Research Into Gun Violence. Since Then, 600,000 People Have Been Shot  New York Times by Sheila Kaplan — The NRA pushed Congress in 1995 to stop the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from spending taxpayer money on research that advocated gun control. Congress then passed the Dickey Amendment in 1996, and cut funding that effectively ended the CDC's study of gun violence as a public health issue. The result is that 22 years and more than 600,000 gunshot victims later, much of the federal government has largely abandoned efforts to learn why people shoot one another, or themselves, and what can be done to prevent gun violence. The Dickey Amendment technically did not ban gun research, only advocacy. Its real goal — one it easily achieved, according to public health officials in place at the time — was to scare federal agencies into thinking twice about even collecting data that might reflect badly on gun ownership.

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