Let the CDC Conduct Research on Gun Violence: End the Dickey Amendment
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not been able to do any research on gun violence in America since the Dickey Amendment was inserted into the federal spending bill in 1996. The amendment states that “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be used to advocate or promote gun control.” In the same spending bill Congress moved the $2.6 million from the CDC's budget that was used to study gun violence into other areas.
While the Dickey Amendment does not completely prohibit gun violence research, its removal of all CDC funding has created a strong deterrent against researching gun violence at all. Beyond the lack of funding, prospective researchers have faced literal death threats while pursuing research into gun violence. Our representatives in Congress refuse to have any real debates about gun use in America because they state that there is just not enough research into the matter. The only way to fix this problem is to have Congress repeal the Dickey Amendment and to put funding back into the research of firearms and gun related deaths. Only then will we have enough research to figure out why mass shootings, and the deadly use of firearms in general, is so common in America.
Even the original writer of the amendment, former Rep. Jay Dickey of Arkansas, whom it is named after now regrets the limitations it has created in conducting research into the matter. He simply didn't want to “let any of those dollars go to gun control advocacy.” The problem is that the amendment stopped all research on gun violence and because of that we are lacking a lot of key information that could help not only Congress, but the American public, understand why this violence keeps happening. Even the American Medical Association has called gun violence a “public health crisis” so it should receive the same amount of funding and research as any other health crisis so we find the underlying problem. Examining the impact of firearms from a public health perspective is not an argument for or against anything. It is simply a means by which arguments can, and should, be informed. It is about gaining knowledge so we can have a better understanding of how to help the American people.
Please sign this petition and let our representatives in Congress know that we wish to repeal the Dickey Amendment and to put funding back into the research of gun violence in America.
*Please also contact your local representative and let them know that you wish to have the Dickey Amendment repealed: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
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