A proposal to designate $10 million for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for gun violence research in the 2018-19 federal budget was blocked by Republican members of the House Appropriations Committee—a move that Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s David Hemenway called “very sad.”
“It’s just very sad because we have an enormous gun violence problem in the United States, and the federal government is hardly studying the problem,” said Hemenway, professor of health policy in the Department of Health Policy and Management and director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, in a July 12, 2018 CNN article. “Virtually in any other area, when it’s a big public health problem, we want to get our best scientists and our best data and figure out what’s going on and what can be done to ameliorate the problem. Here, we don’t seem to want to do that.”
Federal funding for gun research has been limited since 1996, when a Congressional budget rider called the Dickey Amendment—named for its sponsor, the late Republican Rep. Jay Dickey of Arkansas—forbade the CDC to use funds “to advocate or promote gun control.” Although Republican leaders agreed in March to a one-line clarification of the Dickey Amendment stating that the CDC is indeed permitted to conduct firearm-related violence research, public health experts have maintained that not much has changed because no funding has been provided for such research.
Read the CNN article: Gun violence research funding gets snub from House Appropriations Committee
Why there’s so little gun violence research (Harvard Chan School news)
Federal funding needed for gun violence research (Harvard Chan School news)