Dems Want $60M for CDC to Study Gun Violence

Dems Want $60M for CDC to Study Gun Violence
Sen. Edward Markey. photo from guns.comweb photo

A proposal was debuted by 30 senators and House democrats this week that would allot $60 million over six years for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study firearms safety and “gun violence prevention.”

According to this story from guns.com, Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) are backing the legislation, along with a host of other lawmakers.

"Gun violence is ending lives and shattering families in Massachusetts and across our country," said Markey in the story. "Now more than ever we must study the causes of gun violence and what can be done to prevent it. No one should be afraid of more non-partisan, scientific research into this vital issue—not Republicans, not the NRA, and not President Trump."

The measure would set aside $10 million in funding each year for FY2018-2023 to be added to the CDC's budget, earmarked for gun research, the story says.

S.834, which you can read in its entirety here, is supported by a number of health care lobby groups and gun control organizations including the Newtown Action Alliance, Everytown, Moms Demand Action, the Brady Campaign, Americans for Responsible Solutions, and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

“Gun violence kills more than 90 Americans and injures hundreds more each day, and yet it remains one of the most underfunded areas of public health research,” said Sarah Tofe, research director for Everytown in a statement emailed to Guns.com. “The legislation introduced today would appropriate necessary and long overdue funds to the CDC to reclaim their leadership when it comes to gun violence prevention research – a role that has been decimated for more than two decades thanks to a relentless campaign by gun lobby-backed legislators.”

Tofe is rounding up her math based on an often cited but erroneous statistic that says about 30,000 Americans are shot and killed each year. In reality, nearly 70 percent of that number is composed of suicides, while the remaining figure includes accidents, gang murders, and police shootings. In truth, a little over 10,000 people not affiliated with gangs are murdered with firearms each year in a country of over 350 million.

What if the metric of what should be funded and studied by the CDC is the number of lives it costs annually? According to this story from npr.org, 38,300 people were killed in motor vehicle incidents on U.S. roads in 2015, and a stunning 4.4 million people were seriously injured. That's 104 people dead each day at the expense of getting from here to there, with another 12,054 severely injured between every sunrise and sunset. Perhaps that funding would be better spent on researching safer roadways, vehicles, and transportation systems.

The guns.com story says gun rights groups say the nation's murder rate and rate of fatal gun accidents have both fallen dramatically since the 1990s as gun sales have skyrocketed.