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Ban on CDC gun violence research persists

BuzzFeed: The Government’s Two-Decade Ban On Studying Gun Violence Was Supposed To End. It Hasn’t. “In March, Congress gave CDC the green light to study the causes of gun violence. One month later there is no sign of that work starting, and there is little research on what causes America’s high gun death rates…The federal government is still not researching the root causes of gun violence and appears to have no plans to do so, despite Congress freeing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to finally study the issue one month ago. The US has a much higher rate of gun deaths than the rest of the developed world, with around 40,000 shooting deaths recorded each year. But despite gun violence being one of the most hotly debated public safety issues, there has been hardly any federal research on the topic because of a two-decades-old amendment passed by Congress that bans the CDC from spending any money to “advocate or promote gun control.” Since Congress passed that ban in 1996, the CDC has avoided researching guns beyond some basic data collection. As a result, there are massive scientific gaps in what we know about gun violence in America. One study found that gun violence kills about as many people as sepsis, yet has 0.7% as much research funding. There was hope that this would change. New Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told a congressional committee in February that he believed the CDC should do more research into gun violence. Then in March Congress gave the CDC the green light. The $1.3 trillion spending bill Trump signed into law came with guidance from the House Rules Committee explicitly stating that the CDC “has the authority to conduct research on the causes of gun violence.” Despite this, it appears that nothing has changed…”

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