No longer acceptable
The letter to the editor “The gun-control agenda” (CHN, Aug. 17) asserts that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research on firearms deaths in the 1990s was motivated by politics, not objective research.
The CDC abides by strict procedural controls when selecting research topics. What inhibited objective research was the National Rifle Association’s 1996 Congressional allies stripping the CDC funding for gun violence research. The message was clear: further firearms research would endanger the entire agency’s funding. Yes, politics was involved – but it was the politics of the gun lobby.
The CDC’s Injury Center is the largest organization worldwide focused on the prevention of violence and unintentional injury as a public health issue. It researches important causes of death, such as drug overdoses, motor vehicle accidents and traumatic brain injuries. However, it cannot focus on a leading cause of death among young Americans: firearm injuries.
I whole-heartedly agree that taxpayer money should not drive any political agenda. However, when it comes to the safety and well-being of my children, my community, and my country, I believe our support for public health issues must be even-handed and comprehensive.
Even the author of the 1996 NRA-backed restrictions, Republican Jay Dickey of Arkansas, publicly reversed his position after witnessing the exceptional rate of gun violence in this country. He concluded “doing nothing is no longer an acceptable solution.” I couldn’t agree more: we need objective research on the crisis of firearm injuries and deaths in our country.
Rather than do nothing, I volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America working on evidence-based, common-sense solutions to prevent gun violence and invite others to join me (http://momsdemandaction.org/).
Isabel R. Geffner
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