Gun violence in the United States claims more than 90 lives every single day, with another 200 or so suffering non-lethal injuries. Of the 33,000 Americans killed by guns each year, 22,000 are by suicide. Mass shootings at schools, hospitals, night clubs, churches, and concerts are constant reminders of the threats we all face from gun violence.
Since 1996, Congress has included language in all appropriations bills that states, “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. Although vague in its specifics, the “Dickey amendment” as it is known, has had a lasting and chilling effect on the sponsoring of evidence-based gun violence research by the federal government. For more than 20 years, this has essentially prevented study into the root causes of gun violence as well as strategies to mitigate it.
The Gun Violence Research Act (H.R. 1478) would repeal this language in future appropriations bills, paving the way for federal agencies like the CDC, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other offices to either conduct or sponsor evidence-based research into the causes of gun violence and ways we can reduce fatalities and injuries.
Emergency nurses are on the frontlines of this epidemic, witnessing firsthand the devastating effects gun violence has on victims and their families. Your voice is critical in raising awareness on this issue.
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