In December, Congress earmarked $25 million for research on gun violence. It’s the first time such an earmark was made in ages and marked a great victory in the minds of anti-gunners everywhere. After all, these are people who argued that gun research was stifled by federal law and see this as a great uncorking of that bottle.
Of course, there are plenty of lies floating around in the media about that $25 million.
While researchers have long said the gun violence problem should be evaluated like any other public health epidemic, there’s been meager funding for research for the past two decades.
That’s finally changing.
In December, Congress approved $25 million in federal funding to study gun safety. The money, to be split evenly between the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will be used to examine gun violence from a public health perspective.
Experts in the field concede the amount is small in comparison to the scope of the issue but are celebrating it as a watershed moment for gun safety. They say researchers may finally be able to answer basic questions about gun ownership and evaluate the effectiveness of firearm policies and violence prevention efforts.
“There are, without a doubt, thousands of people who are dead today who would be alive if we had been able to continue to do what we have been able to do for other health problems – to research the problem,” said Garen Wintemute, an emergency physician and director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis.