Reps. Maloney & Cicilline Lead Over 60 Members of Congress to Push for Gun Violence Research
WASHINGTON, DC—Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) and Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) led 61 of their colleagues to push for funding for public health research on gun violence at the CDC.
In a letter to House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education, and Related Agencies leaders, the Members urged Congress to make public health investments in measures to evaluate the epidemic levels of gun violence in America, and possible solutions. The full letter can be found here.
“Gun violence is truly a public health epidemic—it claims the lives of more of our young people than cancer,” said Rep. Maloney. “Yet for too long we’ve let senseless political scores get in the way of the public health research we need to fully address this crisis. The gag order backed by the NRA and its allies in Congress has frozen this research for more than two decades, and we are less safe because of it. A small investment in public health research this year can help stem this tide of violence and find innovative solutions to make our communities safer.”
“Far too many families have been ravaged by the epidemic of gun violence in cities and towns all across this country. This is a public health crisis and we need to address it. That’s why it is so disgraceful that Congress continues to prohibit research on the causes of gun violence,” said Cicilline, who serves as Vice Chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force in the House. “Nothing is more important than ensuring the safety of our communities. This funding is critical to ensuring that we finally put a stop to this shameful situation.”
Rep. Maloney has also introduced bicameral legislation with Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) to authorize dedicated funding for gun violence prevention research, of which Rep. Cicilline is a co-sponsor.
President Obama included $10 million for gun violence research in his administration’s budgets following the Sandy Hook tragedy as part of the Now is the Time initiative, but Congress continually failed to appropriate these funds.
In 2013, as part of the initiative, the Institute of Medicine developed a research agenda on gun violence, but funding is needed to begin this important work.
Since the mid-1990s, federal funding for gun violence research has almost halted entirely in response to pressure from the pro-gun lobby. As a result, policymakers, doctors, counselors, and others lack comprehensive, scientific information about the causes and characteristics of gun violence, or the best strategies to prevent future tragedies.