The refusal of many, mainly Republican politicians, to refuse to look for solutions for our society’s gun problems adds to the tragedy of Las Vegas, and all of the many mass shootings in the United States. It is simply callous and self serving to suggest that it isn’t appropriate to have these discussions immediately after such an event.
I have been involved in medical research most of my life, and have seen the value of the results of such research not only from our lab, but from the entire global medical community in all aspects of medicine. It is simply an outrage that the National Rifle Association (NRA)’s powerful lobby can block the most obvious thing to do, which is fund research into the causes and prevention of gun violence.
“Infuriated by CDC-funded research suggesting that having firearms in the home sharply increased the risks of homicide, the NRA goaded Congress in 1996 into stripping the injury center’s funding for gun violence research – $2.6 million. Congress then passed a measure drafted by then-Rep. Jay Dickey (R-Ark.) forbidding the CDC to spend funds ‘to advocate or promote gun control.’ ”
The NRA has blocked gun violence research for 20 years. Let’s end its stranglehold on science, Los Angeles Times, June 14, 2016
This is simply inexcusable. There is no possible justification to prevent efforts to try to understand why gun violence occurs, and explore how to reduce it.
As yesterday’s article in the Washington Post, Australian foreign minister to the U.S.: We can offer advice on gun law reform explains, Australia has not had another mass shooting since gun laws were enacted in the late 1990s:
“What Australia can do is share our experience after the mass killing in Port Arthur back in the late 1990s, when 35 people were killed by a lone gunman,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said during an interview with Australia’s Channel 9 television station on Tuesday.
“You will recall that [Prime Minister] John Howard then introduced national gun laws, which banned automatic and semiautomatic weapons and included a national buyback scheme. We have had this experience. We acted with a legislative response.”
As Diane Randall, Executive Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) writes, “The mass shooting in Las Vegas is a national tragedy. It also brutally lays bare our elected officials’ failure to act on gun violence.” https://www.fcnl.org/updates/the-failure-to-act-on-gun-violence-1062