In the wake of last month’s Parkland, Florida gun massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Democrats in Congress have won Republican cooperation on a provision in the upcoming government funding package that releases the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDA) from restrictions that barred it from conducting research on gun violence for 22 years.
Congressional Republican leaders finally relented on the 1996 Dickey Amendment barring exploration on the correlation between gun ownership and deaths around the country, agreeing to loosen its restrictions, but not repeal it altogether.
Congress has renewed the Dickey Amendment every year since its inception, including its stipulation that, “None of the funds made available in this title may be used, in whole or in part, to advocate or promote gun control,” essentially freezing funding for research on this life-or-death issue.
President Obama requested $10 million a year for the CDC to research gun violence and prevention, but the congressional Republican majority refused four years in a row.
Parkland students have galvanized a massive public outcry against the NRA and their Republican henchmen since the school shooting that killed 14 students and 3 teachers. Celebrities have donated to and offered to walk alongside the kids at the March for our Lives in Washington, D.C. and sister cities this coming Saturday.
While the children’s activism has catalyzed a preliminary shift from Florida Republicans like Governor Rick Scott and Senator Marco Rubio, the U.S. Congress has not made any credible moves toward proposing sensible gun laws.
Meanwhile, the White House has proposed putting more guns in schools, rather than fewer, to help the gun lobby profit still more from the slaughters they cause.
The United States is the gun death capital of the developed world. While adults have played dumb, the next generation is stepping up, so they no longer have to live in terror as they walk from classroom to classroom.
Hopefully, Republican agreement on the need to fund gun control research bodes well for possible progress on even more meaningful gun legislation in the future.
If you would like to donate to or participate in the March for our Lives this weekend, please click here.