The federal government has largely maintained their deadly silence on the subject of gun reform, save for the occasional mention that gun reform is a “state by state issue.”
Well, now seven governors from seven of those states are teaming up and fighting back.
The seven heroes are launching a consortium to study gun violence, a practice currently banned on the federal level. Their hope is to fill the gaps left by the 1996 decision which barred CDC funding from gun research, a policy pushed by the NRA.
An amendment inserted into the omnibus spending bill that year says, “None of the funds made available in this title may be used, in whole or in part, to advocate or promote gun control.”
A recent government funding bill passed earlier this year included language clarifying that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can study gun violence. Prior to the 2018 decision, the amendment had continually been renewed. Though it doesn’t explicitly ban the research, public health advocates and Democrats argue it’s facilitated a chilling effect on the research for over two decades
Now, these brave governors are hoping to use the new clarification to their advantage.
Incumbent New York Governor Cuomo, who has been (thankfully) pushed quite far to the left by primary challenger Cynthia Nixon, had this to say on the consortium:
“The federal government’s continued inaction on this issue has not only allowed the epidemic of gun violence to spread, but it has left it to the states to provide the leadership needed to confront this problem head on. The consortium is a major step in our multi-state partnership to research responsible gun safety legislation and take new steps to prevent illegal guns from crossing state lines.”
New York and its Governor Cuomo are joined in the consortium by five other states, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Delaware, and the territory Puerto Rico. Researchers from each state will analyze different types of gun violence and collect data in the hopes of finally compiling the necessary data to help combat America’s deadly epidemic.
There’s no doubt that this important push has been fueled by the brave survivors-turned-activists of the Parkland Massacre, who have taken the gun control debate further than anyone has managed to since Columbine almost twenty years ago.
Now that politicians have jumped on the bandwagon, perhaps some much-needed change is truly on its way.