Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Doctors call for end to ban on gun violence research funding | US news | The Guardian

Pro-gun members of Congress have for twenty years blocked the Centers for Disease Control from studying gun violence as a public health issue. -gwc
Doctors' groups join Democrats to end ban on gun violence research funding | US news | The Guardian
by Sabrina Siddiqui

Doctors’ groups joined Democrats on Wednesday in calling on the US Congress to lift the ban on the use of federal funds for gun violence research.

A collection of physicians’ groups delivered a petition to the US Capitol signed by more than 2,000 doctors across America seeking a reversal of a 20-year ban that prohibits the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct research on gun violence.

A handful of House Democrats and physician advocates spoke on Capitol Hill about the urgency of reducing gun violence, which the doctors present said was now a public health crisis in America. Their comments came less than a week after a gunman opened fire at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, leaving three dead. Mere hours after the event, news broke of a mass shooting in San Bernadino, California, where multiple victims were reported.

 “Gun violence is a public health problem that kills 90 Americans a day,” said Dr Alice Chen, executive director of the lobby group Doctors for America. “Physicians believe it’s time to lift this effective ban and fund the research needed to save lives. We urge Congress to put patients over politics to help find solutions to our nation’s gun violence crisis.”

Congress passed the ban on federally funded gun violence research in 1996 amid pressure from the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun lobbyists. Efforts to overturn the ban by Democrats in the House of Representatives have so far been thwarted by Republicans, who have dismissed the link between gun violence and public health.

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