‘This is about sav­ing lives’

DeLauro calls for $50M in pub­lic fund­ing to re­search gun vi­o­lence

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ben Lam­bert

NEW HAVEN — U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro called on her col­leagues in Congress on Fri­day to sup­port the ap­pro­pri­a­tion of $50 mil­lion to re­search a “pub­lic health emer­gency in our coun­try” — gun vi­o­lence — that has gone ne­glected for decades.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment has been hes­i­tant to fund re­search into as­pects of gun vi­o­lence for decades, ac­cord­ing to DeLauro, D-3, and those who joined her Fri­day, af­ter the 1996 pas­sage of the Dickey Amend­ment.

As a re­sult, ma­jor is­sues, from the cor­re­la­tion be­tween gun vi­o­lence and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence to the ris­ing rate of sui­cides by firearm to the im­pact of trauma on emer­gency re­spon­ders, med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als and ev­ery­day peo­ple, have not been well con­sid­ered by re­searchers.

Now, fund­ing has been al­lo­cated by the sub­com­mit­tee that funds the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion and Na­tional In­sti­tute of Health, DeLauro said. But the House and Se­nate still have to weigh in on the is­sue.

“This is an is­sue that is of cen­tral im­por­tance to our com­mu­nity, to Connecticu­t, and our coun­try,” said DeLauro. “We need ded­i­cated pub­lic dol­lars to re­search the epi­demic of gun vi­o­lence, as we would do with any other pub­lic health emer­gency.”

As de­scribed by NPR, the Dickey Amend­ment in­di­cates that “none of the funds given to the CDC for in­jury preven­tion could be used to ad­vo­cate for or pro­mote gun con­trol.”

While the amend­ment “did not ex­plic­itly for­bid re­search into gun-re­lated deaths, just ad­vo­cacy,” as de­scribed by The At­lantic, “Congress also low­ered the CDC’s bud­get by the ex­act amount it spent on such re­search” at the time, which led to “a chill­ing ef­fect on the en­tire field for decades.”

Brett Peterkin, the statewide co­or­di­nat­ing di­rec­tor of Project Longevity, said the Dickey Amend­ment, passed into law in 1996, de­funded re­search into gun vi­o­lence by the CDC and NIH, but does not bar them from pur­su­ing such lines of in­quiry.

“Es­sen­tially, what (the sta­tus quo) boils down to is cor­ro­sive po­lit­i­cal cul­ture that con­strues pol­icy in a way that pro­hibits us from mov­ing for­ward on such an is­sue that neg­a­tively im­pacts us all,” said Peterkin.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment “has not tracked firearm in­juries in any sys­tem­atic way” in the last 20 years, ac­cord­ing to Karl E. Minges, an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor and di­rec­tor of the Mas­ter of Pub­lic Health pro­gram at the Uni­ver­sity of New Haven.

He said that this lack of data has led to a lack of re­search into ba­sic ques­tions such as: what are the so­cioe­co­nomic fac­tors that cor­re­late with gun vi­o­lence? How does do­mes­tic vi­o­lence cor­re­late with gun vi­o­lence? How many house­holds in the United States own firearms? How ef­fec­tive

is gun safety ed­u­ca­tion? What kind of in­ter­ven­tions can help pre­vent sui­cides and mass shoot­ings?

“It’s shock­ing that so lit­tle ba­sic, de­scrip­tive re­search ex­ists on this topic,” said Minges. “(With this fund­ing), we will have the op­por­tu­nity to con­duct epi­demi­o­logic and in­ter­ven­tion re­search on gun vi­o­lence preven­tion. As a coun­try, we can be­gin to save lives, re­duce harm, and stand taller than we were yes­ter­day.”

DeLauro and her fel­low speak­ers called on Amer­i­cans to urge their elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives to sup­port the fund­ing al­lo­ca­tion, as well as a fed­eral ver­sion of “Ethan’s Law,” a mea­sure that re­quires guns to be safely stored whether loaded or un­loaded that was named in honor of Guil­ford youth Ethan Song, who ac­ci­den­tally shot him­self in the head.

In con­clud­ing the pro­ceed­ings, DeLauro noted the stakes.

“This is com­mon sense. We have re­search with re­gard to smok­ing. We have re­search with re­gard to au­to­mo­bile fa­tal­i­ties — all of which has made a pro­found ef­fect in sav­ing lives. This is about sav­ing lives,” said DeLauro. “I don’t know of any higher call­ing that we have at the lo­cal, state and fed­eral level.”

Ben Lam­bert / Hearst Connecticu­t Me­dia

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and other ad­vo­cates called on Congress to al­lo­cate fund­ing to re­search gun vi­o­lence on Fri­day at New Haven City Hall.

Ben Lam­bert / Hearst Connecticu­t Me­dia

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and other ad­vo­cates called for Congress to al­lo­cate fund­ing to re­search gun vi­o­lence Fri­day dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at New Haven City Hall. Above, Po Mur­ray, chair­woman of New­town Ac­tion Al­liance, speaks.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.