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Time to repeal Dickey Amendment

By Staff | Mar 2, 2018

I keep wondering why our children and grandchildren are allowed by law to purchase assault-style weapons of war that are designed to kill and injure large numbers of people in a short period of time. The recent mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, joins the growing list of mass shootings in this country.

My wondering led me to the Dickey Amendment, which was inserted into a federal government spending bill in 1996 and which mandated that “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.” The Amendment was introduced after lobbying by the National Rifle Association and has been described as a “ban” on gun violence research by the CDC.

In 2013, President Obama directed the CDC to research gun violence. The CDC wanted to do so, but lacked federal funding. In 2015, 110 members of Congress, all Democrats, signed a letter calling on Congress to reject The Dickey Amendment, but congress passed the spending bill with the amendment still in it. The amendment has been condemned by the American Psychological Association, Doctors for America, the American College for Preventative Medicine, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, among other organizations that have an interest in the welfare of society.

I;m wondering why the majority of our leaders in Congress, backed by the NRA, are blocking research into gun violence. Is this organization, and our elected officials who receive money from the NRA, afraid of what such research will find? It seems to my wondering mind that most people want to prevent our schools from being war zones – wouldn’t research into gun violence be a good way to start?

Nancy Gregory

Charles Town, WV