The NRA stopped the research we need to make us safer.
In 1996, the Dickey Amendment was inserted into the omnibus spending bill that mandated that “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”
A 2005 report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) assessed existing research on gun violence and gun policy, finding that considerable gaps exist in research and data to evaluate most gun violence prevention methods and that increased federal government funding was critical for further progress.
In 2013, Obama directed the CDC to restart research but spokesperson Courtney Lenard, told the Washington Post that “It is possible for us to conduct firearm-related research within the context of our efforts to address youth violence, domestic violence, sexual violence, and suicide. But our resources are very limited.” Despite an effort in 2015 to remove it, the Dickey amenment remains.
These bills that will fund $10 million for the (Centers for Disease Control) to research gun violence prevention and firearm safety for the next five years.
Minimal Script for Reps. who support this: I’m calling from [zip code] to thank Rep. [___] for co-sponsoring H.R.1832. (You can also email your thanks!)
Minimal Script for Reps. who don’t yet: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Rep. [___] to vote YES on H.R.1832.
(Check your Congressperson here. Brownley and Carbajal are already co-sponsors)
THANK Rep. Julia Brownley: (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779, https://juliabrownley.house.gov/contact/email-me
OR THANK Rep. Salud Carbajal: (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348, https://carbajal.house.gov/contact/email
Not your Rep.?: http://www.phoneyourrep.com
Minimal Script for Senators who support this: I’m calling from [zip code] to thank Sen [___] for co-sponsoring S.834. (You can also email your thanks!)
Minimal Script for Senators who don’t yet: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Sen [___] to vote YES on S.834.
(Check your Senator here. Feinstein and Harris are already co-sponsors)
THANK Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430 https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me
AND THANK Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884 https://www.harris.senate.gov/content/contact-senator
Not your Senator?: http://www.phoneyourrep.com
These and other concepts should be studied in great depth for efficacy in reducing gun violence.
(Just added – visuals for those of us who do better with graphics!)
1. Background checks
Impose universal background checks for anyone buying a gun. The studies are clear: Where these laws are passed, fewer people get shot. Where they have been repealed, murder and violence have increased. And background checks aren’t controversial: A recent poll found that 94 percent of Americans support requiring background checks for all gun buyers, including 93 percent of Republicans.
2. Minimum age limit
Impose a minimum age limit of 21 on gun purchases. This is already the law for handgun purchases in many states, and it mirrors the law on buying alcohol. Laws imposing minimum age requirements for the possession and purchase of firearms are intended to decrease access to firearms by young people and, correspondingly, to decrease the number of suicides, homicides, and unintentional shootings among that population. Firearms were used in 41% of suicide deaths among individuals under age 21 in 2014.
3. Ban Bump Stocks
Ban bump stocks, which allow semiautomatic rifles to fire more like automatics. In Las Vegas, a single gunman was able to shoot hundreds of people because he had converted guns to bump-stock firing. Senator Dianne Feinstein has a bill against them in the works.
4. Ban large magazines
Ban large capacity ammunition magazines (over 10). This is already law in CA, CT, DC, HI, MD, MA, and NY. The states of CO and NJ allow 15 rounds. 50% of mass shootings use large capacity magazines, resulting in 135% more people shot and 57% more deaths.
5. Keep guns away from domestic abusers
Enforce a ban on possession of guns by anyone subject to a domestic violence protection order. This is a moment when people are upset and prone to violence against their exes.
6. Keep guns away from violent individuals.
Create federal and state policy help us identify and intervene with at-risk individuals and ensure they are prevented from accessing or purchasing firearms until they are deemed fit. This includes programs that teach the early signs of violence as well as sensible legislation like Extreme Risk Protection Orders, which would allow families and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms if there is documented evidence that an individual is threatening harm to themselves or others. On Feb. 28, Trump signed a bill reversion Obama rule to ban gun purchases by the mentally ill. However, 89% of Americans endorse a ban on allowing people with a diagnosed mental illness to own guns.
7. Keep guns away from people on watch lists.
Remove loopholes in the Terror Watch List. Between February 2004 and December 2014, individuals on the terror watchlist were able to buy firearms 2,043 times, due to the federal government’s failure to take legal action to close the watchlist loophole. In 2015 alone, known or suspected terrorists underwent background checks to purchase firearms 244 times—and 223 of those transactions, or 91%, were allowed to proceed.
8. Limit gun purchases
Limit gun purchases by any one person to no more than, say, two a month, and tighten rules on straw purchasers who buy for criminals. Make serial numbers harder to remove.
9. Mark and track cartridges
Adopt microstamping of cartridges so that they can be traced to the gun that fired them, useful for solving gun crimes. California’s microstamping law went into effect on May 17, 2013.
10. Make guns “smart”.
Invest in “smart gun” purchases by police departments or the U.S. military, to promote their use. Such guns require a PIN or can only be fired when near a particular bracelet or other device, so that children cannot misuse them and they are less vulnerable to theft. The gun industry made a childproof gun in the 1800’s but now resists smart guns. A 2001 survey found that 73.6% of Americans favor a requirement that all new models of handguns be personalized.
11. Keep kids safe.
Require safe storage, to reduce theft, suicide and accidents by children.
12. Track guns across state lines.
Establish a federal firearms trafficking statute to stop the illegal trafficking of guns from states with weak laws to states with strong laws.
13. Create a federal data base
71% of Americans support creating a federal database tracking gun sales. Federal law requires licensed firearms dealers to maintain records of gun sales indefinitely, including information about the firearm(s) being purchased, as well as the purchaser. Federal law prohibits the federal government from collecting firearm sales records in a central repository, however. Without a central repository of all firearm sales records, gun tracing is a slow, cumbersome process.
14. Study open-carry laws
Study the effect of open-carry laws . The open presence of guns in public life can quickly escalate everyday conflicts into deadly altercations, causing tragic, irreversible damage to innocent lives. Despite the evidence that openly carrying firearms in public spaces endangers public safety, most states lack laws to limit “open carry”—and some have even taken steps to weaken regulation regarding the practice.
15. Study gun violence like we study other dangerous things.
Require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our public health public health agencies to invest in preventing gun deaths and injuries — like we do for every other similar cause of death and injury. For 20 years, Congress has effectively banned the study of gun violence because of pressure from the gun lobby. Similar investments in reducing other kinds of accidental deaths have been very effective.
16. Revisit assault weapon bans.
OK, here’s the hard one for hard-right 2nd amendment fans…Assault weapons. Some say banning these weapons is counterproductive to more useful efforts, like those detailed above and that the weapons don’t significantly add to the death toll unless they’re using high capacity magazines. Others say they are an issue by themselves. Debate like this are EXACTLY why the CDC needs to study this stuff.
Assault weapons have been used in many tragic, high-profile shootings, including the nation’s most deadly mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida in 2016, which left 49 dead and 53 injured.
A review of mass shootings between 2009 and 2015 by Everytown for Gun Safety found that incidents where assault weapons or large capacity ammunition magazines were used resulted in 155% more people shot and 47% more people killed compared to other incidents. When access to assault weapons is restricted, deaths due to mass shootings decrease. A 2014 study found that “both state and federal assault weapons bans have statistically significant and negative effects on mass shooting fatalities.”6
A study analyzing FBI data showed that 20% of the law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty from 1998 to 2001 were killed with assault weapons. A 2007 report by the International Association of Chiefs of Police recommended that Congress enact an effective ban on military-style assault weapons in order to curb the ability of individuals to “outgun” law enforcement officers.
A majority of Americans consistently support laws prohibiting assault weapons. As of June 2016, 57% of Americans polled supported a ban on assault weapons.A poll conducted in December 2012 found that 62% of Americans favored this policy. In a survey from 2003, 67% of Field & Stream readers polled did not consider assault weapons to be legitimate sporting guns.
Legislators who’ve received contributions from the NRA
Comparisons and Facts:
Firearms kill 33,000 Americans annually.
Costs of other safety research:
$240 million/yr. – traffic safety research
$233 million/yr. – food safety
$331 million/yr. – effects of tobacco
Organizations fighting for sensible gun regulations
https://www.csgv.org (The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence)