With the tragic mass shooting in Orlando as well as other shootings like the one in a New York concert and the fan that killed Christina Grimmie, the question of gun control in America is once again challenged. With our constitutional right, the right to bear arms, the idea of access to firearms is deeply rooted in our national identity. But when the people who have access to dangerous firearms like assault rifles are responsible for dangerous and tragic shootings, the screening process probably needs an overhaul.
The ease to which an ordinary citizen can attain a firearm is often mocked by other nations. But what people might not realize is, because there is so much support for lax gun control laws in the government they also block anything that might be used to threaten lax gun control laws. Specifically, there is a ban on gun violence research or any research that might suggest lax gun control laws and not unstable individuals are the cause of appalling shootings.
In light of recent events, 2,000 doctors, scientists, and democratic lawmakers have banned together to present a petition that would end the ban on gun violence research. That means a ban on potentially life saving research. There are 89 American gun deaths daily and research into gun violence can shed some light on motivations, methodology, and even warning signs with violent gun user psychology.
The Dickey Amendment, passed in 1997 which states, “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.” Almost 20 years later when firearm proliferation is at it’s highest and the ban on research is still in place. President Obama attempted to order studies into gun violence after the Sandy Hook Massacre, but inevitably Congress has consistently refused to provide any funding for it. If recent events are a precursor to events to come, there at least needs to be a serious and open conversation over gun control laws and the repercussions of firearms in the hands of untrained civilians.