The gun violence that plagues our society is a massive public health emergency. We can’t understand it’s causes or the best tools for preventing violence – in part – because Congress has prohibited the CDC from researching it.
Since 1996 Congress has prohibited the CDC from using federal funds to “advocate or promote gun control.” This NRA supported amendment, known as the “Dickey Amendment,” hinders our ability to keep our communities safe.
The General Synod of the United Church of Christ has recognized this as a problem. Lead by our youth delegates from Chicago, they passed a resolution that calls us all “to actively speak out against restrictive legislation that seeks to silence or stifle the scientific and medical community from providing sound methods to save and improve the lives of all of God’s people.” Asking your member of congress to support gun violence prevention research is an important way to live out this call.
Because of recent pressure from advocates, we’ve seen a small victory on this front, but we need to push for more!
The 2018 federal budget, just passed by Congress, included clarifying language saying that the Dickey Amendment should not prevent the CDC from researching the causes of gun violence. This is encouraging news - but there is still more work that needs to be done. Clarifying but not removing the Dickey Amendment only completed half the job.
Congress should do everything in its power to promote the study and research of gun violence. They need to hear from you. Tell them to remove the Dickey Amendment from the FY2019 appropriations legislation as well as supporting measures to fund research at the CDC.