An editorial published in The Toledo Blade calls out Congress for “continu[ing] to cower before the nation’s powerful gun lobby, which has gagged even research and debate. It’s bad enough that lawmakers failed to enact the most basic safety measures, such as comprehensive background checks, after one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history left 26 people, including 20 children, dead in Newtown, Conn., more than two years ago.”
The gun lobby, spearheaded by the National Rifle Association, has long fought against any research that dares to treat gun violence as a public health issue. In 1996, lawmakers barred the use of funding for gun violence prevention advocacy. Even after President Obama directed the CDC to resume studying the causes of the high rates of gun violence in America, little has been done to address the problem.
But the gun lobby isn’t invincible. Recently confirmed Surgeon General Vivek Murthy rightly regards gun violence as a public health issue, and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder vetoed legislation that would have put victims of domestic violence at risk.
To get to the bottom of this issue, more funding needs to be made available to the researchers who are willing to stand up to the gun lobby.