E&C Dems Demand Hearing on Gun Violence Prevention Research
Today, following the horrific mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, all 24 Energy and Commerce Democrats sent a letter to Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael Burgess (R-TX) urging the Republican leaders to hold a hearing as soon as possible on federal investment in gun violence prevention research. The tragic school shooting in Parkland this week, which killed 17 people, is just the most recent instance of this uniquely American tragedy.
“We urge you to hold a hearing as soon as possible on the need for increased funding for gun violence prevention research in order to protect the American public, including our school children, from the tragic consequences that result from gun violence,” the Democrats wrote to Chairmen Walden and Burgess.
“Gun violence must be addressed and handled for what it is: a public health crisis. However, the harmful ‘Dickey Amendment’ and its chilling effect on federally-supported gun violence prevention research has stymied our ability to address gun violence,” the Democratic Committee members continued in their letter. “The ban on using Department of Health and Human Services funding ‘to advocate or promote gun control’ and Congress’ failure to appropriate adequate funding has resulted in a dearth of gun violence research findings that could help protect millions of Americans, and keep our families, communities, and children safe.”
Here in the U.S., 315 people are shot with a firearm every day. Of those injured, 93 people die, leading to more than 30,000 deaths per year. While gun violence is often associated with mass-shootings, that is only part of how gun violence affects individuals, families, and communities. Sadly, 62 percent of gun-related deaths are suicides. Many other firearm related injuries are unintentional, related to interpersonal and domestic violence, or legal intervention.
Last October, Committee Democrats held a forum exploring possible public health solutions to gun violence in America and to discuss the urgent need for increased federal action.
“While our Democratic Forum was an important start, raising awareness for the need for increased gun violence prevention research can only be accomplished in a bipartisan fashion,” the Democrats continued in their letter. “It is long past time for Republicans, who have remained silent on this issue, to join us in sounding the alarm and work towards bipartisan solutions to gun violence.”
The Democrats’ letter is available HERE.