Science Careers Blog

January 16, 2013

Obama Directs Federal Agencies to Research Gun Violence

As part of the sweeping program to curb gun violence that President Barack Obama announced on 16 January, he issued a Presidential memorandum calling on federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to study both the causes of gun injuries and ways to prevent them. With this action, he lifted the ban on such research that Congress established with the encouragement of the National Rifle Association.  He also urged Congress to provide $10 million to fund the studies.

"We don't benefit from ignorance.  We don't benefit from not knowing the science from this epidemic of violence," the president said, as quoted by NBC News.  So, after nearly two decades, scientists can resume the effort, well underway when the ban was imposed, to learn the truth about the role of gun violence in this country.  As indicated by the letter that many dozens of researchers in a wide range of fields sent to Vice President Biden, lots of able scientists are eager to get that work underway.
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