On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled House Committee on Appropriations nixed a proposal that would have earmarked millions of dollars for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research gun violence. Politico reports that the research spending would be nestled into the House’s 2019 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill, but Republicans rejected it out of an apparent fear of “politicizing” the spending bill. Oh...... and because they’re cowards who don’t want more uncomfortable truths about the scourge of gun violence to come out.
More from Politico:
The party-line vote marked Democrats’ latest failed bid to spur studies into preventing firearm-related injuries and deaths — and comes despite a bipartisan agreement earlier this year that the CDC is permitted to conduct such research. The agency’s ability to study gun violence had been limited by a 1996 provision that prevented the CDC from collecting data to advocate for gun control.
“It’s time that we give the scientists the tools to study the causes of firearm injury, in hopes that more Americans can be spared from violent suicide and firearm-related accidents,” said Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), who introduced the amendment.
But the Republicans think this is just a big ol’ waste of time and money.
“They’re free to research anything they care to research,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.). “I don’t want to spend my time on the floor — and hopefully this [bill] comes to the floor — in a gun control debate.”
Except! Cole’s flippant rationale disregards the fact that the CDC specifically asked for earmarked funding. In May, CDC spokesperson Kate Grusich told Politico that the agency needs Congress to earmark specific funding, and it would “welcome the needed dedicated funding from Congress to move forward in this work.”
Because the CDC budget has to account for a plethora of other matters in their quest to stop us from dropping dead thanks to some bacteria here or an outbreak there, it makes sense that they would request earmarks for gun violence research.
In the same Politico piece, David Hemenway—director of Harvard’s Injury Control Research Center—listed dozens of avenues in which gun violence research could use more thorough examination, including, “gun safety training, suicide by gun, gun accidents, straw purchasers, gun law enforcement, guns on college campuses, guns and alcohol, police and guns, assault weapons, minorities and guns, guns and lead poisoning, background checks, [and] police discretion.”
There are more than 30,000 gun-related deaths in the United States each year. Every day, approximately 96 Americans are killed by guns. There have been over 170 mass shootings so far this year. When it comes to the battle between saving guns or saving lives, the GOP once again proved that they will save guns every time.