We’ve all heard this load of pure, pungent Oscar Mayer processed meat product for decades. Federal law (in the form of the Dickey Amendment) prevents research into “gun violence!” The Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex loves to claim that we can’t possibly do anything about the (non-existent) gun violence epidemic in this country if we can’t study it.
That, of course, is a blatant lie. The Dickey Amendment does no such thing. The only thing the Amendment prohibits is the use of any federally funded research to attack Second Amendment rights.
As the Centers for Disease Control’s own website makes clear the Dickey Amendment only says that . . .
None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.
The CDC can do all of the research it wants and publish its findings until the cows come home. They simply can’t then use their findings as a basis from which to lobby for restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms.
If the Dickey Amendment actually prohibited “gun violence” research, the deal struck today by the House and Senate — as reported by The Hill — couldn’t have happened.
Federal agencies will receive $25 million from Congress to study gun violence in a government spending deal reached by House and Senate negotiators — a major win for Democrats who have long pushed for dedicated funding to research the issue, a source told The Hill.
Even The Hill acknowledges that the Dickey Amendment never prevented any research in any way, shape or form.
While the so-called Dickey Amendment — named for its author, former Sen. Jay Dickey (R-Ark.) — does not prevent agencies from studying gun violence, that was its effect.
That’s because Congress stopped funding the research once the Amendment became law, knowing full well that the CDC couldn’t help itself and would find a way to politicize the results of its research anyway.
While Democrats had tried for years to end the amendment, they shifted their strategy this year, pushing for $50 million in funding while leaving the amendment in place in an attempt to allay concerns that the money could be used inappropriately.
Will the CDC and NIH — which will split the $25 million — be able to restrain themselves from using whatever their research turns up to advocate for stricter gun control laws? Don’t bet on it.
It seems Senate Republicans threw in the towel and threw a few million at the CDC to try to end the endless lies and haranguing about the Dickey Amendment. But if they think Congressional Democrats — let alone the CDC and NIH — will be satisfied with this as a one-time gesture, they’re kidding themselves.
From the AP:
By Matthew Daly
A bipartisan deal on a government spending bill would for the first time in two decades provide money for federal research on gun safety. A law adopted in the 1990’s has effectively blocked such research and prohibits federal agencies from engaging in advocacy on gun-related issues.
The spending bill, set for a House vote as soon as Tuesday, would provide $25 million for gun violence research, divided evenly between the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Nearly seven years to the day after we lost 20 beautiful children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary” in Newtown, Connecticut, “we are finally making progress in Congress to reduce gun violence,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., chairwoman of the labor and health subcommittee of the House Appropriations panel.
“The epidemic of gun violence is a public health emergency. Yet, for more than two decades, Congress has failed to provide any meaningful reforms,” DeLauro said in a statement.
The new funding for NIH and CDC “will help us better understand the correlation between domestic violence and gun violence, how Americans can more safely store guns and how we can intervene to reduce suicide by firearms,” DeLauro said.
The agreement follows approval of language last year clarifying that the so-called Dickey Amendment does not prohibit federal spending on gun research, as had been widely argued by gun rights supporters. The 1996 law, named after former Republican Rep. Jay Dickey of Arkansas, has been the focus of a political fight for more than two decades, and the CDC largely abandoned gun research in the wake of its passage.
Dickey, who died in 2017, argued in recent years that research on gun violence was needed.
Gun control supporters hailed the agreement on gun-research funding as an important breakthrough.
The announcement “is a huge victory in our nation’s commitment to addressing and solving the gun violence epidemic,” said Christian Heyne, vice president of the Brady gun safety group.
“Students graduating from college this spring have never lived in a United States where the federal government studied this issue. That ends today,” Heyne said. The National Rifle Association pushed for the 1996 Dickey law but maintains it does not oppose gun research. Instead the group says it opposes research that is biased, flimsy or aimed at advocacy.