• Why we don’t know more about gun injury and death

    To ensure that the CDC and its grantees got the message, the following language was added to the final [1996] appropriation: “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.”

    Precisely what was or was not permitted under the clause was unclear. But no federal employee was willing to risk his or her career or the agency’s funding to find out. Extramural support for firearm injury prevention research quickly dried up. Even today, 17 years after this legislative action, the CDC’s website lacks specific links to information about preventing firearm-related violence.

    When other agencies funded high-quality research, similar action was taken. In 2009, Branas et al published the results of a case-control study that examined whether carrying a gun increases or decreases the risk of firearm assault. In contrast to earlier research, this particular study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Two years later, Congress extended the restrictive language it had previously applied to the CDC to all Department of Health and Human Services agencies, including the National Institutes of Health.

    Head, meet sand. More by Arthur Kellermann and Frederick Rivara at JAMA.

    UPDATE: Still more by Arthur Kellermann on guns on the Health Affairs blog.


    • I think it should be clear that the Republicans (who receive 96% of NRA funds) are the corrupt psychopathic party of the paranoid gun owners and their corporate masters. That is why you get this type of anti-science legislation.
      The faster we can get rid of these crazies, the better. Hopefully, the trend of the recent election will continue and they will be marginalized.

    • @Mark. In 1996, Clinton was the President. If you think any political party is in love with the truth, god help you.

    • @mike isn’t the article saying this removal was based on Congressional action, not executive?

    • Thanks for letting us know about this prohibition. The fact that I had never heard of it before is a testament to the sneakiness of Congress and/or the ineffectiveness of he media. It makes me wonder what else Congress has managed to hide from the public.