Eddie Bernice Johnson Intros Bill to Research Gun Violence
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) introduced legislation that week designed to authorize research programs that examine policies that reduce gun violence and lower death totals. The National Gun Violence Research Act places focus on a comprehensive review of the best ways to reduce the number of lives lost to gun violence each year by calling on the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to oversee the research efforts. There were 39,773 gun deaths in 2017, up by more than 1,000 from the year before. Nearly two-thirds were suicides. It was the largest yearly total on record in the CDC’s electronic database, which goes back 50 years, and reflects the sheer number of lives lost. Johnson’s measure would charge the Justice Department, the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to carry out the programs. “It is truly bewildering that Congress has failed in its duty to address the threat of gun violence in our country,” said Johnson, the Chairwoman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. “Gun violence is both a public health crisis and a daunting criminal justice challenge. It is past time for action to address it; and one important component for effective action is understanding the problem. We need more research to understand the impact of policies like assault weapons bans, concealed-carry laws, and minimum age requirements on outcomes like suicide, violent crime, and unintended injury and death.” More here.