Want to reduce gun violence? Researchers are ready to help, but they need funding

0
24

The measure of any society is how it treats its most vulnerable, including children. But what happens when we fail to protect our children from harm by burying our heads in the sand about threats and how to deal with them?

Gun violence is the leading cause of death among children in the United States, but for too long the federal government has avoided funding evidence-based research into this public health crisis and how to protect children and others. Without significant investments in expanding our knowledge of all forms of gun violence – homicides, suicides, mass shootings, domestic violence and much more – we cannot make informed policy decisions to ensure we reduce the risks.

Armed violence currently accounts for nearly 30% of child and adolescent deaths nationwide, and this number continues to rise. Regarding, a recent large-scale study found that now more than ever, young people are carrying and using guns to settle disputes.

See also  Amid huge 'Agnipath' protests, ministers thank PM for easing age limit

These trends parallel Texas, with gun violence historically accounting for most adolescent deaths and injuries statewide.

With shocking findings like these, we wonder why this is happening and, more importantly, how can we effectively reduce the risk of firearm injury and death?

Before we can determine valid solutions, we need to understand why various forms of gun violence occur and what has worked – or failed – in the past. It is in our national interest to support a strong and reliable stream of federal public health research funding on this issue.

Despite the prevalence of gun deaths and injuries in the United States, it wasn’t until 2020 that Congress directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health to award grants to study armed violence and the effectiveness of local and state measures. political responses. Rep. Kay Granger of Fort Worth, the top Republican on the Appropriations Committee, should be applauded for her role in enacting this important change.

See also  Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years for luring teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein

The CDC and NIH have followed up by funding nonpartisan, nonpartisan research on such critical issues as preventing suicides among veterans, firearms safety training, and mechanisms to deal with the recent increase in urban crime.

Given the politically incendiary nature of the gun safety debate as a whole, it is critical that these unbiased studies do not pre-attribute partisan political prescriptions to gun violence issues. Instead, the research is there to fill knowledge gaps and help us understand how we need to better ensure that our entire society, including our youngest generation, can be safer from gun violence. .

This research also benefits our region. Among the first set of federally funded research on gun violence is a Baylor University project focused on understanding the epidemiology of firearms in large urban areas. Texas institutions deserve more federal dollars to design and implement studies that meet our state’s need for evidence-based firearms knowledge.

See also  Rex pilots take protected industrial action over pay

More can and should be done. While Congress allocates $12.5 million per year to the CDC and NIH to award these grants, this is far from sufficient for the need we know. Congress should provide steady and robust increases for this critical priority.

As Congress continues to negotiate legislative responses to the recent mass shootings and other forms of gun violence, it is critical that Granger and other lawmakers understand the key role that federal funding for prevention research can and should make our communities safer.

Jo-Ann Nesiama is a pediatric emergency physician and associate professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Asha Tharayil is a pediatric emergency physician and assistant professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern.

Jo-Ann Nesiama is a pediatric emergency physician and associate professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Asha Tharayil is a pediatric emergency physician and assistant professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Asha Tharayil is a pediatric emergency physician and assistant professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here