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Gun control and risk research in the US

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Published on Dec 15, 2012

http://youtube.com/riskbites

Risk Bites Extra: On December 14th 2012, 20 young children and six adults were killed by a lone gunman at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Despite the mind-numbingly appalling tragedy of this event, such shootings present a relatively low risk to most people. Yet even one death of a child through being intentionally shot is one too many.

Without a clearer understanding of why such events occur and how to avoid them, future action can only be based on ill-informed speculation rather than evidence. Sadly, the leading US research agency addressing gun safety and control was prevented from continuing this work in 1996. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still have a clause in their appropriations bill that states:

"none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used, in whole or in part, to advocate or promote gun control"

This provision now extends to all research funded through the US Department of Health and Human Security.

Sources and additional resources:

United States gun facts, figures and the law: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/reg...

CDC Fastfacts: Homicide: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homic...

Who calls the shots: Nature 488:129, August 8 2012: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/...

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