It’s never been more clear than over the past several years that we have a serious, serious gun violence problem. We have a whole political party that’s practically built on the 2nd Amendment who won’t do anything about it except repeat the NRA’s idiotic talking points and offer empty, worthless prayers when mass shootings happen. They don’t even want to restore funding to the CDC to study the causes of gun violence, which was cut off 20 years ago. Now, the man behind that funding ban is speaking out in the wake of yesterday’s massacre in San Bernardino.
Former Representative Jay Dickey, the brainchild behind the bill that eliminated the CDC’s gun violence research funding, wrote a letter to the House Democrats’ task force on the prevention of gun violence, where he said:
It is my position that somehow or someway we should slowly but methodically fund such research until a solution is reached. Doing nothing is no longer an acceptable solution.
Thank you! Finally, someone in the GOP gets it that doing nothing isn’t working, hasn’t worked, won’t work and is unacceptable! The reason he worked so hard to eliminate that funding is because he, like the NRA, worried that such research would lead to infringing on citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights, which would eventually lead to banning guns. Dickey regrets his decision now, saying:
Research could have been continued on gun violence without infringing on the rights of gun owners, in the same fashion that the highway industry continued its research without eliminating the automobile.
Boom. A rather large part of what’s happening is happening because we don’t understand gun violence at all, and so we can’t propose effective solutions to it. Another problem is that U.S. opinion on guns boils down to two camps: Those that want something done now, and those that want to block absolutely everything we could do, including research. Those that want something done now aren’t likely to be satisfied with research, because that takes years, as does proposing and implementing solutions.
It’s not just people in the U.S. that are sick and tired of this. People around the world are tired of it. They’re on the outside looking in, so they see things that we might not see, and it drives them absolutely bats. For instance, after the San Bernardino shooting, the BBC said:
Just another day in the United States in America—another day of gun fire, panic, and fear. This time in the city of San Bernardino, California, where a civic building was apparently under attack.
When the world sees it this way, perhaps we should sit up and take notice. Our Republican Party, and really, our entire “moar gunz” right wing, doesn’t care what the rest of the world sees. They’ve dug their heels in, and they aren’t going to give it up anytime soon — because ‘Murica.
Dickey is one Republican who has now seen the light and repented of his role in our lack of understanding about gun violence, but all we have is hope that other Republicans will sit up and take notice. Without knowing the motive behind the San Bernardino shooting, we don’t know if such research and solutions would have helped stop that. But it might have stopped what happened in Savannah, or what happens every day in Chicago.
Is an epidemic that is so out of control there’s no hope of ever getting it back under control what it will take to open more Republican eyes? It’s sad that it’s come to this. Sad, sick, and disgusting.