The largest medical organization in the United States, the American Medical Association, passed a historic resolution last night in response to the weekend’s mass shooting. After years of tiptoeing around the topic of gun control, AMA leaders voted to officially call gun violence a public health issue — and respond accordingly. That means flexing the organization’s powerful political muscle on Capitol Hill to refocus federal funds toward studying gun violence.
To see this through, however, Congress would need to lift a 20-year-old ban that blocks the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from funding any research related to gun violence. But the AMA, with one of the largest political lobbying budgets of any organization in the U.S., appears ready to fight.
“Even as America faces a crisis unrivaled in any other developed country, the Congress prohibits the CDC from conducting the very research that would help us understand the problems associated with gun violence and determine how to reduce the high rate of firearm-related deaths and injuries,” said AMA President Dr. Steven Stack, in a written statement.
“An epidemiological analysis of gun violence is vital so physicians and other health providers, law enforcement and society at large may be able to prevent injury, death and other harms to society resulting from firearms,” he added.
Remember how I said that we were reaching a breaking point over gun deaths?
Yeah well I might have underestimated that a little.