The time for “thoughts and prayers” is over

Dear Editor:

The Brady Campaign, Moms Demand Action, March for Our Lives, Everytown for Gun Safety and even Discover magazine all agree — we have a public health crisis on our hands. And like other public health crises this country has tackled, “thoughts and prayers” will not solve it. After a weekend with almost 30 people dead in two shootings thousands of miles apart, when will we act?

What Discover magazine argued in its latest issue is that with when automobile and workplace safety were tackled as public health issues, we made progress. But this means gathering data and we just don’t have much of that because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was blocked for decades from funding research into gun violence due to the “Dickey Amendment” passed in 1996 as part of the omnibus spending bill. Before Jay Dickey died in 2017, he regretted the amendment backed by the NRA to prevent research into anything that would lead to gun control.

We need to act now. The current administration will claim it got rid of the Dickey Amendment, but the CDC still can’t advocate gun control. How is that progress? When will too many people have died?

Jenni Casale


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