It's called the Dickey Amendment, and it might be putting you at risk. I use the word might for a reason. I want to recognize that all the research in the world about gun safety may not change anything. You may not trust the research anyway, and I respect that. Now here's what I'm talking about.

After another 58 innocent people are dead after another mass shooting, you should know that 20 years ago a law got through Congress that bars the Center for Disease Control's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control from fully doing its job. The law bans the CDC from using funds to research matters that could result in advocating or promoting gun control. It's called the Dickey Amendment, and its author was Rep. Jay Dickey. This passed in 1997. It happened because of a 1993 study conducted by the NICPC that found keeping guns in the home actually made people less safe rather than more safe and strongly correlated with much higher rates of homicide in the home.

The National Rifle Association went nuts and moved heaven and earth, and wheel barrows full of cash, to influence Congress to stop the CDC from ever doing such research into gun safety again. Now I fully respect that many people don't trust the government and for many people that specifically includes the CDC. Yet if you're going to have an agency responsible for controlling and preventing injury it seems dubious at best to not give them the money to do what clearly should be part of their job. The reason we are where we are with smoking in this country is largely because of the Surgeon General's office. If left only up to big tobacco you can bet smoking rates would not have declined as they did. The NCIPC wouldn't be setting policy and passing laws. They are merely there to study and report.

The problem of mass shootings is getting worse. They are happening in the United States at a frequency more than double what they were in the early 2000's. This isn't going away. The NRA wants you to have a gun in your hand if you so choose because that is your right. But do they feel you have no right to information?

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