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Gun rights, control advocates debate bill urging CDC to collect data on gun violence

A woman handles a pistol at a gun shop.
A woman handles a pistol at a gun shop.
Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images

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Silicon Valley Congressman Mike Honda has a new bill directing the CDC to resume gun studies that were blocked by Congress back in the '90s.

Republicans claim CDC gun studies morphed into advocacy work for gun control.  After the Sandy Hook mass shootings three years ago, President Obama ordered the Centers for Disease Control to resume research into gun violence. Congress blocked funding for that research 20 years ago. Republicans claimed that the CDC's methodology for its studies was so biased it amounted to gun control advocacy.

There still isn't funding for such studies, despite the President's executive order that they resume.

That's not deterring Democratic Congressman Mike Honda from Silicon Valley. He introduced a bill today that would direct the CDC to research and quantify gun violence. It would also encourage doctors to ask their patients if they have guns and to talk with them about gun safety.

The bill's prospects are bleak, with a GOP House majority. Nonetheless, we'll debate whether it would be good policy or not.


Laura Cutilletta, senior staff attorney, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence based in San Francisco

Dr.Timothy Wheeler (MD), Director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, a Project of the Second Amendment Foundation; he testified before Congress in 1996 against the CDC’s collection of gun violence data