As the Supreme Court struck down New York State’s gun licensure law in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, policymakers should step up and fully fund research into gun safety policy, Arnold Ventures Director of Criminal Justice Asheley Van Ness and Director of Communications Evan Mintz wrote in Scientific American last week.
“While all-too-frequent mass shootings and the resulting political debates may dominate the headlines, the reality is that our fundamental understanding of gun violence fails to meet the moment,” Van Ness and Mintz said.
For more than 20 years, Congress effectively prohibited federal funding into gun policy research, leaving lawmakers today without critical data and evidence about the best ways to stop bloodshed.
Philanthropies, like Arnold Ventures, have stepped up to fill this funding gap and Congress has begun spending on gun research again. Yet key questions remain unanswered about the effectiveness of different gun policies. The oped points to a 2021 report by Health Management Associates (HMA), supported by Arnold Ventures and the Joyce Foundation, as a proper road map for Congress to follow in order to conduct the most critical pieces of research and build out the necessary data infrastructure. This information would help politicians cut through partisan rhetoric and craft laws that can save lives while respecting the Second Amendment.
“No matter what the Supreme Court has ruled, a well-grounded scientific basis for gun policy is more important than ever — and only the federal government has resources at the scale needed to meet the challenge.”
Read the full oped here: Research on Gun Violence Has Been Thwarted: It’s Now More Urgent Than Ever