Letter to the Editor: The Dickey Amendment

Kennedy Homman

Kennedy Homman

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In 1996, the U.S. government passed the Dickey Amendment. Lobbied by the NRA and sponsored by Arkansas representative Jay Dickey, this law prohibits the Center of Disease Control (CDC) to spend any money on research about gun violence. The law was passed in response to a 1993 government-sponsored study that concluded ownership of a gun increased the risk of homicide in the household. And because of the lack of funds given for the purpose of accurate gun information, I hold the stance that the Dickey amendment needs to be repealed.

“Gun violence fatalities are almost equivalent to motor vehicle fatalities – 33,636 and 33,804 per year, respectively – yet the federal government dedicates $240 million per year to traffic safety research and virtually nothing to gun violence research. The limited gun violence research that does exist is largely funded by private sources and amounts to well under $5 million per year,” reports the Association of Pediatric Program Directors (APPD). “A research letter published in JAMA in January 2017 estimates that gun violence kills about the same number of people as sepsis each year. In relation to mortality rates, gun violence was the least-researched cause of death in the United States, according to this study.”  

Keep in mind, the repeal of the Dickey amendment doesn’t take away the second amendment. It doesn’t even restrict it. All this repeal means is an open conversation about what gun control could look like, and if it’s even necessary. It allows the country to research the effect of guns in America so we can understand their true power.

As U.S. citizens, the most logical thing to do in order to repeal the Dickey Amendment is to call our congressional representatives. But in order to make a change, we have to call them about the issue more than once. I pledge to call my representative at least twice a month, and I hope you do as well.


Representative Bill Foster:(630) 585-7672  District 11

Representative Randy Hultgren:(630) 584-2734   District 14

Representative Peter Roskam: (630) 232-0006  District 6

Office hours: 9-5


8 Responses to “Letter to the Editor: The Dickey Amendment”

  1. Wut on April 4th, 2018 10:12 pm

    Nice letter! I learned something new and I’m going to contact some of my representatives about it. I like the idea of doing it twice a month; I’m going to make myself a schedule for the issues I want to contact them about so it’s easier to keep track.

  2. darkstripe on April 5th, 2018 9:33 am

    good post op

  3. lembergini on April 5th, 2018 1:37 pm

    Thank you

  4. Argument Analyst on April 6th, 2018 7:11 am

    It’s interesting that the author brings this up, considering that a good portion of the population is not aware of this amendment. At first, I was also not aware of such an amendment. After doing a bit of research for this amendment, I’ve found that most sources state that the policy prohibits funding geared towards promoting gun control, rather than gun violence research, meaning that this amendment could potentially be blocking biased research. Of course, this is countered by the 2013 repeal attempt, where the CDC funded a gun violence project. Other than bias, money plays a role in this as well, because this appeal deals with the budget. In the year 1996, the debt was at a peak debt to GDP ratio of 64 percent, and the debt had increased from 4.9 trillion to 5.2 trillion dollars. With this staggering increase in debt, the government had to cut corners in their budget, and because gun violence wasn’t presented at the level it is today, the government cut it from their budget, deeming it unimportant. Today, this amendment could be seen as useless, considering the fact that it has become more pressing. Unfortunately, the government doesn’t find this to be as pressing of an issue, because it’s a lot more complex than simply owning a gun.

    According to the Gun Violence Archive and The Trace, with the exclusion of suicides, there’s been a total of about 15,000 people killed by guns. The statistic you use may still be correct, but most likely includes those who have committed suicide, and god forbid this statistic includes misfires that resulted in accidental deaths. The point I am trying to drive is that gun deaths are more complex than the deaths from motor vehicle accidents. An article from the NHTSA states that most accidents occur because of distracted driving, car failure, and road and atmospheric conditions. All of these causes deal with the physical conditions of driving a car, and most of these crashes derive from accidents. Meanwhile, one of the leading causes of gun deaths is actually suicide and mental illness. As a matter of fact, according to the Campus Safety Magazine, 98 percent of school shooters had faced some sort of loss before opening fire on a campus. The issue isn’t concerned primarily with guns, but rather mental health, and we have taken steps towards preventing mental illness with 1 million dollars being added to the Children’s Mental Health Services program in this year. This may be the reason why we haven’t seen much funding going directly into gun control, because the issue can be prevented without infringing upon second amendment rights. Regardless, we’re making great progress in terms of reducing school crimes in general. The Campus Safety Magazine states that crimes at school have decreased by 50 percent over the past 20 years.

    Of course, I support the repealment of the Dickey amendment. However, I would like to express my concern towards the consequences that might occur if it were removed. With an ever increasing budget, it would be difficult for the government to allot their funding to promote this research, and from the research of the amendment, the CDC might show a bias in researching, rendering the repealment to be partisan.

    I haven’t been a guest writer before, but I can assume that it is quite stressful. After all, you are putting an opinion out on the internet, in which many people can nitpick and tear apart your argument. I commend your bravery for stepping up and voicing your opinion on this topic, similar to how I’ve voiced mine in this comment. Keep researching about this topic and future topics to stay informed and voice your opinions, because that’s what America is about: voicing your opinion.

  5. Nekojishi is a good game on April 13th, 2018 6:08 am

    Well said.

  6. axiet on April 16th, 2018 9:20 am

    I see that you are a man of culture as well.

  7. student on April 12th, 2018 9:21 am

    This one of the most liberal artifcles I’ve ever seen on Metea Media — and Metea Media is quite far left.

  8. mae strip tywyll yn anabl on April 13th, 2018 7:56 am

    Not to mention many of the “statistics” are blatantly false.

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