One of my previous blogs asked what is the evidence on gun control? The tragedy in Newtown, CT is probably as much about mental illness as about gun violence. The package of 23 executive orders issued by Present Obama includes an important directive aimed at the CDC to research gun violence and its impact on public health and safety lifting a 16 year moratorium on federal funding as a result of aggressive lobbying by the NRA. A Gun Policy Summit took place on Jan 14-15, 2013 and provided a series of policy recommendation. They include (among many others):
- Establishing a universal background check system, which would require a background check for all persons purchasing a firearm
- Persons convicted of 2 or more crimes involving drugs or alcohol within a
three-year period would be prohibited from firearm purchase for a period of 10 years
- Federal restrictions of gun purchase for persons with serious mental illness
should be focused on the dangerousness of the individual (hum?)
- Fully fund federal incentives for states to provide information about disqualifying mental health conditions to the National Instant Check System for gun buyers (huh?)
- Congress should provide financial incentives to states to mandate childproof or personalized guns
- Ban the future sale of assault weapons, incorporating a more carefully crafted definition to reduce the risk—compared with the 1994 ban—that the law can be easily evaded
- Ban the future sale and possession of large capacity (greater than 10 rounds) ammunition magazines
The Johns Hopkins University Press released Reducing Gun
Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis (cover shown above). This volume provides empirical research and legal
analysis to inform the policy debate by helping lawmakers and opinion leaders identify the policy changes that are most likely to reduce gun violence in the U.S.
"I wish to do something Great and Wonderful, but I must start by doing the little things like they were Great and Wonderful"