“After Connecticut passed a law requiring background checks and gun safety course, gun deaths decreased by 40 percent. Forty percent.” President Obama today. In his announcement that he was taking executive action to require more gun sellers to be licensed and to do background checks on gun buyers, he also touched upon the problems facing public health researchers who try to study gun violence and deaths.
“Meanwhile, since Missouri repealed a law requiring comprehensive background checks and purchase permits, gun deaths have increased to an almost 50 percent higher than the national average. One study found unsurprisingly that criminals in Missouri now have easier access to guns.
“And the evidence tells us that in states that require background checks law-abiding Americans don’t find it any harder to purchase guns whatsoever. Their guns have not been confiscated, their rights have not been infringed.
“And that’s just the information we have access to. With more research we could further improve gun safety, just as with more research we’ve reduced traffic fatalities enormously over the last 30 years.
“We do research when cars, food, medicine, even toys, harm people so that we make them safer. And you know what, research, science, those are good things, they work. They do.
“But think about this. When it comes to an inherently deadly weapon—nobody argues that guns are potentially deadly—weapons that kill tens of thousands of Americans every year, Congress actually voted to make it harder for public health experts to conduct research into gun violence, made it harder to collect data and facts, and develop strategies to reduce gun violence.”
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]