Opinion: Repeal the Dickey Amendment
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The Dickey Amendment is a bill passed in 1996 that states “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”
This bill essentially means that gun control may not be scientifically researched by the federal agency best equipped to do the research. Gun control may be the most divisive topic in American politics today, with the left and the right being very far apart, and few compromises ever being made.
The impact of this amendment is drastic as no studies can be done inside the U.S. by the federal government. This leaves the research to groups with ulterior motives, or a research of other countries success and failure in gun control.
The problem with that, however, is many of the nations with successful gun control do not see guns as a right, but a privilege. In America, however, it is our constitutional right, which carries much more weight.
But, all this is besides the point when you ask yourself: Why?
The amendment has nothing to do with limiting the ability to take away citizen’s firearms but does have to do with the government being able to do effective research on the topic. The bill keeps citizens ignorant as to what effective gun control looks like, which is the root of the issue. And, it is what makes this amendment so puzzling: Why is it here in the first place? What is it’s intended purpose, and how do American’s benefit from this?
The amendment has in my mind effectively killed many Americans due to it keeping us, as a nation, ignorant to what forms of gun control are effective. That is unforgivable.
Now more than ever as mass shootings have only been getting worse, something is not working. May it be: waiting periods, mandatory courses in gun ownership, or a ban on all guns, America needs a new plan to keep its citizens alive and safe.
The Dickey amendment has been in place for far too long. It is time we stand behind common sense gun control, as soon as we figure out what that is.
From 1999-2014 497,592 people have died in America from guns. How many are you willing to accept?
Alex McAteer, senior, is the Opinions Editor for the Marquette Messenger. Outside of journalism, he runs on the Cross Country team as well as throwing...