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NRA Lobbying Curbs Research That Can Prevent Gun Violence Deaths

As the toll from shootings mounts, public health funding to study the problem 
remains minuscule.

A teddy bear sits on a bench at a memorial dedicated to those killed at the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, in Uvalde, Texas.

A teddy bear sits on a bench at a memorial dedicated to those killed at the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, in Uvalde, Texas.

Photographer: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Guns kill more young people in the US than car accidents, drug overdoses, or cancer. Yet public-health funding to prevent child gun deaths is minuscule compared with other far less lethal threats to children. Leukemia, for example, the most common form of childhood cancer, causes fewer deaths than gun violence yet receives almost 10 times more funding from the US government than gun violence research. Such gaps reflect decades of National Rifle Association activism. 

“We elected to turn off the flow of knowledge about one of the nation’s leading causes of death,” says Garen Wintemute, director of the University of California at Davis’s Violence Prevention Research Program. “Now we’re living with the result.”