Obama's Budget Asks $30 Million in New Funding for ‘Gun Violence Prevention’

By Susan Jones | April 11, 2013 | 9:10am EDT

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speaks about gun control bill at a news conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

(CNSNews.com) - President Obama's Fiscal Year 2014 budget includes $30 million in new funding  to "track gun violence" and to research strategies that might prevent it.

Of that new $30 million flowing to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $10 million will support "gun violence prevention research" and $20 million will be spent on expansion of CDC's National Violent Death Reporting System.

Here's what the CDC budget justification (page 233) says about the $10 million for new research into "gun violence":

In addition to the approximately 30,000 firearm-related homicides and suicides a year, more than 58,000 non-fatal firearm injuries from assault or self-harm are treated in hospital emergency departments annually. Together, each year they account for more than $35.3 billion in medical and lost productivity costs to the United States.

The President’s plan, Now is the Time, calls for public health research on gun violence to give all Americans the information they need. To address the numerous gaps in the evidence base for firearm injury prevention, CDC will use $10 million to begin conducting research into the causes and prevention of gun violence.

These activities will be informed by a research agenda being developed in 2013 and will ensure that accurate and timely data are available to describe the characteristics of firearm violence, monitor firearm trends, and determine those gun violence prevention strategies likely to have the greatest public health impact.

Gun violence prevention research will include study of the risk and protective factors associated with firearm injuries, the effectiveness of strategies to prevent gun violence, roles of violent video games and violent media content on behavior. CDC will make funds available to support research into the causes and prevention of gun violence through a competitive, peer-review process, funding approximately ten to fifteen grants and cooperative agreements for three to five years.

The CDC justification for expanding the National Violent Death Reporting System to all 50 states (page 11) reads as follows:

NVDRS is a state-based surveillance system that pools information from state and local medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement, crime labs, and vital statistics into a single incident record in order to form a more complete picture of the circumstances surrounding violent deaths. An enhanced nationwide NVDRS will provide states and communities with vital information to better understand the preventable characteristics of violent deaths, including both homicides and suicides.

The President’s newly released plan to reduce gun violence, Now is the Time, states that we need better data to help Americans better understand how and when firearms are used in violent deaths and to inform future research and prevention strategies. For the first time, prevention researchers, practitioners, and policymakers will be able to gauge the magnitude, trends, and characteristics of violent deaths at the national, state and local levels to inform the development, implementation, and evaluation of violence prevention strategies in order to save lives.

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