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Opinion

Don’t muzzle research

The epidemic of gun-related violence in the United States is unique to this nation. The politics of this unfortunately overwhelm any real effort to fathom the causes. Pressure from the National Rifle Association and other gun lobby forces has prevented efforts to even study what measures might be effective.

The hypocrisy of the NRA in stating that they support real measures to control this violence rather than any gun control whatsoever is profound. They have aggressively blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in studying gun-related violence and even blocked funding of the CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System, preventing it from including all states; it currently includes only 18 states.

The federal government should increase funding to permit a truly national registry, and also fund research focusing on reducing what is truly a public health problem: the epidemic of gun-related violence. This step at least ought to be politically achievable.

Bruce Becker, MD

Spokane


 

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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.