FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Association of American Universities Board of Directors issued the following statement today in support of research on gun safety and public health research on gun violence.
One of the fundamental missions of our nation’s research universities is to conduct research that helps society address its most important challenges. One of those challenges is the large number of gun-related deaths in the United States. The Board of Directors of the Association of American Universities is deeply concerned about this problem, and we believe it is important to conduct research on ways our country can address it.
For this reason, we support President Obama’s recent directive to the Justice Department and the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to conduct research on technology that can improve gun safety. With firearms causing approximately the same number of deaths in America as automobiles, it is clear that gun violence is a major public health problem for our country.
While there can be honest disagreement about the most effective means of addressing gun violence, there should be no doubt that, like any other public health issue, the more we know about causes, about trends, and about potential remedies, the stronger basis we will have for effective action.
We therefore encourage Congress to take bipartisan action to end its prohibition on federally funded public health research on gun violence. We hope that the full range of research on gun violence will be permitted soon.