HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Three years ago this month, in the aftermath of the tragedy at Sandy Hook, President Obama ordered the Centers for Disease Control to study the causes of gun violence. The study never happened because Congress failed to fund it. Connecticut’s two U.S. Senators say it’s the NRA that has squashed this, but what little independent research that has been done has come to some conclusions.
“One of the most common things that we hear out there is that if you own a gun you’ll be safer. The preliminary research contradicts that,” said Dr. William Begg of Danbury Hospital.
Begg was the physician on duty at Danbury Hospital on the day victims of the tragedy at Sandy Hook arrived at the Emergency Room. Most of the victims brought in died. He said that after witnessing this firsthand, he’s committed his medical career to trying to address gun violence as a public health issue and says his research shows if you own a gun, you, or your family are more likely to die from gun violence adding, “Either your spouse will die or your child will die or you may die if you become somewhat depressed or upset and commit suicide.”
Begg was joined by several physicians from Yale-New Haven Hospital today in supporting efforts by Connecticut’s two U.S. Senators to get bi-partisan support in Congress to fund research by the Centers for Disease Control into the causes of gun violence.
“Understanding the basis of the problem will only help to create more creative solutions,” said Yale-New Haven Dr. Laury Rosefort.
“From what we see everyday in our work lives are really starting to become alarmed about what’s going on around the country,” said Dr. Olatokunbo Famakinwa.
The doctors and the political leaders point to the research that the government funded for car and truck safety, that has resulted in fewer highway fatalities every year, as an example of how research into gun safety by the CDC could result in fewer gun deaths.
“I don’t think anybody knew that when we started the research on motor vehicles that it would lead to such a dramatic affect,” said Dr. Amanda Freed.
Noting that actual gun violence has declined in the past 20 years, the head of the state’s largest gun owners rights organization, Scott Wilson, the President of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League said in a statement;
“This is simply a grandstanding measure by our two senators who wish to twist facts and erect a non-existent health crisis.”
Wilson also said this is aimed at making it harder for law abiding citizens to protect themselves.