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Seattle set to fund first city-based gun violence research

Seattle may become the first American city to directly fund gun violence research.

According to NBC News, the Seattle City Council could distribute $153,000 within the subsequent month to local researchers of injury prevention.

“It will have significance in the fact that it’s a city doing it, not a state or a federal agency,” said Tim Burgess, the Seattle City Council member who has led the subcommittee promoting the cause. “It’s our statement against what Congress has prohibited for 17 or 18 years now. Shame on them for that.”

Congress originally cut $2.6 million funded to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for gun studies in the 1990s. However, after sending the finances to research related to harmful brain injuries, President Barack Obama demanded that $10 million be utilized for updated gun violence research.

Regardless of the monetary concerns, there are some scholars who believe the shortage of information about gun violence has perpetuated significant ramifications throughout the U.S.

“One of the big needs right now is that there’s still a lack of data on the problems of gun violence,” said Dr. Frederick Rivara, a professor of pediatrics and a researcher at Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

“One of the things that’s come up in this whole discussion of guns is mental illness and substance abuse. We’re planning to link existing data sets to identify that if you have these problems, what are the risks of having gun problems in the future?”

Rivera said that although it will be approximately one year until the data is collected and analyzed, the goal of this city-based research will be to help prevent tragedies similar to the Newtown, Conn., shooting.