Accuracy in Media

The mainstream media and alternative media cover mass shootings and gun violence and often blame gun rights organizations like the National Rifle Association, Second Amendment-friendly lawmakers and public figures, and assail the Republican Party for its stance on the Second Amendment. For years, the media railed against Congress’s refusal to fund gun violence research on a federal level, particularly at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

NowThis News praised the news with the headline, “Congress Finally Approves Funding For Gun Violence Research.” Congress passed a bill that will fund gun violence research to the tune of $25 million, split between the CDC and the National Institutes of Health. NowThis News blamed the Dickey Amendment of 1996, which was named after the late Republican Congressman Jay Dickey. The amendment stopped federal funding of gun violence research until Congress’s vote last week.

But NowThis News lacked context on why the Dickey Amendment was passed in 1996. Congress passed the amendment because some were concerned that government researchers were biased in their gun violence research and were aiming to ban guns altogether in the name of medicine, public health, and public safety. For example, one of the leading gun violence researchers at the time, Arthur Kellerman, openly favored strict gun control measures in spite of evidence and data questioning whether gun control alone would not reduce homicides. The amendment was passed to stop gun control activist scientists from tailoring federally-funded research to fit their ideological views.

Yet, none of this was mentioned in NowThis’s article, which was a one-sided debate on the importance of funding gun violence research.

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