For more than 20 years, studying guns and health has been a challenge for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Entangled in the messy world of gun politics, researchers have struggled to study violent deaths. But a nationwide program that recently expanded to all 50 states is changing that.
This year, Idaho, Texas and eight other states are getting an infusion of federal funds to study violent deaths, including gun suicides. It’s part of the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s National Violent Death Reporting System, which aims to find the underlying causes of violent deaths, rough 30% of which are gun suicides. The new states mean the CDC is studying violent deaths in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.