Kokomo Tribune

On the day after our most recent massacre, in which 17 people lost their lives and 14 others were injured, President Trump addressed students of Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“I want you to know that you are never alone and you never will be,” he said during his televised remarks.

“You have people who care about you, who love you, and who will do anything at all to protect you.”

More than 1,000 turned out for a candlelight vigil not far from Douglas High School on Feb. 15, The Associated Press reported. Some in attendance began shouting, “No more guns! No more guns!” the AP said.

They want action. Parents and several survivors at the vigil demanded more than the usual “thoughts and prayers.”

Will the president and Congress deliver? Not unless Americans can agree upon facts.

Starting in 1996, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention self-imposed a ban on researching firearms deaths in the United States. The agency had been cowed by the National Rifle Association and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, among others, who accused it of being a fellow traveler of those pushing for gun control.

Following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting of 2012, in which 20 first-graders and eight others were shot to death, President Obama ordered the secretary of human services to lift the prohibition and “conduct or sponsor research into the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it.”

Since then, the CDC has done little to nothing on this issue. Congress once again clamped down on dedicated funding for this valuable research.

Cold, hard facts should always be welcome in a debate as serious as this one. Without the needed data in hand, we can’t have an intelligent discussion on this issue. The CDC is uniquely qualified to do this research, yet it isn’t allowed to do so for purely political reasons.

What is so scary about numbers? And what, exactly, are Congress and the gun lobby so afraid of finding?

This was distributed by Hoosier State Press Association. Send comments to dr-editorial@greenfieldreporter.com.