NIH funds study of teen firearms, gunshot risks

NIH funds study of teen firearms, gunshot risks
By Jim McElhatton
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/oct/19/nih-funds-study-of-teen-firearms/?feat=home_headlines

More than a decade after Congress cut funding for firearms research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), another federal health agency has been spending millions of dollars to study such topics as whether teenagers who carry firearms run a different risk of getting shot compared with suffering other sorts of injuries.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also has been financing research to investigate whether having many liquor stores in a neighborhood puts people at greater risk of getting shot.

Such studies are coming under sharp scrutiny by Republican lawmakers who question whether the money could be better spent on biomedical research at a time of increasing competition for NIH funding. They’re also leery of NIH research relating to firearms in general, recalling how 13 years ago the House voted to cut CDC funding when critics complained that the agency was trying to win public support for gun control…

…"And yet we have trouble understanding the administration’s desire to spend, for example, $642,561 in taxpayer funds to learn how inner-city teenagers whose friends, acquaintances and peers carry firearms and drink alcohol on street corners could show up in emergency rooms with gunshot wounds.

“The day-follows-night quality of this question and its potential answer simply do not seem to justify the expense that would be borne by people who work and pay their taxes,” the lawmakers wrote.

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