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NAT’L – GUN POLITICS – Now What? Part 2

In this post, Jonathan M. Metzl continues the journey exploring gun violence as a public health crisis. Will gun research lead to better policies, or will the NRA and gun-rights politicians and advocates continue to resist even the most basic efforts to promote gun safety? The budget has been called a “defeat” for the NRA, and a sign that “the financially troubled gun group is no longer invincible inside the Beltway. But despite recent troubles and financial woes, the gun lobby remains remarkably influential. That’s in large part because much of the NRA’s most important work has already been done.  In 2016, the NRA spent more than $30 million on behalf of the Trump campaign. After the election, Trump in-turn appointed a steady stream of Second-Amendment focused conservative judges to lifetime appointments on the nation’s highest courts.  The NRA hailed Trump’s Supreme Court picks, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, for their pro-gun stances. Many of the 48 Trump appointees to federal courts of appeal support similar views. These courts will likely have a far more transformative effect on American gun policy that will public health research, because they will set standards that will last for generations. As Ian Millhiser of Vox rightly puts it, “There is simply no recent precedent for one president having such a transformative impact on the courts”—including the ability to “eviscerate gun control,” enshrine broad public-carry rights, limit states’ abilities to set their own gun policies, and other actions generally at odds with core foundations of much public health-based gun research.  [full article]

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