Seattle is poised to become the first in the nation to provide direct funding for research into the causes and effects of gun violence.
The Seattle City Council could allocate $153,000 to local injury prevention researchers as soon as next month, said MSNBC.
“It will have significance in the fact that it’s a city doing it, not a state or a federal agency,” said Tim Burgess, the Seattle City Council member who has led the subcommittee promoting the cause. “It’s our statement against what Congress has prohibited for 17 or 18 years now. Shame on them for that.”
Burgess expects the proposal will be approved in April, said MSNBC. If it is, the project will pay for access to and analysis of three large, public data sets in order to examine the relationship of substance abuse, mental illness, gun ownership, hospital injury admissions and deaths.
The hope would be to use the information to target high-risk patients and their families, and then offer interventions that might prevent future gun harm.
Rivara and Burgess said that they believe Seattle will be the first to spend city funds on gun violence analysis, said MSNBC. Representatives for the National League of Cities and the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns said they hadn’t heard of other cities paying for basic research.