NASW joins coalition to press Congress to allow CDC research on gun-related deaths, injuries

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW)  has openly expressed alarm at the frequency of gun-related mass murder and the high annual death and serious injury rate related to guns.  Given the number of people, including children, who suffer from gun violence each year, NASW agreed with others that this constitutes a public health crisis for our nation.

Therefore, NASW was dismayed to learn that in 1995 Congress forbade the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) from conducting comprehensive research on the causes and prevention of gun violence in the United States. In response, NASW joined a nation coalition of more than 100 health and public health organizations to press Congress to reverse the ban on CDC Gun Violence research. The lead organization for the coalition is Doctors for America.

On behalf of this coalition, Doctors for America sent a formal letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee asking that they lift gun research ban. Again, over 100 organizations, including NASW signed onto the letter. Here is a full copy of the letter.

NASW will continue to work with the coalition to help find public health solutions to the tragedy of gun violence. The effort to restore CDC’s ability to conduct research on the topic is only a beginning.

For more information on NASW’s work on this issue contact NASW Social Justice and Human Rights Manager Mel Wilson at


  1. I believe losing someone you love to any sudden death is extremely difficult, but I often wonder why we are working so hard to remove guns from society when more people (of all ages) die of lung cancer per year than of gun violence. Actual statistics of persons in the US dying from Violence (not including suicide) is 1.23 per 100,000. This includes those who die in war. Intentional injury/homicide is NOT one of the top 10 causes of death in the US, despite what the media and left wing pundits would like us to believe. The problem with allowing the research is with giving our government increased power to invade the lives/privacy of private citizens. Promoting education around proper handling of firearms, insuring access to mental health treatment to those in need and pursuing efforts to reduce involvement with gangs and drugs would probably be more effective. Even if you remove all guns from society, homicide and violence will still occur by other means (knives, bats, shod foot, etc). Increased gun laws have been proven to only limit law abiding citizens and have little effect on the criminal behavior of those committing violent acts with firearms. Perhaps we should concentrate on teaching conflict resolution and coping strategies to all of our youth, that they may develop into adults who can handle problems without the use of violence.

  2. How many NASW Social Workers are carry guns?

  3. The CDC has no business being involved in studing “gun violence” this issue is far out of their lane. This is another method of expanding government and wasting tax payer monies. The actual number of child deaths by acdential gun discharge is no where close in numbers in comparison to deaths of childern drowning in swimpools, not using carseats or even falling down. As for violent gun deaths the majority of gun deaths involve teen and young men involved in gangs and living in homes with one parent. That data is easily obtained in Cenus reports. The NASW would better serve the public in exploring those social areas of responsibility. The highest number of gun deaths are due to sucide and mental health issues.

  4. It is incomprehensible to me that the so called gun rights lobbyists have that much power as to prohibit gun violence research by the CDC. By what twisted logic does this make sense? If the gun rights people are truly interested in a civilized and logical discussion about this then such a pact with the devil should never have taken place. Children are dying violently in our country ever minute of every day as guns and shooting become normal and common plaice. And why are we not more outraged?!

    • What do you mean by the “so called gun rights lobbyists’ power”? How did you arrive at the conclusion that a selected group of lobbyists drove Congress’ ban on gun violence research in the 1990’s?

      Have you considered that law-abiding gun owners may want research into all types of violence, not the type of weapon used?


    I believe this troubling issue of gun violence, especially when it pertains to African American deaths by police officers, needs to more deeply looked at. Guns are supposed to be initially used for protection and that’s primarily it. However, the wrong usage of guns in societies these days has created such an ecological predicament and it is hurting our supreme country of the United States of America. There must be consistent advocacy to decrease gun-related deaths and injuries. The movement by the NASW is going well, but we must remain constant. That’s the key to solving this problem, if we ever actually do so. I believe it’s possible.

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