After the Newtown, Ct., school shooting, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) was one of a few Republicans who expressed a willingness to reconsider the need for gun control laws, says ProPublica. “Put guns on the table, also put video games on the table, put mental health on the table,” he said, noting that he wanted to see more research done to understand mass shootings. “Let’s let the data lead rather than our political opinions.” For nearly 20 years, Congress has pushed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to steer clear of firearms violence research.
As chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that sets CDC funding, Kingston has been in a position to change that. Kingston spoke to the agency after Newtown and said, “I think we can find some common ground.” Now, as Kingston competes in a crowded GOP primary race for a U.S. Senate seat, the congressman is no longer talking about common ground. Kingston told ProPublica he would oppose a proposal from President Obama for $10 million in CDC gun research funding. “The President’s request to fund propaganda for his gun-grabbing initiatives though the CDC will not be included in the FY2015 appropriations bill,” Kingston said. Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR), the vice chairman of the subcommittee, also “supports the long-standing prohibition of gun control advocacy or promotion funding,” his spokeswoman said. CDC’s current funding for gun violence prevention research remains at zero.