DAVIS (CBS SF) – The University of California, Davis will become home to the first state-funded center in the country dedicated to studying gun violence, the school announced Monday.

Dr. Garen Wintemute, an emergency medical physician and authority in the field of firearm violence research, will direct the center.

“Funding for violence prevention research is crucial now, as we have a lot of catching up to do,” Wintemute said, citing a two-decade long moratorium on funding firearm research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Lack of a federal funding stream has prevented a full understanding of the root causes of violence and effective approaches to contain it. We are thrilled that UC Davis will be the lead campus for the new center. Firearm violence is a major problem, and we’re ready to get to work,” Wintemute said.

According to the Journal Nature, Wintemute has contributed nearly $1 million of his own money towards studying gun violence.

UC President Janet Napolitano said the center “demonstrates great leadership” by the state and “presents a unique opportunity” for the university to research the issue. Napolitano said other campuses will contribute to the gun violence research effort.

The center will be headquartered at the UC Davis Sacramento campus and will be funded by a $5 million appropriation over the next five years.

Comments (4)
  1. ConcernedCitizen says:

    A $5M research center that advocates for more gun laws will not help combat inner city violence. We need to do a better job prosecuting people who violate existing gun laws, and we need to repeal the provisions of Prop 47 that made firearm theft a misdemeanor.

    Dr. Wintemute has long been a proponent of abridging people’s civil rights for the illusion of public safety. In a similar vein to the post 9/11 provisions that has branches of the government overreaching their constitutional authority, the types of laws that will likely be championed by this research center will further erode the freedoms this country was founded on.

    I hope to be proven wrong.

  2. public health epidemiologist says:

    many states and tribal entities have child fatality review panels (CA and NM for sure); excellent data bases for looking at contributing factors in child deaths by firearm- risk reduction factors and some prevention factors. one hopes this new center will tie in with these/ CDC should have a list

  3. James Gaudin says:

    Kudos to the University of CAlifornia, Davis, for allocating the funds for this critically needed research ! Thank God we have academic institutions who are somewhat shielded from politicians who are afraid to authorize government funding to research the effects of the ready availability of guns in most states to anyone who has the money to purchase one. The facts discovered by unbiased research will shed the light of day for the national debate on the need for more effective control of guns used to perpetrate violence in American society. Obviously our current federal and state laws are inadequate to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, those suffering from serious mental illness, children and adolescents, and those with severe mental limitations. And we have, by far, the highest homicide rate of any industrialize
    d country.
    The obtaining and publishing facts revealed by unbiased research is a good first step. The next step is getting our elected representatives to have the guts to support effective legislation that responds to the facts revealed by the researchers.

  4. BA Bowen says:

    If you really wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, you’d fix the problems of malpractice and medical errors which result in over 400,000 preventable deaths a year (over 10 times all firearm related deaths, and over 40 times that of firearm homicides alone) due to doctor’s mistakes and negligence. I am sure $5million would be a good step towards implementing guidelines and technology to curb such a widespread epidemic of doctor error.

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