In one of the executive orders Barack Obama signed today regarding guns, the president authorized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to "research" gun violence.

"The Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary), through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other scientific agencieswithin the Department of Health and Human Services, shall conduct or sponsor research into the causes of gun violenceand the ways to prevent it," reads part of an executive order signed today by Obama. "The Secretary shall begin byidentifying the most pressing research questions with thegreatest potential public health impact, and by assessingexisting public health interventions being implemented acrossthe Nation to prevent gun violence."

The president explains: "In addition to being a law enforcement challenge, gun violence is also a serious public health issue that affects thousands of individuals, families, and communities across the Nation.Each year in the United States there are approximately 30,000firearm-related deaths, and approximately 11,000 of those deaths result from homicides. Addressing this critical issue requires a comprehensive, multifaceted approach."

"Recent research suggests that, in developing such an approach,a broader public health perspective is imperative. Significant strides can be made by assessing the causes of gun violence and the successful efforts in place for preventing the misuse of firearms. Taking these steps will improve our understanding the gun violence epidemic and will aid in the continued development of gun violence prevention strategies," Obama continues.

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