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Trauma doctor pushing for research on gun violence after Pulse

Doctor: Research needed in wake of Pulse nightclub shooting

ORLANDO, Fla. – After 49 people were killed during the Pulse nightclub shooting, a debate started over gun control. But, a lesser known issue has also surfaced since then: the lack of federal money to research gun violence.

"I think with what we have seen, especially in the last few weeks, it really does not make sense that we can't study what has been termed as a public health crisis, " said Trauma Dr. Michael Cheatham.

He has been a doctor for more than two decades, and treated many of the 44 Pulse shooting victims taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center. He said the number and severity of gunshot wounds has increased significantly over the last 10 years, and believes there is now a serious need for research on gun violence.

"There has essentially been a moratorium for 20 years that prevents hospitals and research facilities from doing any research that is federally funding into gun violence," he explained.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has funded some research, but much of it was stopped after Congress passed a measure 20 years ago. It forbade them from spending money to "advocate or promote gun control."

"Being able to do research on the types of injuries that patients sustain from different types of gunshot wounds would be immensely helpful in allowing us to save more lives and improve patient outcome," said Dr. Cheatham.

He's encouraging everyone in the community to contact their local lawmakers.