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"What really blinds people on both sides is thinking that it's either or: either we do nothing and put up with the horrendous tolls of firearm deaths and mass shootings, or we take all the guns away." That's public health expert and former CDC research director Mark Rosenberg, speaking to one of America’s most polarizing issues. Our country's fierce gun debate pits "both sides" against each other — proponents of stricter firearm regulation against gun rights advocates. But when it comes to finding solutions everyone can get behind, we have a major roadblock: there's been no federally funded scientific research on gun violence since 1996. That's when Republican Arkansas Congressman Jay Dickey, the NRA's so-called 'point man on the Hill,' spearheaded a bill that stripped the CDC of $2.6 million — the amount that had been funding Mark Rosenberg’s gun violence research.

Mark Rosenberg and Jay Dickey were on diametrically opposed sides of the gun debate, but fate took a twist. Their story a microcosm of what's so vitally needed in the arena of gun control, and our political arena beyond.

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