Brad Howard, a former aide to then-U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, checked in yesterday with comment on worthwhile gun legislation from the office of U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, where he’s now chief of staff.

Murphy is sponsor of  legislation with a distinct Arkansas angle. She’d repeal the Dickey Amendment, the work of former U.S. Rep. Jay Dickey, an Arkansas Republican. It prohibited federal research into gun violence and public health. Research COULD lead to safety measures that would reduce gun injuries and death, much as auto research has produced measures that have reduced auto fatalities. The NRA, a major player in Dickey’s defeat of Rep. Beryl Anthony, wouldn’t stand for it. Before he died, and after he left Congress, Dickey came around on the issue and said he regretted sponsorship of the amendment.


In the aftermath of the Florida gun slaughter, one Arkansas congressman, U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford said on Twitter

Well, hello, Congressman Crawford. Murphy responded:


As ever, talk is cheap. Said Howard in response to my question about actual support for repeal:

No Republicans anywhere. They all keep saying we should get rid of Dickey Amendment, but none will cosponsor a bill to do so.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar even seemed to be supportive of research in statements at a hearing Thursday.


So then. Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman? Reps. Steve Womack, Bruce Westerman, Rick Crawford and French Hill? Could we not again support scientific study of guns for clues on stemming ill effects?

Wait, never mind on French Hill. The NRA’s $1 million bankroll of Hill guarantees he’ll never support even common-sense approaches to gun violence.

UPDATE: Brad Howard says one Republican has signed on Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.).