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Jay Dickey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2001
Preceded byBeryl Anthony, Jr.
Succeeded byMike Ross
Personal details
Jay Woodson Dickey Jr.

(1939-12-14)December 14, 1939
Pine Bluff, Arkansas, U.S.
DiedApril 20, 2017(2017-04-20) (aged 77)
Pine Bluff, Arkansas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Betty Clark (div 1987)
ChildrenJohn, Laura, Ted, and Rachel
EducationPine Bluff High School
Alma materHendrix College
University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
University of Arkansas School of Law

Jay Woodson Dickey, Jr. (December 14, 1939 – April 20, 2017), was a Republican U.S. Representative for Arkansas' 4th congressional district from 1993 to 2001. The amendment known as the Dickey Amendment (1996) blocks the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from funding injury prevention research that might promote gun control, and the Dickey-Wicker Amendment (1995) prohibits federal funds to be spent on research that involves the destruction of a human embryo. After the 2012 Aurora shooting, former congressman Dickey said that he regretted his role in blocking the CDC from researching gun violence.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Why The Government Stops Gun Violence Research


As more mass shootings grow into a daily occurrence in the US, it seems we can’t turn to lawmakers for solutions, but can we turn to science? Science can tell us a lot. About the world around us, the universe beyond, even what’s going on in the cells in our finger tips. But it can’t tell us a whole lot about gun violence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) have been banned from getting any kind of federal funding for firearm related studies for the last 20 years. In 1996, Former Republican Congressman Jay Dickey of Arkansas pushed for an amendment on a funding bill that forbid the use of federal funds on studies that “promote gun control. A move he’s come to later regret, he even told NPR that he wants “science and science investigation and examination to take the place of politics”. He originally meant for the bill to stop “the collection of data to go to gun control advocacy” But the vague language put the brakes on any further research. Scientists just became too scared that they would lose their funding if they studied gun violence, and rightfully so. Congress retroactively punished the CDC for carrying out gun research the previous year. In 1995, the CDC spent 2.6 million dollars on gun violence research. At first some members of congress wanted to strip all the funding for the entire CDC’s injury control center, a total of over 40 million dollars. But they compromised for taking just the same amount that had been spent on gun violence the previous year, 2.6 million. With such large sums at risk, scientists were scared to study it and “Sponsors were spooked to fund stuff that had to do with guns” according to one researcher from Duke University. So it’s no wonder we know so little. I mean over the past four decades, NIH has funded just three studies on gun violence. Check out a comparison of NIH studies. They have studied disease like rabies, cholera, and polio. Take rabies for example. It killed just 63 people globally from the years 1973 to 2012. The NIH completed 89 studies on it. In comparison, over the same time period gun violence killed over 4 million people, yet the NIH completed just 3 studies on the subject. You might be saying, "But guns aren’t diseases!" But the fact is, research organizations like the CDC and the NIH study other things potentially harmful to human health besides diseases, like deaths by drowning or car accidents. And even if they study these things, they aren’t suggesting we ban pools or cars, they are just interested in making them SAFER. And in 2013, President Obama agreed. After the wake of the horrific Newtown Elementary School Shooting, he gave an executive order that the CDC and the NIH return to researching gun violence. But unfortunately, not much has changed. Congress still blocks funding on firearms when they can and researchers are still left quaking in their sensible shoes. CDC spokeswoman Courtney Lenard told the Washington Post that “It is possible for us to conduct firearm-related research...but our resources are very limited.” So what do researchers know about gun violence? Well according to the CDC we know that around 33,600 people die every year from firearms across all categories. That’s about the same number as those who die from car accidents. And from the few studies available, like one published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that having a gun in the home is linked with an increase in the risk of homicide in the home. Other risk factors include substance abuse and a history of violence. And another study from the Journal of Epidemiology found that having a gun in the home increases the risk of suicide for adult men. But there are so many basic questions we have yet to answer. For starters, no one knows how many guns are out there in the US. There’s no national registry. We don’t know why people want to own a gun or even what percentage of gun owners go on to commit a crime with their firearm. Basic things that science needs to answer. Like Richard Berk, a criminology professor at the University of Pennsylvania said in a letter to Joe Biden, “I see no upside to ignorance”. So I guess more research is needed. I know I know, you’re probably sick of hearing about gun violence and mass shootings. But these events are just as horrific even the 300th time around. So why have we stopped caring about mass shootings? Have we become desensitized? Trace has the answer in this video, right here.


Education and early career

Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Dickey graduated from Pine Bluff High School in 1957; after attending Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in 1961 from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. In 1963, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law.[1] He began his career in law in private practice, and later served as city attorney of Pine Bluff from 1968 to 1970.[1]

In 1988 then-Governor Bill Clinton appointed Dickey as a special justice for a case before the Arkansas Supreme Court.[1]

Political career

On November 3, 1992, the same day as Clinton's election as U.S. President, Dickey defeated Arkansas Secretary of State William J. "Bill" McCuen, described as a "scandal-plagued Democratic nominee".[2] The first Republican to hold this House seat, he was re-elected three times. He served on the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations, and five of its subcommittees:[citation needed] Agriculture, National Security, Energy and Water, Transportation and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.

A Second Amendment rights advocate, in 1996 Dickey responded to a supposed bias[3] on the part of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose research on firearm injuries and fatalities was deemed motivated by pro gun-control politics, rather than science.[4] Dickey successfully passed an amendment to eliminate $2.6 million from the CDC budget, reflecting the amount the CDC had previously spent on gun research.[4]

The outspoken, controversial, and conservative Dickey saw his popularity decline in his overall moderate district. In 2000, he lost in his reelection campaign to the Democratic candidate Mike Ross in a close race. Then House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois came into the district in a bid to save Dickey's seat, while President Clinton poured massive resources on behalf of Ross.[citation needed]

Dickey opposed Ross in 2002 in an attempt to return to his seat, but he was defeated, 60-40 percent.

Subsequent career

After leaving office, Dickey operated JD Consulting,[5] primarily a federal government lobbying firm, which represents clients' interest in children's health care, navigation and water, tax matters, homeland security, and roads.

Following the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, Dickey publicly reversed his position on gun violence research. He said that he should not have become "the NRA’s point person in Congress" to suppress valid and valuable work. He called for new scientific research in the field.[6]


Dickey died on April 20, 2017, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease [7] [8]

Electoral history

The following are the electoral results from the Arkansas's 4th congressional district for 1992–2002.[9]

Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
1992 W. J. "Bill" McCuen 102,918 48% Jay Dickey 113,009 52%
1994 Jay Bradford 81,370 48% Jay Dickey 87,469 52%
1996 Vincent Tolliver 72,391 36% Jay Dickey 125,956 64%
1998 Judy Smith 68,194 42% Jay Dickey 92,346 58%
2000 Mike Ross 108,143 51% Jay Dickey 104,017 49%
2002 Mike Ross 119,633 61% Jay Dickey 77,904 39%


  1. ^ a b c United States Congress. "Jay Dickey (id: D000312)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
  2. ^ "Republican Party". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
  3. ^ "Reviving the CDC's Gun-Factoid Factory". National Review Online. Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  4. ^ a b Luo, Michael (January 25, 2011). "N.R.A. Stymies Firearms Research". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  5. ^ "Lobbying: JD Consulting". Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
  6. ^ "We won't know the cause of gun violence until we look for it". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  7. ^ Former Arkansas Congressman Jay Dickey dies
  8. ^ Former Arkansas Congressman Jay Dickey dies
  9. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 2007-07-25. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Beryl Anthony, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 4th congressional district

January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2001
Succeeded by
Mike Ross
This page was last edited on 15 April 2019, at 07:06
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