In recent years, public health scholars and policymakers have been calling for increased research on the public health implications of gun violence. However, scientific research on this issue has been stifled by a 1996 budget rider that eliminated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) funding for gun research. In this study, we examined newspaper coverage of three mass shootings that took place over a 20-year period before and after the passage of this budget rider. We found that sources and frames provided by news media to contextualize gun violence shifted markedly over time, progressing from episodic and individual-level frames to broader thematic societal-level concerns, with increased discussion of mental health but limited discourse explicitly related to public health.
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