Involved in a serious car accident? There are state and federal databases to record what happened, how many people were injured and government money spent to discover new ways to prevent high-risk collisions.
Had a problem with gun violence? Until recently, there was virtually no federal funding for a similar system, and patients admitted to local ERs essentially vanished from sight. In large part, this was due to fear that a database of gun-related injuries was just gun control in disguise, thanks to an executive order from President Obama, money has started flowing from the CDC to state agencies interested in expanding their national reporting system. The hope? That a better understanding of why and how gun violence occurs will help limit the amount.