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This special collection brings together evidence and insights from nonprofits, foundations, and research organizations working to understand the full impact of firearm use and gun violence in the US. By providing us with analyses of current state and federal laws as well as valuable data on suicides, homicides, accidents, and mass shootings, these organizations seek to inform sound public policy and to curb this ongoing public health epidemic.

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"Gun Violence" by M+R Glasgow licensed under CC 2.0

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The Devastating Toll of Gun Violence on American Women and Girls

September 13, 2023

In many ways, men have historically been the focus of conversations about guns and gun violence in the United States. Nearly two-thirds of gun owners are male. Eighty-six percent of gun deaths in the US involve men, and men are six times more likely to die from gun violence than women.However, gun violence also takes a grueling and devastating toll on women, with women of color experiencing a particularly disproportionate impact. Each year, more than 6,000 women die from gun violence. More than half of these deaths are gun suicides, and women are also heavily impacted by the deadly intersection of guns and domestic violence, which claims hundreds of lives each year. Thousands more women are left in the wake of gun violence's trauma, forced to grieve and recover from the loss of the many sons, husbands, brothers, and fathers who die as a result of gun violence. The toll of gun violence on women in the US is particularly stark when compared to peer nations: compared to women in other high-income countries, US women are 21 times more likely to die from gun violence.It is clear that gun violence is an issue with deep, multi-faceted impacts on women's safety, health, and well-being. Understanding this burden is essential to creating and implementing responsive solutions that will protect women, their families, and their communities.

Surging Gun Violence: Where We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We Go Next

May 4, 2022

In many communities across the country, gun violence has been an unrelenting drumbeat. In a single deadly day, gun violence claimed the lives of a 31-year-old father in Port Allen, Louisiana; a 43-year-old in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who was known as a stylish dresser with a great sense of humor; an 11-year-old in Columbia, Missouri, who loved to dance and play with her cousins; and a 17-year-old in Columbus, Ohio, who was a gifted boxer.Each day, hundreds of lives like these are lost or irrevocably changed as this crisis rages on. But in the last two years, the tempo of this beat has gotten faster. Gun violence has skyrocketed in cities and towns across the country, leaving more devastation and more trauma in its wake. More than 45,000 Americans were killed in acts of gun violence in 2020—a 15% increase over the previous year. This increase was primarily driven by an unprecedented 35% rise in gun homicides. In fact, more people were lost to gun violence in 2020 than any other year on record, and although final data is not yet available, the gun death total in 2021 is likely to surpass these records. This drumbeat is ever-present, but one to which too many have become numb. For too long, this epidemic has gone unchecked, and even as it has spiraled out of control, too many leaders are choosing to do nothing. This moment demands attention, and we must do more to mitigate these increases and protect communities in crisis. This report provides data describing how gun violence has skyrocketed in 2020 and 2021, showing that this historic rise in gun violence has primarily served to intensify this crisis in communities that already suffered the greatest burden. Additionally, this report describes and considers the factors that most likely contributed to these increases, based on available evidence, and makes suggestions for how policymakers can best respond to this unprecedented challenge. We hope that this report can help guide a more nuanced and evidence-informed conversation about how to tackle this problem that will lead to the implementation of tangible, sustainable measures to address it. 

Research Roundup: An Analysis of Gun Violence Publication Trends in 2021

February 8, 2022

Gun deaths have reached some of their highest levels ever in the past few years. The research field needs to be as strong and responsive as it can be in order to end our current crisis.We hope this review will help researchers, funders, policymakers, and stakeholders in their efforts to produce the kind of actionable, equitable research needed to help save lives.