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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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Still Ringing the Alarm: An Enduring Call to Action for Black Youth Suicide Prevention

August 23, 2023

In 2019, the Congressional Black Caucus Emergency Task Force on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health sounded the alarm about concerning suicide trends among Black youth in their report, Ring the Alarm. This present report not only urges us to renew the urgent call to action, but also to critically interrogate the socioecological factors and structures—including institutional racism—that contribute to suicide risk among Black youth and how those factors create significant barriers for researchers and implementors trying to save their lives.This report is comprised of six main sections. The first section provides an overview of data pertaining to Black youth suicide ideation, attempts, and deaths to contextualize the problem, data trends, and how that varies based on intersectional identities. The second section contextualizes risk factors unique to Black youth using the socioecological model. The third section provides an overview of unique protective factors for Black youth, with the fourth section summarizing some existing evidence-informed and best practices for Black youth suicide prevention. The fifth section reviews gaps and impediments to Black youth suicide prevention, followed by the sixth section that provides recommendations developed to advance this work forward.This report serves as a renewal of the CBC task force's original call to action as well as a guide for policymakers, advocates, stakeholders, and federal, state, and local governments to understand the issue of Black youth suicide. The report identifies potential evidence-informed interventions and practice-based evidence to implement and address this enduring crisis, while also engaging in the longer-term work necessary to address upstream, structural factors that contribute to Black youth's suicide risk. Finally, the report also explores barriers researchers and implementors face to develop evidence-based and culturally responsive interventions to save Black youth's lives.

The HAVI 2022 Impact Report

October 1, 2023

Explore our 2022 HAVI Impact Report for insights on:Our network of established and emerging HVIPsHAVI's work in the field including engaging and empowering frontline violence prevention professionalsOur pivotal role in advancing public policies that support community violence intervention.Pioneering research initiatives focused on public health solutions to address gun violence.Our efforts in shifting the narrative surrounding violence.The growth and progress of HAVI as an organization.

Hospital-based Violence Intervention: Practices & Policies to End the Cycle of Violence

September 1, 2023

Read our position brief, issued in September 2023, to learn about:Hospital-based violence intervention programs (HVIPs)The future of HVIP researchRecommendations for building and sustaining successful HVIPs in the community violence intervention ecosystem

U.S. Gun Violence in 2021: An Accounting of a Public Health Crisis

June 6, 2023

Each year it is our mission to provide policymakers and the public accurate and up-to date data on gun fatalities and illustrate the enormous toll gun violence has on our country. This report is an update of "A Year in Review: 2020 Gun Deaths in the U.S." It uses 2021 firearm fatality data released by the CDC in January 2023.We recognize that each data point discussed in this report is a person who died by gun violence. This loss has an immeasurable impact on families, friends, and communities; data can only partly illuminate the true burden of gun violence. In addition to analyzing the data, we must listen to and uplift the voices of those directly impacted by gun violence, their loved ones, and their communities.Yet even on its own, the 2021 CDC data paints an alarming picture of the epidemic of gun violence. It illustrates how people from all walks of life are impacted. These deaths, and the associated pain and suffering, can be prevented. By leveraging the data outlined in this report, we can improve gun violence prevention strategies and create a more peaceful future, free from gun violence.

The Health Costs of Gun Violence: How the U.S. Compares to Other Countries

April 20, 2023

In the following seven charts, we illustrate how gun violence affects Americans compared to people in 13 other high-income countries. The data are drawn from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation's (IHME) Global Burden of Disease database, the Small Arms Survey's Global Firearms Holdings database, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office's Firearm Injuries: Health Care Service Needs and Costs report (see "Data Sources and Methods" for details).

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act: Mental Health Wins Undermined for Black and Brown Youth

January 12, 2023

Passed in June 2022, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) came at a time in our country when legislation on both mental health and gun violence prevention was overdue. While generally upheld as a major legislative victory that expands federal investments in mental health supports, the BSCA also includes a series of provisions that will disproportionately harm the mental health of young people who are Black, brown, disabled, low income, and LGBTQIA+.This brief provides an overview of the key mental health provisions in the act, gives a timeline of expected implementation, and offers recommendations for mental health policies that center equity.

Gun Violence Prevention: An Academic Public Health Framework

January 11, 2023

There are a number of barriers to effectively implementing strategies that can prevent firearm fatalities and injuries across the country. These factors include the deep national divide on public policy around firearms, the historical lack of funding to support gun violence research, and the challenges we face with framing gun violence as a public health or health equity issue rather than solely a criminal justice problem, with the disproportionate impact of firearm violence falling on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities.While this is true for homicides, suicides also represent 60 percent of firearm deaths and show very different demographic patterns. A public health approach to the firearm violence problem, that elevates strategies which are rooted in empirical evidence and invests in the next generation of leaders for long-term change, stands to contribute to the evolving national movement that focuses on addressing violence.As the voice of academic public health, the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) developed a framework that can guide academic public health institutions as they engage in the issue of firearm violence prevention. ASPPH intends this report to contribute to the growing national movement that attempts to address gun violence and to support Schools and Programs of Public Health (SPPHs) in advancing solutions to this national crisis. This report provides recommendations for actions SPPHs can take in four strategy domains—education and training, research, policy and advocacy, and practice.This report will be updated regularly as the national conversation on gun violence evolves, and ASPPH will formally reassess its progress in this area in three years.

Preventing Firearm Suicide Among White Men Who Own Firearms in Greater Minnesota: Findings from Interviews with Firearm Owners and National Messaging Experts

December 1, 2022

Wilder Research conducted interviews with national messaging experts and white, male, firearm owners in greater Minnesota. Respondents were asked for their suggestions for trusted messengers who could share communications about firearm suicide prevention, suggestions for framing messaging and the types of content that should be shared, safe storage practices, and how they and other firearm owners would respond to a mental health crisis and the barriers that prevent people from intervening in a crisis.

Gun Suicide in Cities: The Lesser-Known Side of City Gun Violence

September 8, 2022

Gun violence often looks different in cities than it does in rural areas. In particular, gun homicides are notably high in cities, with a rate 80 percent above the national average, and 130 percent above rural counties. Today especially, the nation is rightfully focused on addressing the rise in gun homicides that has plagued cities across the country since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the impact of gun violence on cities is larger than this narrow framing leads us to believe. Rates of people who die by gun suicide in cities are also on the rise, impacting far more diverse populations than ever before—but, until now, a dearth of city-level data on this topic leaves it often overlooked.The following analysis by Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund (Everytown) and New York University Grossman School of Medicine (NYU), uses new city-level data compiled and made publicly available on NYU's City Health Dashboard. While rural communities disproportionately experience high rates of people who die by gun suicide, this analysis unveils the unique and growing prevalence of gun suicides in cities and highlights the need to broaden the concept of city gun violence to recognize, prevent, and solve this pressing public health concern.

Machine Learning Analysis of Handgun Transactions to Predict Firearm Suicide Risk

July 11, 2022

Importance  Evidence suggests that limiting access to firearms among individuals at high risk of suicide can be an effective means of suicide prevention, yet accurately identifying those at risk to intervene remains a key challenge. Firearm purchasing records may offer a large-scale and objective data source for the development of tools to predict firearm suicide risk.Objective  To test whether a statewide database of handgun transaction records, coupled with machine learning techniques, can be used to forecast firearm suicide risk.Design, Setting, and Participants  This prognostic study used the California database of 4 976 391 handgun transaction records from 1 951 006 individuals from January 1, 1996, to October 6, 2015. Transaction-level random forest classification was implemented to predict firearm suicide risk, and the relative predictive power of features in the algorithm was estimated via permutation importance. Analyses were performed from December 1, 2020, to May 19, 2022.Main Outcomes and Measures  The main outcome was firearm suicide within 1 year of a firearm transaction, derived from California death records (1996-2016). With the use of California's Dealer's Records of Sale (1996-2015), 41 handgun, transaction, purchaser, and community-level predictor variables were generated.Results  There are a total of 4 976 391 transactions in the California's Dealer's Record of Sale database representing 1 951 006 individuals (1 525 754 men [78.2% of individuals]; mean [SD] age, 43.4 [13.9] years). Firearm suicide within 1 year occurred in 0.07% of handgun transactions (3278 transactions among 2614 individuals). A total of 38.6% of observed firearm suicides were among transactions classified in the highest-risk ventile (379 of 983 transactions), with 95% specificity. Among the small number of transactions with a random forest score above 0.95, more than two-thirds (24 of 35 [68.6%]) were associated with a purchaser who died by firearm suicide within 1 year. Important features included known risk factors, such as older age at first purchase, and previously unreported predictors, including distance to firearms dealer and month of purchase.Conclusions and Relevance  This prognostic study presented the first large-scale machine learning analysis of individual-level handgun transaction records. The results suggested the potential utility of such records in identifying high-risk individuals to aid suicide prevention efforts. It also identified handgun, individual, and community characteristics that have strong predictive relationships with firearm suicide and may warrant further study.

Child and Teen Firearm Mortality in the U.S. and Peer Countries

July 8, 2022

Firearms recently became the number one cause of death for children in the United States, surpassing motor vehicle deaths and those caused by other injuries.We examine how gun violence and other types of firearm deaths among children and teens in the United States compares to rates in similarly large and wealthy countries. We select comparable large and wealthy countries by identifying Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member nations with above median GDP and above median GDP per capita in at least one year from 2010-2020. Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Wonder database and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study data, we compare fatality rates and disability estimates for people ages 1 through 19. (Since estimates were not available for children ages 1-17 alone, young adults ages 18 and 19 are grouped with children for the purposes of this brief).We find that the United States is alone among peer nations in the number of child firearm deaths. In no other similarly large or wealthy country are firearm deaths in the top 4 causes of mortality let alone the number 1 cause of death among children.

Recent Trends in Mental Health and Substance Use Concerns Among Adolescents

June 28, 2022

Concerns about adolescent mental health and substance use have increased recently, particularly in light of gun violence and the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent years, many adolescents have experienced worsened emotional health, increased stress, and a lack of peer connection. Other mental health and substance use concerns are on the rise – including drug overdose deaths, self-harm, and eating disorders. Simultaneously, adolescents are spending more time on screens and many report adverse experiences such as parental abuse, hunger, and job loss – all of which can be linked to poor mental health outcomes.This brief explores the state of adolescent mental health and substance use in recent years, highlighting differences observed by sex, racial and ethnic groups, and sexual orientation. Throughout this analysis, we define adolescents as individuals ages 12 to 17. Although data on adolescent mental health is limited, where possible, we draw upon data from the 2020 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH), which asks parents or guardians questions on behalf of their children and adolescents. We also include data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other surveys conducted during the pandemic.