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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Understanding Gun Violence: Factors Associated With Beliefs Regarding Guns, Gun Policies, and Gun Violence

July 1, 2021

Gun violence is a pressing public health concern, particularly in the United States. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a record-breaking year with 43,551 deaths attributed to gun violence in the U.S., with almost 20,000 classified as murder/unintentional death and more than 24,000 classified as suicide (Gun Violence Archive, 2021). Black men are 10 times more likely to die from gun violence than are white men (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2020c). Yet, in proportion to these sobering statistics, researchers' knowledge of the range of causes and possible remedies remains negligible. The purpose of this Special Issue of the Psychology of Violence devoted to Gun Violence was to highlight and spur additional, psychologically oriented research regarding firearm violence. Method: This Special Issue consists of seven original U.S.-based studies that address various aspects of gun violence, including individual, geographical, psychological, and sociological factors associated with attitudes toward guns, gun policies, and gun violence. Results: Individually and collectively, these studies provide novel insights regarding different types of gun perceptions and beliefs. These works consider a wide range of factors including media exposure, beliefs about the link between mental illness and gun violence, cumulative trauma, masculinity norms, regional norms, and trust in law enforcement. Discussion: This Special Issue is intended to spark greater interest in working to mitigate firearm violence and encourage researchers across scientific disciplines to collaboratively apply their theoretical perspectives and methodologies to reduce the devastating, but understudied, U.S. gun violence epidemic.

Gun Violence: Prediction, Prevention, and Policy

January 1, 2013

Gun violence is an urgent, complex, and multifaceted problem. It requires evidence-based, multifaceted solutions. Psychology can make important contributions to policies that prevent gun violence. Toward this end, in February 2013 the American Psychological Association commissioned this report by a panel of experts to convey research-based conclusions and recommendations (and to identify gaps in such knowledge) on how to reduce the incidence of gun violence -- whether by homicide, suicide, or mass shootings -- nationwide.Following are chapter-by-chapter highlights and short summaries of conclusions and recommendations of the report's authors. More information and supporting citations can be found within the chapters themselves.