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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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Featured

Guns and Voting: How to Protect Elections after Bruen

September 18, 2023

With more guns and more political polarization and violence, states need strong laws to limit risk. In Bruen, the Supreme Court recognized that prohibitions on guns in "sensitive places" — and specifically in "polling places" — were "presumptively lawful." Yet today only 12 states and Washington, DC, prohibit both open and concealed carry of firearms at poll sites. Ironically, the states with the strongest gun regulations — which had restricted the ability to carry guns in public generally, rather than prohibiting guns in particular locations — were made most vulnerable in the wake of Bruen. In fact, only one of the six states that had their laws struck down by the decision specifically prohibited guns in polling places at the time of the decision.Now these states that once had strong general gun laws must scramble to enact new protections for elections. Although some states have banned guns at polling placessince Bruen, there is far more work to do.This report evaluates the new risks that gun violence poses for U.S. elections and proposes policy solutions to limit those risks. Solutions include prohibitions on firearms wherever voting or election administration occurs — at or near polling places, ballot drop boxes, election offices, and ballot counting facilities. In addition, states need stronger laws preventing intimidation of voters, election officials, election workers, and anyone else facilitating voting, with express recognition of the role that guns play in intimidation.Brennan Center for Justice: http://brennancenter.org/Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence: https://giffords.org/lawcenter/gun-laws/ 

Featured

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.

Featured

The National Cost of Gun Violence: The Price Tag for Taxpayers

February 27, 2023

NICJR has calculated the costs of shootings in numerous cities across the country, deliberately using conservative estimates and only counting documentable direct costs. Using these studies as a starting point, this report aggregates the city-specific data and combines it with other data sources to model the direct unit costs and the direct average costs of gun violence nationwide.Unit costs reflect all of the potential costs of a single incident of gun violence, while average costs take into account the fact that certain costs are not incurred for every incident. For example, this report estimates the costs that gun violence imposes on the courts, district attorney, and public defender when a suspect is charged and goes to trial. However, because many incidents of gun violence do not result in prosecution or a trial, these estimates, or unit costs, are deflated to calculate the average cost per shooting.

Featured

Shooting Straight: What TV Stories Tell Us About Gun Safety, How These Depictions Affect Audiences, and How We Can Do Better

September 29, 2022

On average, 110 people are killed by guns every day in the United States, with Black Americans disproportionately impacted. Young Black men are 20 times more likely to be killed by a gun than young white men, and between 2019 and 2020, deaths by guns increased by 39.5% among Black people. In 2021, for the first time, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared gun violence a "serious public threat."Firearms are the leading cause of death among children and teens, increasing by 29% from 2019 to 2020 alone. School shootings receive disproportionate media and policy attention and are a major source of fear, but 85% of child victims of gun homicide die in their homes, and over 80% of child gun suicides involve a gun owned by a family member. In addition, myths persist, such as the belief that gun violence is primarily caused by mental illness, or that a civilian "good guy" can intervene in an active shooting and save lives if they are allowed to carry a loaded gun.The prevalence and impact of gun violence in entertainment media has been the subject of extensive research. Little is known, however, about how often gun safety and prevention measures are portrayed or discussed, in what contexts, or the impact of such portrayals on audiences. To address this gap, the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center's Media Impact Project (MIP) conducted a research project with support from Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. This included:-A content analysis of popular, scripted television dramas from the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons.-An experimental study examining the impact of two major gun safety storylines on audiences' knowledge, beliefs, and policy support.

Hispanic Victims of Lethal Firearms Violence in the United States (2023)

December 6, 2023

In 2001, the United States experienced a historic demographic change. For the first time, Hispanics became the largest minority group in the nation, exceeding the number of Black residents. With a population in 2020 of 62.1 million, Hispanics represent 18.7 percent of the total population of the United States.This study is intended to report on Hispanic homicide victimization and suicide in the United States, the role of firearms in homicide and suicide, and overall gun death figures. Recognizing this demographic landscape, the importance of documenting such victimization is clear. Indeed, studies have found that Hispanic individuals are more likely to die by firearm homicide compared to white, non-Hispanic individuals.

Víctimas hispanas de violencia letal por armas de fuego en Estados Unidos (2023)

December 6, 2023

En 2001 los Estados Unidos experimentaron un cambio demográfico de carácter histórico. Por primera vez los hispanos se convirtieron en el grupo minoritario más grande del país, al sobrepasar en número a los residentes de raza negra. Con una población de 62.1 millones en 2020, los hispanos constituyen 18.7 por ciento del total de la población de los Estados Unidos.Este estudio busca informar sobre la victimización por homicidios y suicidios de la población hispana en los Estados Unidos, así como el papel que juegan las armas de fuego en homicidios y suicidios, y también las cifras totales de muertes por armas de fuego. La importancia de documentar dicha victimización queda clara al percatarnos del respectivo panorama demográfico en que ocurre. En efecto, hay estudios que han encontrado que una persona hispana tiene más probabilidades de morir por homicidio con arma de fuego que una persona blanca no-hispana.

VPC Backgrounder on Ruger, the Manufacturer of the Assault Rifle Used in the Lewiston, Maine Mass Shooting

October 31, 2023

On Wednesday, October 25, 2023, Army reservist Robert Card entered a local bar and a bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine. Equipped with a Ruger SFAR assault rifle, he killed 18 victims and wounded 13 others before taking his own life. Days after the attack he was found dead, the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.This backgrounder offers information on the Ruger SFAR assault rifle and other assault weapons manufactured by the company, additional mass shootings that have been committed with Ruger firearms (including foreign civilian mass shootings), firearm production data, voluntary "safety alerts" warning of defects in specific Ruger firearms, the company's financial support of the National Rifle Association, and links to its social media outlets.

Community Violence Intervention in Chicago: Fall 2023 Report

October 26, 2023

Starting in 2016, with initial funding from the philanthropic sector, a handful of community violence intervention (CVI) organizations began serving individuals at high risk of shooting or being shot with a menu of services that include outreach, life coaching, trauma treatment, education and job training. Today, as public funding at the city, county and state level has increased, Chicago's CVI network has grown to more than two dozen organizations that are currently active in nearly half of Chicago's 77 communities, including all of those with the highest levels of gun violence. Collectively, they serve more than 3000 individuals, representing about 15-20 percent of the highest risk population.Comparing 2023 year-to-date to the same period of time in the peak year of 2021, shootings in most CVI communities are down. Many exceed the citywide decline.

Detroit, Michigan, The Cost of Gun Violence: The Direct Cost to Tax Payers

October 5, 2023

The National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR) was commissioned by the Public Welfare Foundation to conduct this detailed analysis that documents the government expenses accompanying every fatal or non-fatal shooting in Detroit. In tracking the direct costs per shooting incident, NICJR has deliberately used the low end of the range for each expense. This study does not include the loss-of-production costs when the victim or suspect were working at the time of the incident. Nationally, those costs have been estimated at an additional $1–2 million for each shooting incident. This means that the calculated cost of $1,719,087 for a fatal shooting in Detroit is a conservative estimate; the real cost is likely even higher.

When Men Murder Women: A Review of 25 Years of Female Homicide Victimization in the United States

October 1, 2023

In January of 2021, the FBI changed the way crime data are collected and reported, which has impacted the reliability of subsequent data. That year, the FBI retired the SHR system and replaced it with the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). While NIBRS will eventually provide much more comprehensive and robust crime data compared to the SHR, transitioning law enforcement agencies to the new data collection and reporting system has been slow and burdensome. Indeed, many law enforcement agencies did not transition to NIBRS by January of 2021, which has had a significant impact on the reliability of 2021 crime data. After a careful analysis of that year's crime data, the VPC has determined that current NIBRS data are not reliable for state-by-state gun violence research as required by When Men Murder Women.Lacking reliable crime data from 2021, this report will instead focus on trends revealed in previous editions of When Men Murder Women over the past 25 years. Previous years' reports described the age and race of victims, weapons used, the relationship between victim and offender, and circumstance. Prior reports also ranked the states by their rates of females killed by males. This study summarizes the findings of these reports and the patterns and characteristics of these homicides between 1996 and 2020.

American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States, Eighth Edition

October 1, 2023

Murder-suicide is "a dramatic, violent event" in which a person commits one murder or multiple murders, and then shortly after commits suicide. What makes these acts particularly disturbing is that they affect more than one person and often involve a family. Murder-suicides are almost always committed by a man with a firearm. Yet outside of high-profile mass shootings, the phenomenon of murder-suicide usually garners little public attention as a significant contributor to gun-related death and injury. This is despite the fact that, as one medical professional has observed, "because many murder suicides result in the death or injury of family members and sometimes mass murder, they cause countless additional morbidity, family trauma, and disruption of communities."Currently, comprehensive, up-to-date information specific to murder-suicides in the United States is not readily available, making it challenging to assess the toll in death and injury. In order to more fully understand the human costs of murder-suicide, in 2002 the Violence Policy Center (VPC) began collecting and analyzing news reports of murder-suicides, resulting in a series of studies titled American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States. This is the eighth edition of the study. For each analysis, the VPC tracked murder-suicide incidents over a six-month period using Internet news reports. For this most recent edition of the study, news reports of murder-suicides were collected for the period January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021. To be included in the study, both the murder and subsequent suicide had to occur within 72 hours of each other and within this six-month time period. Recognizing the lack of publicly available data, this study likely provides one of the most current and accurate portraits possible of murder suicide in the United States. 

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.