Health and Science News for Parents

Tough Topics: What does research really tell us about guns?

written by Tara Haelle

In the wake of the Orlando massacre at Pulse — just the most recent mass shooting and one of many more likely to come — the conversation about gun control has flared up again. It got a bit more traction in Congress with Sen. Chris Murphy’s Senate filibuster and the sit-in in the House led by John Lewis (a personal hero who can do no wrong in my eyes). The polarization around this issue, discouragingly continues unabated, and it may evoke more cognitive dissonance than any other issue I can think of (yes, even more than vaccines).

Our nation has a problem with gun violence. There is research that can guide us in addressing it.

Our nation has a problem with gun violence. There is research that can guide us in addressing it.

Not many folks know that I follow the research on firearm injuries and gun control almost as closely as that on vaccines, breastfeeding, and infant sleep. I don’t write about it as much because there is a very real risk of threat to myself and my family for those who write about the facts and what the evidence shows us about gun ownership, gun violence, firearm-related policies, and everything related to the issue of firearms in general.

Congress has made it difficult over the past decade and a half to conduct high-quality research on gun violence, but much of it still exists thanks to a handful dedicated injury prevention and public health researchers across the U.S. In the the one-hour podcast below, I discuss with MyNDTalk what much of this research has found.

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