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The issues, the research, and what you can do.
Gun violence is a serious public health issue. This page provides links to resources documenting the extent and nature of the problem in the United States. We also provide a discussion of the many public policy debates that impact gun violence in the US.
These public policy issues include:
In 1993 an article was published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Gun ownership as a risk factor for homicide in the home.” In the article, Arthur Kellerman and his colleagues concluded that the presence of a gun in a home was strongly associated with an increased risk of homicide by a family member or close acquaintance. The research was funded by the Centers of Disease Control, and in response the National Rifle Association successfully campaigned to have all funding related to gun violence research eliminated from the CDC budget. This was accomplished through a rider in the annual federal appropriations bill, the bill that creates for the overall federal budget each year.
This year there was an extremely strong, often bipartisan push to have that rider eliminated from the appropriations bill. Those efforts failed, and the ban on federal funding for gun violence research is still in place.
The APA was one of many organizations working to eliminate the ban. For an extensive overview of this issue from the APA click here.
What Does Gun Violence Really Cost? Mother Jones (the results of collaboration between Mother Jones magazine and economist Ted Miller of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation)
Gun Violence Archive (a non-profit devoted to providing accurate information on gun-related violence in the U.S.)
The APA supports a public health approach to firearm violence, including the implementation of preventive interventions that are evidence-based, and the evaluation of such interventions when implemented.
In particular, the APA strongly supports lifting the ban on federal funding for gun violence research.