WE CAN ACT TO REDUCE GUN VIOLENCE. WE HAVE TO.
The majority of Americans, including gun owners, support sensible gun laws, but the voices that are amplified are the minority (Americans Underestimate Public Support for Key Guy Policies).
Be heard. Write your lawmakers. Write to the media. Turn out the vote. Don't succumb to hopelessness.
Our society is so insanely divided that we view solutions as mutually exclusive: only focus on mental health; only focus on gun regulations. It's both. Really it's more than both and if we focus on just one solution, we're playing whack-a-mole. Unfortunately, if one extreme supports an idea, another automatically opposes it. Whack!
Below I’ve posted excerpts with links to the full articles for some talking points on actions that really do help. Next I'll post organizations for potential volunteers and donors.
Rhea K. Farberman, “What Works to Reduce Gun Violence?” Monitor on Psychology, American Psychological Association February, 2014.
The most consistent and powerful predictor of future violence is a history of violent behavior….Prevention efforts should be guided by research on developmental risk. We have good evidence of primary prevention programs that are effective….Preliminary evidence suggests that changing young men's perceptions of social norms about behaviors and characteristics associated with masculinity may reduce the prevalence of intimate partner and sexual violence….Policies and programs that identify and provide treatment for all people suffering from an emotional crisis or a mental illness — whether they pose a risk for violence or not; again, most do not — should be a national priority. The current level of access to mental health services in the United States is woefully insufficient….What we do know to date is that firearm prohibitions for high-risk groups — domestic violence offenders, people convicted of violent misdemeanor crimes and those who have been adjudicated as being a threat to themselves or to others — have been shown to reduce violence. In addition, the licensing of handgun purchasers, background checks for all gun sales and close oversight of retail gun sellers can reduce the diversion of guns to criminals
David Hemingway, “Doing Less Harm”. Harvard Magazine, Jan/Feb 2020.
The scientific evidence indicates that, all other things equal, places with stronger firearm laws have fewer gun problems and suffer fewer violent deaths than places with weaker laws. The existing evidence about which of the many individual laws are most effective is less compelling, but I believe that national firearm-licensing laws, handgun registration, and a requirement of strict liability for firearms owners would substantially reduce firearm violence. (Virtually every gun in the United States begins as a legal gun: manufactured legally and sold to someone who did not fail the federal background check. Yet many guns get into the hands of people who almost everyone agrees should not have them, often through theft. By shifting the burden of proof, strict liability would provide better incentives for owners to protect their guns from improper access.)
Sean Gregory and Chris Wilson, 6 Real Ways We Can Reduce Gun Violence. Time, March 2018.
1. Buying a gun should be like buying a car…
2. Pass gun laws that actually reduce gun violence…
3. Doctors can help reduce gun violence. Let them…
4. Invest in smart gun technology…
5. Eliminate funding restrictions on gun violence research…
6. End legal immunity for gun manufacturers…
Stephanie Pappas, Experts Call for Mass Killers' Names to Be Kept Quiet. Livescience, October 2017.
Research has found that fame is a major motivation for many mass shooters….The researchers propose that media outlets avoid naming the perpetrator or using the perpetrator's photograph. Reporters should also avoid naming past killers in articles about more recent killers….