Promoting the public's health with personal commitment and gun safety policies Journal Article uri icon

abstract

  • The high level of gun violence in the United States is unique. Self-harm is the leading reason for death from a gun in the white population, and homicide is the leading reason for death from a gun in the Black population. Because three-quarters of gun owners say they could never see themselves not owning a gun, and half of gun owners say owning a gun is important to their overall identity, the path to reducing deaths and other harm from guns is narrow and must be tread with knowledge and skill. The experience of other countries and that of states like Connecticut and Indiana is evidence that gun safety laws - in particular, universal background checks and extreme risk protection orders - can reduce deaths and injury due to gun violence. Safe storage for firearms, preferably out of the home, also reduces the risk of death and injury from guns. The goal of this article, after briefly describing the intensity and causes of gun violence in the United States, is to give the reader some basic tools to become an effective advocate for gun safety and gun violence reduction.

publication date

  • 2021