What We Know About Gun Violence – Bloomberg

If Americans were 25 times as likely to die of cancer as citizens of other wealthy nations, the federal government would be pouring billions into research to find the causes.

Yet there is much less interest in examining why the U.S. gun homicide rate is 25 times as high as in peer countries. For Americans ages 15 to 24, the rate is 49 times as high. Among two dozen wealthy nations combined, nine of every 10 youths murdered with a gun are Americans, as are nine of 10 women. No other successful nation tolerates a tide of roughly 100 shooting deaths per day.

The U.S. government has spent just 1.6 percent as much on gun policy research in recent decades as it has on other leading causes of mortality, such as traffic crashes or sepsis, the RAND Corporation has found.

As the National Rifle Association begins its annual meeting this week in Dallas, it’s worth asking why America’s gun lobby is so famously allergic to research, preferring slogans to data. Sympathetic members of Congress years ago put gun-violence research on ice. And while there are signs of a thaw, actual funding levels remain low — and uncertain.

What research has been done, often with private funding, illuminates certain trends. It’s clear, to begin, that more guns generally correlate to more gun violence. This is true internationally. It’s also true across the U.S.: States with lower rates of gun ownership tend to have lower rates of firearm mortality

Photographer: Elaine He

In Hawaii, between 2000 and 2015, the number of firearms registered rose 244 percent and the number imported increased 214 percent. Yet the state consistently has one of the nation’s lowest rates of gun violence.

One likely reason is strict gun laws. The state requires all gun buyers to obtain

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