The roughly 400 op-eds and blog posts published by RAND researchers during the year reflected an enormous variety of expertise and perspectives, from remote education to election cybersecurity to the economic harms of racial disparities. Here are 10 highlights that landed in high-profile news outlets.
Recent reports suggest that Americans reacted to the pandemic by purchasing guns and ammunition in massive numbers. What does this mean for public safety? And how can policymakers ensure that this doesn't result in more injuries or deaths?
RAND's Gun Policy in America initiative aims to establish a shared set of facts about gun policies. Recently, researchers completed an update and expansion of their synthesis of all available scientific evidence on the effects of 18 classes of gun laws.
Americans have debated whether “stand your ground” laws or gun-free zones make us safer or less safe for decades. These are debates about factual matters that are, in principle, knowable. Without research on these and other topics, bad laws will inadvertently be passed or retained.
After three mass shootings in the span of a week left 53 wounded and 34 dead, pressure is mounting on Congress to respond with legislation to restrict access to guns and ammunition. But there is no need to wait for new laws. There are steps that can be taken immediately that evidence suggests could help prevent attacks or reduce the death toll from them.
The three most lethal domestic terrorist attacks since 9/11 were carried out with high-capacity semiautomatic weapons. None of the attackers were under 21 or were stoppable through criminal background checks. Restrictions on sales of semiautomatics would make it much harder for terrorists to obtain their most effective means of killing.
Both sides of the gun policy debate agree on what the objectives of any policy should be. But they disagree over which policies would best achieve those goals. Current evidence for or against most gun proposals is weak, contradictory, or nonexistent. Only research can show what does—and doesn't—work.
As debate continues to rage over the causes and prevention of gun violence, it's worth asking how science can help lawmakers and the public resolve longstanding disagreements that have stood in the way of solutions.
After shootings, there is inevitably public debate over gun safety, constitutional rights, police tactics, terrorism, race, and politics. But these discussions rarely focus on a common factor among the perpetrators: a history of violence against women.
Gun violence is an important public health problem that accounts for more than 33,000 deaths each year in the United States but in 1996, Congress stripped the CDC of funding for any research that could be associated with gun control advocacy. The lack of CDC funding has deterred researchers.
President Obama's task force on gun violence has raised the stakes in the policy debate on gun control and policy in the wake of the recent shootings in Colorado and Connecticut. Some of RAND's top researchers share what is, and what isn't, known about firearms and gun control.