Silencing the Science on Gun Research

Published in: JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, v. 309, no. 6, Feb. 13, 2013, p. 549-550

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2012

by Arthur L. Kellermann, Frederick P. Rivara

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Research Question

  1. What can be done to reduce the number of US residents—currently more than 31,000—who die each year from firearms?

This commentary describes pro-gun lobbying activities that have successfully prevented federal funding for research on firearm injuries. The authors argue that restrictions on such research have made it impossible for researchers to achieve with firearm violence the public health successes that have been achieved for automobile crashes and deaths from drowning and fires.

Key Findings

  • Restrictions on gun-related injury research have hindered progress on reducing gun violence.
  • Unless this restriction is lifted, public health science on firearms violence has effectively been muffled.

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