[Editor’s Note: The following facts were last updated at time of publication.]
Uvalde is just one of more than 35 school shootings so far in 2022.
The shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde was the deadliest of the year, and so far in 2022, 30 people have been killed and 79 injured in school shootings.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 500 mass shootings in the United States this year.
However, there is strong evidence that “specific measures can reduce horrific acts of gun violence,” wrote TC’s research professor Louis Clarevas; Dr. Sonali Rajan, Associate Professor of Health Education; and Charles Branas, Gelman Professor and Chair of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. Los Angeles Times Last May
Scholars who examine gun violence as a public health problem—in America’s schools, supermarkets, streets, subways, and other spaces—cite several “proactive” strategies that have the potential to prevent death and injury:
- Ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines
- Permit-to-purchase laws require gun owners to have a license and be fingerprinted before they can get a gun
- Extreme risk protection orders, also known as “red flag rules.”
- Restrictions on the availability of firearms to persons under 21 years of age
- Safe storage and child access-proof rules
[Read more about these recommended provisions and the supporting data here.]
TC Take Action: Stand Up to Stop Gun Violence
“Gun violence is a solvable problem, but there is no single solution,” Rajan said in an interview with NY1 last spring. “So relying on a specific policy or a specific term — we hear a lot about regulation — is not enough.”
The evidence, Rajan says, is “a multifaceted gun violence prevention strategy that includes social skills development, data-driven behavioral threat assessment protocols, and federal and state funding for school counseling and psychological services. Special gun laws.”
NY1, Sonali Rajan
Rajan is currently co-leading a study supported by a major grant from the National Institutes of Health that seeks to identify the impact of more than two dozen safety strategies and policies on gun violence in K-12 schools across the US. 600 K-12 public schools. With Rajan and Branas serving as principal investigators, the grant is the first to address the widespread effects of gun deaths and injuries since lawmakers cut federal spending on firearms research in the 1990s.
Rajan also recently co-authored a study in which she and colleagues found that black children were 4.44 times more likely to experience gun violence before the pandemic than their peers living in non-Hispanic white communities.
Find more information on gun violence and resources to prevent gun violence here, and listen to Rajan’s appearance on “(Re)searching for Solutions,” a podcast produced by the Media and Social Change Lab below.