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Gun Violence in the US Territories

March 7, 2022

One of the shootings happened on the freeway. Another took place at a local community center, where a 17-year-old and three others were shot and killed. Over the course of one weekend, 18 people were shot and at least nine died. Two weekends later, a couple dozen miles away, there were two shootings: one at a shopping mall that injured four people and killed one, and another that ended with the arrest of the shooter, who was later charged with assault, reckless endangerment, and possession of an unlicensed firearm. For many Americans, the stories of these two weekends are tragically familiar. News outlets in major US cities all too often document the body counts of bloody weekends marked by multiple tragic shootings. But gun violence doesn't only happen in big cities. The stories of these two weekends happened in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands—regions that experience some of the highest levels of gun violence in the United States, which often goes under-reported. Gun violence is a uniquely American problem—and it's only getting worse. Within the last 10 years, the firearm mortality rate has risen nearly 18%, with an average of 39,000 Americans dying from gun violence from 2015 to 2019. Over 45,000 Americans died from gun violence in 2020 alone, making it the deadliest year for gun violence in decades--and projections for 2021 suggest that gun violence rates are even higher.  The US firearm mortality rate is already strikingly high, more than 11 times higher than other high-income countries. The US also accounts for nearly 15% of all firearm deaths globally, despite only consisting of four percent of the world's population. This growing epidemic has drawn much attention in the 50 states. But gun violence in the US territories rarely factors into the national conversation. 

Research Roundup: An Analysis of Gun Violence Publication Trends in 2021

February 8, 2022

Gun deaths have reached some of their highest levels ever in the past few years. The research field needs to be as strong and responsive as it can be in order to end our current crisis.We hope this review will help researchers, funders, policymakers, and stakeholders in their efforts to produce the kind of actionable, equitable research needed to help save lives.