Lots of heat, not very much light in the gun violence discussions. However, in my research, here’s what works and does not.
Two Types of Gun Death
Nearly 2/3 of all gun related deaths in the US are suicides, not homicides. This means that we should probably be looking much more at mental health issues than at criminals or gun sales per se. So let’s keep that in mind when we look at measuring what is ‘effective.’
- Gun buy-back programs
- Stricter gun laws
- Harsher sentences and restricted bail opportunities
- Mandatory waiting periods
- Safe-storage laws (these actually increase crime but reduce suicides)
- Banning concealed carry (data inconclusive)
- Increased policing
- Community anti-violence programs
- Bans on specific weapons like so-called assault weapons
- Probation strategies – increased contact with police, probation officers, and social workers
- Public reports of gun stores whose sales were linked to crimes
Other Better Possibilities
- Smart gun technology (weapons that only fire with a PIN or fingerprint)
- Microstamping of bullets to allow bullet casings to be traced
- Liability insurance for guns
- Supporting fatherhood and marriage in society – most of the mass shooters come from homes of divorce.
Now, let’s talk about it.