1. An armed society is not a trusting society

Working with experts on income inequality, social capital, and mortality, we analyzed the relationship between firearm availability and measures of social trust and civic engagement across U.S. states.  We found that states with more guns have lower levels of both mutual trust and civic engagement, after accounting for urbanization, poverty and median household income.

Hemenway, David; Kennedy, Bruce; Kawachi, Ichiro; Putnam, Robert D.  Firearm prevalence and social capital.  Annals of Epidemiology.  2001; 11:484-490.


2-3. Less lethal and less dangerous weapons need to be developed for civilians and for the police

We made the case that more research needs to be done to make firearms safer, more effective, and less lethal.

Hemenway, David; Weil, Douglas S.  Phasers on stun: The case for less lethal weapons.  Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.  1990; 9:94-98.

Hemenway, David; Weil, Douglas S.  Less lethal weapons.  Op-Ed, Washington Post, May 14, 1990.


4. An editorial for psychiatrists on ways society can reduce firearm violence

This editorial, in a leading psychiatric journal (accompanied by a podcast by Drs. Matthew Miller and David Brent) makes the case that effective legislation, including universal background checks, is urgently needed, and could sustainably reduce our country’s firearms death toll.

Lead author David Brent conducted many of the early case-control studies on the risk a gun in the home poses for adolescent suicide.  It is important to have psychiatrists on board in the struggle to reduce firearm violence.

Brent D, Miller M, Loeber R, Mulvey E, Birmaher B.  Ending the silence on gun violence.  Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  2013; 52:333-38.


5. More guns = more gun crime

Across U.S. states, higher levels of firearm ownership are associated with higher levels of firearm assault, firearm robbery, firearm homicide and overall homicide.  The findings do not support the hypothesis that higher population firearm ownership rates reduce firearm-associated criminal perpetration.  On the contrary, evidence shows that states with higher levels of firearm ownership have an increased risk for violent crimes perpetrated with a firearm.

This article provides evidence that contradicts the common claim among gun advocates that gun ownership helps reduce crime.

Monuteaux MC, Lee LK, Hemenway D, Mannix R, Fleegler EW.  Firearm ownership and violent crime in the U.S.: An ecological study.  American Journal of Preventive Medicine.   2015; 49:207-14.