Harvard School of Public Health experts offer insights on curbing U.S. gun violence

David Hemenway

January 22, 2013 — In the wake of the horrific school shootings in Newtown, Conn. in December, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) experts have been interviewed in many media outlets on a range of issues relating to gun violence in the United States.

The gun toll we’re ignoring: suicide
You wouldn’t know it from the national debate, but most American firearm deaths aren’t homicides. This January 20, 2013 Boston Globe article quotes HSPH’s David Hemenway, Cathy Barber, and Matthew Miller.

VIDEO: Gun violence: a public health crisis
In this panel discussion from The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health, David Hemenway,  HSPH professor of health policy, and director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, Felton Earls, research professor of human behavior and development, and other experts expressed little hope for the prospect of Congress passing sweeping gun control legislation, but urged citizens to fight for culture change around guns similar to that used to shift attitudes on drunk driving a generation ago. Read coverage in the Harvard Gazette, Harvard Magazine, National Catholic Reporter

Comprehensive public health approach urged to curb gun violence in U.S.
The best way to curb gun violence in the U.S. is to take a broad public health approach, drawing on proven, evidence-based strategies that have successfully reduced other public health threats like smoking, car crashes, and accidental poisonings, write HSPH’s Dariush Mozaffarian, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology, David Hemenway, and David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and professor in the Department of Nutrition at HSPH, in a viewpoint article published online January 7, 2013 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Read coverage of the article from WBUR, Harvard Health Blog, The Seattle Times

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David Hemenway, professor of health policy and management at HSPH and director of Harvard Injury Control Research Center, is the author of Private Guns, Public Health, a 2006 book that summarized research on gun violence in America and outlined public-health-minded approaches to reducing firearms deaths.

Recent interviews with Hemenway
Gun violence in America: Hemenway outlines how firearms violence mirrors public health crisis (Harvard Gazette)
Gun Control (NPR’s On Point)
Public health experts applaud funding for research on gun violence (Toronto Star)
Harvard Researcher: American Children 13 Times More Likely To Be Murdered With Guns (CBS Boston)
Guns Don’t Kill People, Gun Culture Does (BloombergBusinessweek)
Tragedy underscores multiple gun-ownership trend in U.S. (USA Today)
How Often Do We Use Guns in Self-Defense? (BloombergBusinessweek)

Matthew Miller, associate professor of health policy and management, spoke to the Associated Press about President Obama’s January 16, 2013 order to ease restrictions on federal funding for gun violence research. He also spoke about the issue with American Public Media’s Marketplace.

Dariush Mozaffarian, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology, spoke to the BBC about President Obama’s recently proposed gun control measures.

Cathy Barber directs the Means Matter Campaign at the Harvard School of Public Health’s Injury Control Research Center. She recently spoke to USA Today about the risk of suicide among gun owners.

–Amy Roeder

Photo: Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer