Topic: guns

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Politics & Beyond

[ Spring 2013 ] Gun violence is one of the most politically divisive issues in the United States--and this contentiousness has played out in government funding of research. In 1993, a study supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found…

Starting a Conversation

[ Spring 2013 ] To foster open discussion about the consequences of gun ownership, public health researchers want to know much more about the lure of guns. Why do people own guns in the first place? How do they perceive the risks and benefits?…

Guns & Suicide: The Hidden Toll

[ Spring 2013 ] Special Report by Madeline Drexler, Editor, Harvard Public Health There’s a gas station maybe a five-minute drive away from us, and the gas station sells guns. I didn’t realize places like that existed. Ryan just walked in and bought a…

Guns & Suicide: The Hidden Toll

[ Spring 2013 ] Survivor profiles "He was struggling with nightmares." Emily Frazier's 21-year-old husband, Ryan Frazier, shot himself with a semiautomatic in November 2008, soon after bringing a lawsuit against a priest who had molested him during his teenage years. Emily, pregnant at…

Guns and suicide: A fatal link

[ Spring 2008 ] In the United States, suicides outnumber homicides almost two to one. Perhaps the real tragedy behind suicide deaths—about 30,000 a year, one for every 45 attempts—is that so many could be prevented. Research shows that whether attempters live or die…

Guns, public health, and politics

Because the White House’s nominee for surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, tweeted in 2012 that “guns are a health care issue,” the gun lobby took issue and Murthy’s nomination is now in jeopardy. But [[David Hemenway]] of Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH)…

Guns and suicide: Means matter

[ Spring 2008 ] More people die using a firearm than all other means combined, including suffocation (e.g., hanging or drowning), poisoning (e.g., drug overdoses), leaping from great heights, and cutting. Most gun users are middle-aged and male. These bar graphs reveal correlations between…

Gun prevalence and suicide rank by state

Mapping the Overlap As these maps show, the correlation between guns and suicide is strong but inexact, since both are influenced by poverty, population density, and crime. The nine states that rank lowest in terms of gun prevalence are the very same nine…

The danger of guns in homes

Parents with guns in the house should assume their children are aware of the firearms – and possibly have even touched them, according to David Hemenway, professor of health policy and director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center at Harvard School…

Gun access heightens risk of suicide, murder

A new study finds that people with access to a gun are three times more likely to commit suicide and almost twice as likely to be murdered. David Hemenway of Harvard School of Public Health—who wrote an editorial in the Annals of…