It’s hard to discuss guns in our country without touching off an explosive debate. However, it’s possible to look past entrenched positions of “gun control” and “gun rights” to a vast middle ground, where most Americans can agree to interventions that save lives. The fact is, most gun deaths can be prevented if we look past the polarized political landscape.
We have identified three areas where we have the potential to make the greatest impact:
- Responsible Access. Gun violence can be prevented. By understanding the factors associated with gun suicides and homicides, recognizing signs and symptoms, and using new and existing policies to keep firearms out of the hands of people who are most likely to turn a gun on themselves or others, we can save lives while maintaining access for those with safe intent.
- Safer Communities. Thriving communities with strong social networks, positive relationships with law enforcement, and supporting services for those at risk can break the cycle of violence plaguing communities of color in urban centers. In this area, we will focus on urban communities in California.
- Safer Guns. There are high-tech and low-tech ways to make guns safer. Supporting innovation in smart gun technology and building a market for these technologies could begin a shift to a marketplace that demands technology-driven safety. At the same time, changing norms and behaviors around handling and storing the 300 million+ firearms already in U.S. households could save lives.
Similarly, our approach for Gun Safety will build on the successes of public health and social change movements of our country’s recent history, by addressing the human side of gun violence as well as the safety of guns themselves and those who access them.
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