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Reducing gun violence: Stanford scholars tackle the issue

After 19 children and two teachers were slaughtered by a gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, many Americans are asking, yet again, how to prevent future acts of senseless violence from occurring. What gun laws need to be changed? Why is it so difficult to pass regulations? How can Second Amendment rights be balanced with firearm safety? 

Stanford scholars have been studying these issues from a range of perspectives, including law, politics, economics, and medicine. Here are some of their findings.

Update: May 25, 2022: This story was originally published on Feb. 26, 2018, and has been updated to include new content.

Causes, impacts of gun violence

Uncovering the causes of gun violence has been a challenge, in part because research is limited by federal legislation that constrains research funding on the issue. Scholar Nigam Shah at the Stanford School of Medicine has written about how this has affected empirical study. But that has not deterred scholars from examining its impacts. David Studdert, also at the School of Medicine, has studied the devastating consequences of gun violence, particularly the risks it poses to public health.  

Maya Rossin-Slater, an associate professor of medicine and a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), has also looked at the long-term impact of gun violence, specifically among American children who experienced a shooting at their school. Rossin-Slater found that they have higher rates of absenteeism, lower high school and college graduation rates, and by their mid-twenties, earn lower incomes.

Below is some of that research. 

research paper gun laws

Californians living with handgun owners more than twice as likely to die by homicide, study finds

Residents who don’t own a handgun but live with someone who does are significantly more likely to die by homicide compared with those in gun-free homes, research shows.

research paper gun laws

New study of gun violence in schools identifies long-term harms

Research from SIEPR’s Maya Rossin-Slater finds that students exposed to school shootings face “lasting, persistent” adversity in their educational and long-term economic outcomes.

Shirin Sinnar

Shirin Sinnar on the Buffalo shooting, hate crimes, and domestic terrorism

In the wake of the Buffalo shooting, Stanford Law School’s Shirin Sinnar discusses the scale of white supremacist violence in the U.S. and the rise of hate crimes.

research paper gun laws

Disconnect: The gap between gun violence and research in numbers

Gun violence is much discussed but little studied, largely due to federal decisions governing research funding. A new analysis highlights just how big the gap between the violence and our knowledge of it is. The answer? It’s huge.

research paper gun laws

Supporting students exposed to school shootings

Maya Rossin-Slater talks about her research into the mental health impact of severe school violence.

research paper gun laws

Panel discusses how shootings affect those unscathed by bullets

A panel of faculty members at the School of Medicine said shootings can affect the mental health of people close to the violence.

research paper gun laws

California handgun sales spiked after two mass shootings

In the six weeks after the Newtown and San Bernardino mass shootings, handguns sales jumped in California, yet there is little research on why – or on the implications for public health, according to a Stanford researcher.

research paper gun laws

Mass shootings: Public face of a much larger epidemic

While mass shootings have become the public face of gun violence, they account for less than 1% of the 40,000 firearm deaths each year.  

research paper gun laws

Short-term hospital readmissions for gun injuries cost $86 million a year

A study from Stanford researchers has found that readmissions account for 9.5% of the $911 million spent annually on gun-injury hospitalizations.

research paper gun laws

Supporting children through loss

Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann talks about how to help young people experiencing grief.

research paper gun laws

Firearm injuries in children, teens costly for U.S. health care system, Stanford study finds

The average cost of initial hospitalization to treat pediatric gun injuries is about $13,000 per patient and has risen in recent decades, a Stanford Medicine study found.

research paper gun laws

Investigating psychiatric illnesses of mass shooters

Ira Glick and his collaborators studied the psychiatric state of 35 mass shooters in the United States who survived the incidents, which took place between 1982 and 2019.

research paper gun laws

The silent cost of school shootings

SIEPR’s Maya Rossin-Slater finds the average rate of antidepressant use among youths under age 20 rose by 21 percent in the local communities where fatal school shootings occurred.

Concealed gun

New study analyzes recent gun violence research

Consensus is growing in recent research evaluating the impact of right-to-carry concealed handgun laws, showing that they increase violent crime, despite what older research says.

research paper gun laws

Handgun ownership associated with much higher suicide risk

Men who own handguns are eight times more likely to die of gun suicides than men who don’t own handguns, and women who own handguns are 35 times more likely than women who don’t.

research paper gun laws

Advice on how to cope with the threat of school shootings

Victor Carrion offers advice on how families can cope with the stress of school safety.

Reducing gun violence

Many Americans are demanding practical steps to reduce gun crime. One way is to have more stringent gun safety policies, such as legislation requiring guns to be stored safely, more stringent background checks, or as President Biden announced Tuesday, a federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. 

Research has shown that states with tighter policies save lives: One study by Stephanie Chao found that states with stricter gun laws have lower rates of gun deaths among children and teenagers, and states with child prevention access laws are linked with fewer gun suicides in this age group.

“If you put more regulations on firearms, it does make a difference,” said Chao, assistant professor of surgery and senior author of the study. “It does end up saving children’s lives.” Her analysis found that states with the strictest laws had a mortality rate of 2.6 per 100,000 and for states with the least strict laws, mortality rate was almost double at 5.0 per 100,000.  

John Donohue portrait

John Donohue: One tragic week with two mass shootings and the uniquely American gun problem

In a Q&A, Stanford Law School gun law expert John J. Donohue III discusses mass shootings in the U.S., the challenges facing police when confronting powerful automatic weapons and the prospect of gun safety laws.

Pistol behind lock and chains symbolic of gun control

Lax state gun laws linked to more child gun deaths

States with strict gun laws have lower rates of gun deaths among children and teenagers, and laws to keep guns away from minors are linked with fewer gun suicides in this age group, a Stanford study found.

hands holding a gun at display desk

Improved gun buyer background checks would impede some mass shootings, Stanford expert says

Stanford Law Professor John Donohue says a background check system that was universal and effectively operated could impede gun acquisition by people who commit mass shootings.

a stack of live round casings

How to solve more gun crimes without spending more money

Simple tweaks to how police process bullet casings could dramatically improve their forensic data.

research paper gun laws

Reducing civilian firepower would boost police and community safety, Stanford expert says

In addition to restricting the firepower a person can amass, Stanford law Professor John J. Donohue advocates efforts to build trust between communities and law enforcement agencies as a way to enhance both police and citizen safety.

research paper gun laws

Stricter gun laws reduce child and adolescent gun deaths, Stanford study finds

Laws that keep guns away from young people are especially strongly linked to lower rates of gun suicides in youth.

Gun legislation and policy

For nearly three decades, law Professor John Donohue III has studied what can be done to prevent gun violence in the United States. A lawyer and economist, Donohue explores how law and public policy are connected to gun violence, including how gun laws in the U.S. compare to other countries, as well as how legislation varies across the states, to better understand the effect that has on rates of violence. 

“The U.S. is by far the world leader in the number of guns in civilian hands,” Donohue explained . “The stricter gun laws of other ‘advanced countries’ have restrained homicidal violence, suicides and gun accidents – even when, in some cases, laws were introduced over massive protests from their armed citizens.” 

Here are some of his findings, and other research related to legislating gun safety in the U.S.

Stanford’s John Donohue on guns, mass shootings and the law in the U.S.

On Nov. 30, American students were once again the victims of a school shooting. Stanford law Professor John Donohue discusses the case and gun violence in the U.S.

research paper gun laws

How U.S. gun control compares to the rest of the world

While deaths from mass shootings are a relatively small part of the overall homicidal violence in America, they are particularly wrenching. The problem is worse in the U.S. than in most other industrialized nations. And it’s getting worse.

research paper gun laws

4 gun control steps U.S. needs now

John Donohue pens an opinion piece for CNN laying out four steps the United States should take to strengthen gun legislation.

Handgun in waistband

Violent crime increases in right-to-carry states

Stanford Law School Professor John Donohue found that states that adopted right-to-carry concealed handgun laws have experienced a 13 to 15 percent increase in violent crime in the 10 years after enacting those laws.

research paper gun laws

Another mass shooting: An update on U.S. gun laws

In a Q&A, John Donohue discusses gun safety law and legislative developments.

research paper gun laws

Stanford GSE holds teach-in on research into gun violence in schools

Education scholars look at the evidence behind policy ideas to address school shootings.

research paper gun laws

Will Americans ever think differently about guns?

Stanford medicine and law professor David Studdert thinks more public health evidence is needed before cultural attitudes around gun safety and violence will change.

research paper gun laws

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The Science Is Clear: Gun Control Saves Lives

By enacting simple laws that make guns safer and harder to get, we can prevent killings like the ones in Uvalde and Buffalo

  • By The Editors  on  May 26, 2022

The Science Is Clear: Gun Control Saves Lives

Editor’s Note (5/24/23): One year ago, on May 24, 2022, 19 students and two teachers were fatally shot at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Tex . This piece by Scientific American's editors presents the case that simple gun laws can prevent future tragedies.

Some editorials simply hurt to write. This is one.

At least 19 elementary school children and two teachers are dead, many more are injured, and a grandmother is fighting for her life in Uvalde, Tex., all because a young man, armed with an AR-15-style rifle, decided to fire in a school.

By now, you know these facts: This killing spree was the largest school shooting since Sandy Hook. Law enforcement couldn’t immediately subdue the killer. In Texas, it’s alarmingly easy to buy and openly carry a gun . In the immediate hours after the shooting, President Biden demanded reform , again. Legislators demanded reform , again. And progun politicians turned to weathered talking points: arm teachers and build safer schools.

But rather than arm our teachers (who have enough to do without keeping that gun away from students and having to train like law enforcement to confront an armed attacker), rather than spend much-needed school dollars on more metal detectors instead of education, we need to make it harder to buy a gun. Especially the kind of weapons used by this killer and the white supremacist who killed 10 people grocery shopping in Buffalo . And we need to put a lasting stop to the political obstruction of taxpayer-funded research into gun-related injuries and deaths.

The science is abundantly clear: More guns do not stop crime . Guns kill more children each year than auto accidents. More children die by gunfire in a year than on-duty police officers and active military members. Guns are a public health crisis , just like COVID, and in this, we are failing our children, over and over again.

In the U.S., we have existing infrastructure that we could easily emulate to make gun use safer: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration . Created by Congress in 1970, this federal agency is tasked, among other things, with helping us drive a car safely. It gathers data on automobile deaths. It’s the agency that monitors and studies seat belt usage . While we track firearm-related deaths, no such safety-driven agency exists for gun use.

During the early 1990s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began to explore gun violence as a public health issue. After studies tied having a firearm to increased homicide risk , the National Rifle Association took action , spearheading the infamous Dickey Amendment, diverting gun research dollars and preventing federal funding from being used to promote gun control. For more than 20 years, research on gun violence in this country has been hard to do.

What research we have is clear and grim. For example, in 2017, guns overtook 60 years of cars as the biggest injury-based killer of children and young adults (ages one to 24) in the U.S. By 2020, about eight in every 100,000 people died of car crashes. About 10 in every 100,000 people died of gun injuries.

While cars have become increasingly safer (it’s one of the auto industry’s main talking points in marketing these days), the gun lobby has thwarted nearly all attempts to make it harder to fire a weapon. With federal protection against some lawsuits , the financial incentive of a giant tort payout to make guns safer is virtually nonexistent.

After the Uvalde killings, the attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton , said he’d “rather have law-abiding citizens armed and trained so that they can respond when something like this happens.” Sen. Ted Cruz emphasized “armed law enforcement on the campus.” They are two of many conservatives who see more guns as the key to fighting gun crime. They are wrong.

A study comparing gun deaths the U.S. to other high-income countries in Europe and Asia tells us that our homicide rate in teens and young adults is 49 times higher. Our firearm suicide rate is eight times higher. The U.S. has more guns than any of the countries in the comparison.

As we previously reported , in 2015, assaults with a firearm were 6.8 times more common in states that had the most guns, compared to the least. More than a dozen studies have revealed that if you had a gun at home, you were twice as likely to be killed as someone who didn’t. Research from the Harvard School of Public Health tells us that states with higher gun ownership levels have higher rates of homicide . Data even tells us that where gun shops or gun dealers open for business, killings go up . These are but a few of the studies that show the exact opposite of what progun politicians are saying. The science must not be ignored.

Science points to laws that would work to reduce shootings, to lower death. Among the simplest would be better permitting laws with fewer loopholes. When Missouri repealed its permit law, gun-related killings increased by 25 percent . Another would be to ban people who are convicted of violent crime from buying a gun. In California, before the state passed such a law, people convicted of crimes were almost 30 percent more likely to be arrested again for a gun or violent crime than those who, after the law, couldn’t buy a gun.

Such laws, plus red flag laws and those taking guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and people who abuse alcohol, would lower our gun violence rate as a nation. But it would require elected officials to detach themselves from the gun lobby. There are so many issues to consider when voting, but in this midterm election year, we believe that protection from gun violence is one that voters could really advance. Surveys routinely show that gun control measures are extremely popular with the U.S. population.

In the meantime, there is some hope. Congress restored funding for gun-related research in 2019, and there are researchers now looking at ways to reduce gun deaths. But it’s unclear if this change in funding is permanent. And what we’ve lost is 20 years of data on gun injuries, death, safety measures and a score of other things that could make gun ownership in this country safer.

Against all this are families whose lives will never be the same because of gun violence. Who must mourn children and adults lost in domestic violence, accidental killings and mass shootings that are so common, we are still grieving one when the next one occurs.

We need to become the kind of country that looks at guns for what they are: weapons that kill. And treat them with the kind of respect that insists they be harder to get and safer to use.

And then we need to become the kind of country that says the lives of children are more valuable than the right to weapons that have killed them, time and again. Since Columbine. Since Sandy Hook. Since always.

research paper gun laws


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Key facts about americans and guns.

A customer shops for a handgun at a gun store in Florida.

Guns are deeply ingrained in American society and the nation’s political debates.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, and about a third of U.S. adults say they personally own a gun. At the same time, in response to concerns such as rising gun death rates and  mass shootings , President Joe Biden has proposed gun policy legislation that would expand on the bipartisan gun safety bill Congress passed last year.

Here are some key findings about Americans’ views of gun ownership, gun policy and other subjects, drawn primarily from a Pew Research Center survey conducted in June 2023 .

Pew Research Center conducted this analysis to summarize key facts about Americans and guns. We used data from recent Center surveys to provide insights into Americans’ views on gun policy and how those views have changed over time, as well as to examine the proportion of adults who own guns and their reasons for doing so.

The analysis draws primarily from a survey of 5,115 U.S. adults conducted from June 5 to June 11, 2023. Everyone who took part in the surveys cited is a member of the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the  ATP’s methodology .

Here are the  questions used for the analysis on gun ownership , the questions used for the analysis on gun policy , and  the survey’s methodology .

Additional information about the fall 2022 survey of parents and its methodology can be found at the link in the text of this post.

Measuring gun ownership in the United States comes with unique challenges. Unlike many demographic measures, there is not a definitive data source from the government or elsewhere on how many American adults own guns.

The Pew Research Center survey conducted June 5-11, 2023, on the Center’s American Trends Panel, asks about gun ownership using two separate questions to measure personal and household ownership. About a third of adults (32%) say they own a gun, while another 10% say they do not personally own a gun but someone else in their household does. These shares have changed little from surveys conducted in 2021  and  2017 . In each of those surveys, 30% reported they owned a gun.

These numbers are largely consistent with rates of gun ownership reported by Gallup , but somewhat higher than those reported by NORC’s General Social Survey . Those surveys also find only modest changes in recent years.

The FBI maintains data on background checks on individuals attempting to purchase firearms in the United States. The FBI reported a surge in background checks in 2020 and 2021, during the coronavirus pandemic. The number of federal background checks declined in 2022 and through the first half of this year, according to FBI statistics .

About four-in-ten U.S. adults say they live in a household with a gun, including 32% who say they personally own one,  according to an August report based on our June survey. These numbers are virtually unchanged since the last time we asked this question in 2021.

There are differences in gun ownership rates by political affiliation, gender, community type and other factors.

  • Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are more than twice as likely as Democrats and Democratic leaners to say they personally own a gun (45% vs. 20%).
  • 40% of men say they own a gun, compared with 25% of women.
  • 47% of adults living in rural areas report personally owning a firearm, as do smaller shares of those who live in suburbs (30%) or urban areas (20%).
  • 38% of White Americans own a gun, compared with smaller shares of Black (24%), Hispanic (20%) and Asian (10%) Americans.

A bar chart showing that nearly a third of U.S. adults say they personally own a gun.

Personal protection tops the list of reasons gun owners give for owning a firearm.  About three-quarters (72%) of gun owners say that protection is a major reason they own a gun. Considerably smaller shares say that a major reason they own a gun is for hunting (32%), for sport shooting (30%), as part of a gun collection (15%) or for their job (7%). 

The reasons behind gun ownership have changed only modestly since our 2017 survey of attitudes toward gun ownership and gun policies. At that time, 67% of gun owners cited protection as a major reason they owned a firearm.

A bar chart showing that nearly three-quarters of U.S. gun owners cite protection as a major reason they own a gun.

Gun owners tend to have much more positive feelings about having a gun in the house than non-owners who live with them. For instance, 71% of gun owners say they enjoy owning a gun – but far fewer non-gun owners in gun-owning households (31%) say they enjoy having one in the home. And while 81% of gun owners say owning a gun makes them feel safer, a narrower majority (57%) of non-owners in gun households say the same about having a firearm at home. Non-owners are also more likely than owners to worry about having a gun in the home (27% vs. 12%, respectively).

Feelings about gun ownership also differ by political affiliation, even among those who personally own firearms. Republican gun owners are more likely than Democratic owners to say owning a gun gives them feelings of safety and enjoyment, while Democratic owners are more likely to say they worry about having a gun in the home.

A chart showing the differences in feelings about guns between gun owners and non-owners in gun households.

Non-gun owners are split on whether they see themselves owning a firearm in the future. About half (52%) of Americans who don’t own a gun say they could never see themselves owning one, while nearly as many (47%) could imagine themselves as gun owners in the future.

Among those who currently do not own a gun:

A bar chart that shows non-gun owners are divided on whether they could see themselves owning a gun in the future.

  • 61% of Republicans and 40% of Democrats who don’t own a gun say they would consider owning one in the future.
  • 56% of Black non-owners say they could see themselves owning a gun one day, compared with smaller shares of White (48%), Hispanic (40%) and Asian (38%) non-owners.

Americans are evenly split over whether gun ownership does more to increase or decrease safety. About half (49%) say it does more to increase safety by allowing law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, but an equal share say gun ownership does more to reduce safety by giving too many people access to firearms and increasing misuse.

A bar chart that shows stark differences in views on whether gun ownership does more to increase or decrease safety in the U.S.

Republicans and Democrats differ on this question: 79% of Republicans say that gun ownership does more to increase safety, while a nearly identical share of Democrats (78%) say that it does more to reduce safety.

Urban and rural Americans also have starkly different views. Among adults who live in urban areas, 64% say gun ownership reduces safety, while 34% say it does more to increase safety. Among those who live in rural areas, 65% say gun ownership increases safety, compared with 33% who say it does more to reduce safety. Those living in the suburbs are about evenly split.

Americans increasingly say that gun violence is a major problem. Six-in-ten U.S. adults say gun violence is a very big problem in the country today, up 9 percentage points from spring 2022. In the survey conducted this June, 23% say gun violence is a moderately big problem, and about two-in-ten say it is either a small problem (13%) or not a problem at all (4%).

Looking ahead, 62% of Americans say they expect the level of gun violence to increase over the next five years. This is double the share who expect it to stay the same (31%). Just 7% expect the level of gun violence to decrease.

A line chart that shows a growing share of Americans say gun violence is a 'very big national problem.

A majority of Americans (61%) say it is too easy to legally obtain a gun in this country. Another 30% say the ease of legally obtaining a gun is about right, and 9% say it is too hard to get a gun. Non-gun owners are nearly twice as likely as gun owners to say it is too easy to legally obtain a gun (73% vs. 38%). Meanwhile, gun owners are more than twice as likely as non-owners to say the ease of obtaining a gun is about right (48% vs. 20%).

Partisan and demographic differences also exist on this question. While 86% of Democrats say it is too easy to obtain a gun legally, 34% of Republicans say the same. Most urban (72%) and suburban (63%) dwellers say it’s too easy to legally obtain a gun. Rural residents are more divided: 47% say it is too easy, 41% say it is about right and 11% say it is too hard.

A bar chart showing that about 6 in 10 Americans say it is too easy to legally obtain a gun in this country.

About six-in-ten U.S. adults (58%) favor stricter gun laws. Another 26% say that U.S. gun laws are about right, and 15% favor less strict gun laws. The percentage who say these laws should be stricter has fluctuated a bit in recent years. In 2021, 53% favored stricter gun laws, and in 2019, 60% said laws should be stricter.

A bar chart that shows women are more likely than men to favor stricter gun laws in the U.S.

About a third (32%) of parents with K-12 students say they are very or extremely worried about a shooting ever happening at their children’s school, according to a fall 2022 Center survey of parents with at least one child younger than 18. A similar share of K-12 parents (31%) say they are not too or not at all worried about a shooting ever happening at their children’s school, while 37% of parents say they are somewhat worried.

Among all parents with children under 18, including those who are not in school, 63% see improving mental health screening and treatment as a very or extremely effective way to prevent school shootings. This is larger than the shares who say the same about having police officers or armed security in schools (49%), banning assault-style weapons (45%), or having metal detectors in schools (41%). Just 24% of parents say allowing teachers and school administrators to carry guns in school would be a very or extremely effective approach, while half say this would be not too or not at all effective.

A pie chart that showing that 19% of K-12 parents are extremely worried about a shooting happening at their children's school.

There is broad partisan agreement on some gun policy proposals, but most are politically divisive,   the June 2023 survey found . Majorities of U.S. adults in both partisan coalitions somewhat or strongly favor two policies that would restrict gun access: preventing those with mental illnesses from purchasing guns (88% of Republicans and 89% of Democrats support this) and increasing the minimum age for buying guns to 21 years old (69% of Republicans, 90% of Democrats). Majorities in both parties also  oppose  allowing people to carry concealed firearms without a permit (60% of Republicans and 91% of Democrats oppose this).

A dot plot showing bipartisan support for preventing people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns, but wide differences on other policies.

Republicans and Democrats differ on several other proposals. While 85% of Democrats favor banning both assault-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, majorities of Republicans oppose these proposals (57% and 54%, respectively).

Most Republicans, on the other hand, support allowing teachers and school officials to carry guns in K-12 schools (74%) and allowing people to carry concealed guns in more places (71%). These proposals are supported by just 27% and 19% of Democrats, respectively.

Gun ownership is linked with views on gun policies. Americans who own guns are less likely than non-owners to favor restrictions on gun ownership, with a notable exception. Nearly identical majorities of gun owners (87%) and non-owners (89%) favor preventing mentally ill people from buying guns.

A dot plot that shows, within each party, gun owners are more likely than non-owners to favor expanded access to guns.

Within both parties, differences between gun owners and non-owners are evident – but they are especially stark among Republicans. For example, majorities of Republicans who do not own guns support banning high-capacity ammunition magazines and assault-style weapons, compared with about three-in-ten Republican gun owners.

Among Democrats, majorities of both gun owners and non-owners favor these two proposals, though support is greater among non-owners. 

Note: This is an update of a post originally published on Jan. 5, 2016 .

research paper gun laws

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What the data says about gun deaths in the U.S.

Wide differences on most gun policies between gun owners and non-owners, but also some agreement, amid a series of mass shootings in the u.s., gun policy remains deeply divisive, share of americans who favor stricter gun laws has increased since 2017, most popular.

About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts .

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Is gun control really about people control?

James i. ausman.

1 Department of Neurosurgery, University of California, Los Angeles,

2 Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA,

Miguel A. Faria

3 Departments of Surgery (Neurosurgery) and Medical History, Mercer University School of Medicine (ret.), Macon, GA, USA.

The Second Amendment of the USA Constitution states: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Today around the USA and the world some people are advocating the removal of guns from the citizens, called “Gun Control,” as the solution to violent crime that they associate with guns in the hands of the public, contrary to what the Second Amendment states.

This review provides a factual background to the debate about the issues surrounding the arguments for and against “Gun Control.” The paper documents many factors that lead to violent crimes committed by people. The means used to cause violent crimes cover the history of human civilization. They include weapons of all types, bombs, toxic substances, vehicles of many kinds, and planes, all to cause the death of others. Some who commit or threaten violent crime against others are emotionally disturbed and in many cases are known to the police through screening systems. Family dysfunction, alcohol and drug abuse, an incessant stream of media and entertainment featuring gun violence, and an educational system that does not equip the young with the proper civic and ethical principles to deal with life’s challenges all contribute to violent behavior using guns and other lethal means. With this background of multiple factors leading to the commission of violent crimes against others, the focus has been concentrated on banning firearms from public ownership rather than understanding the reasons for this criminal behavior. Why? There is the overwhelming evidence that disarming the public from using firearms will not reduce violent crimes and will render people defenseless. Other facts indicate that allowing citizens to carry arms will prevent or reduce violent crimes. The debate over Gun Control has become politicized and emotionally based, because the real goal is not stated. In respected scientific journals and in the Media, factual information about the causes and prevention of violent deaths has been misrepresented or is blatantly false. Using censorship, the medical press and the mass media have refused to publish articles or print opposing opinions such as those supporting the rights of citizens to bear arms. There is evidence that tax-exempt foundations and wealthy individuals are financially supporting Gun Control efforts with the goal of disarming the public to establish a centrally controlled government and to eliminate the US Constitution. It is obvious that in the rapidly changing world we need to find answers to the many factors behind Violent Crime in which guns are used. That will take time and patience. In the meantime, is there a gray area for compromise in the Guns and Violence issue? Yes, logically, from all the evidence presented in this review, citizens should be encouraged to carry arms for self, family, and fellow citizen protection, and as a check on government, a right guaranteed by the constitution and endowed by our God-given natural right. The challenges facing us are multifaceted. Is Gun Control really about People Control?

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Object name is SNI-10-195-inline001.jpg


Parkland, florida: (february 14, 2018).

Wikipedia reported that at least for a 2-year period before the shooting, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the local sheriff’s office had information that the shooter wanted to commit a school shooting. Nothing was done. Furthermore, at the time of the shooting, several police officers remained outside the school and did not confront the murderer. Subsequently, the state legislature raised the minimum age for buying guns from 18 to 21. It banned certain kinds of firearms, established background checks, and waiting periods for gun buyers. It also allowed teachers to be trained and armed and prohibited mentally unstable people from possessing guns.[ 23 ]

  • Most of these new regulations have been found not to reduce gun violence.
  • “ In fact, America is not the worst country for mass shootings and does not even make it to the top ten, despite the record number of guns in the hands of Americans. For example France, Norway, Belgium, Finland, and the Czech Republic, all have more deaths from mass shootings than the U.S., and in fact, from 2009 to 2015, the European Union had 27 percent more casualties per mass shooting incidents than the U.S .”[ 10 ]
  • All of the talks about establishing safeguards are meaningless for the following common-sense reasons. If you have a child in school, would you want teachers and others to be armed to prevent or stop such an attack on your child and others? Or would you want your child to be defenseless? What will happen if the police do not act on information they are given about a threatened attack, or if the police even responded but did not confront the killer? What good do the laws do if no one follows them or if they are not enforced? Only armed citizens or armed school sentinels on the spot can stop these murders.

San Bernardino: (December 2, 2015)

  • “ The San Bernardino terrorist attack took place on December 2, 2015, when 14 people were massacred and 22 others were injured in the mass shooting and attempted bombing of the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. The perpetrators were a married couple, both of Pakistani descent, who had been radicalized by Islamic fundamentalism in the United States. Their target was a Department of Public Health Christmas party at a rented banquet room with about 80 employees in attendance, including the husband who was a public health inspector. After the shooting, the couple escaped but were pursued and later killed in a shootout with police. The motives were Islamic terrorism, incited by jihad and, apparently, seeking martyrdom. Several friends and family members were subsequently arrested under a variety of charges, ranging from conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, perjury, sham marriages, and immigration fraud. An armed citizen could have stopped the shooting rampage, but in a restricted public health setting, we must admit that armed self-defense would have been highly unlikely. Besides the fact that a group of public health workers is unlikely to have among them Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) holders, the Inland Regional Center is also most likely designated a gun-free zone (GFZ) that consigns those present to be helpless and defenseless victims in a mass shooting incident .”[ 10 ]
  • “ Since 1950, 97.8 Percent of Mass Shootings have occurred in “Gun-Free Zones” “[Jerome Hudson. 50 things they don’t want you to know. Broadside Books; 2019; Chapter 6; available at] .

Santa Fe, Texas High School Shooting: (May 18, 2018)

  • “ Ten people – eight students and two teachers – were fatally shot and thirteen others were wounded. The suspected shooter was taken into custody and later identified by police as a 17-year-old student at the school .”[ 26 ] Could these murders have been prevented by an armed citizen?

First Baptist Church, Southerland Springs, Texas: (November 5, 2017)

  • “ We suffered another tragic mass killing when a young man dressed in black and armed with a Ruger AR-556 rifle entered the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on November 5 and opened fire killing 26 people and wounding 20 other parishioners. No one, who was at the church, was untouched by death and destruction. The gunman fled the church but was pursued by two armed citizens. Thankfully, those two Texas heroes ended what could have been a series of massacres by another deranged malcontent .”[ 10 ]

Assault Rifles: The other side of the story

  • In November 1990, Brian Rigsby and his friend Tom Styer left their home in Atlanta, Georgia, and went camping near Oconee National Forest, not too far from where I [Miguel A. Faria] live in rural Georgia. Suddenly, they were assaulted by two madmen, who had been taking cocaine and who fired at them using shotguns killing Styer. Rigsby returned fire with a Ruger Mini-14, a semiautomatic weapon frequently characterized as an assault weapon. It saved his life .[ 6 ]
  • In January 1994, Travis Dean Neel was cited as citizen of the year in Houston, Texas. He had saved a police officer and helped the police arrest three dangerous criminals in a gunfight, street shooting incident. Neel had helped stop the potential mass shooters using once again a semiautomatic, so-called assault weapon with a high capacity magazine. He provided cover for the police who otherwise were outgunned and would have been killed .[ 6 ]
  • What would have happened if these citizens did not have the “assault weapons” to save their lives and others from these mentally unstable assailants or outright criminals?

Banning of kitchen knives in England

“ The United Kingdom has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the world, so the increased murder rate in the British capital is largely a result of a sharp rise in knife- related crime. The surge in violence prompted London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to announce a massive ‘Knife Control’ campaign reminiscent of those sometimes suggested in the United States in response to firearms-related violence…The U.K. already criminalizes the purchase or possession of various types of knives, and the carrying of any knife with a blade longer than 3 inches in public is illegal unless it is carried “with good reason.” Self-defense is not considered a good reason .”

“ This crackdown on knives, and the surrounding rhetoric demonizing those who would carry them in public, should serve as a warning to Americans disconcerted by the vocal anti-Second Amendment activists in our own country. They will not be satisfied by merely taking away your scary “assault weapons.” In theory, the 1689 English Bill of Rights protects the right of individual British subjects to possess arms for purposes of self-defense. In reality, modern Britons have had this right completely stripped from them [by over more than 300 years of restrictive legislation in violation of the subjects’ rights-Ed], to the point where they may be reprimanded for using kitchen knives against home intruders…Disarming law-abiding citizens is dangerous because it does not stop criminals, who will never voluntarily discard their weapons, from engaging in violent activity. It is dangerous because it leaves law-abiding citizens defenseless against both crime and tyranny .”[ 20 ]

  • This article describes the relentless progression of legislation restricting the right of citizens to be armed and explains why US citizens are so adamant in their defense of the Second Amendment rights, and to be against even minor compromises in that Right.

NYC truck terror attack (October 31, 2017)

  • Dr. Faria states, “Before closing on the issue of Islamic terrorism, a word should be said about the most recent incident in New York City, which underscores not only the increasing new terroristic threat to American cities but also the use of cars and trucks to plow into unsuspecting crowds with mass casualties of innocent civilians. A vehicle driven into a crowd is becoming the terrorists’ weapon of choice in Europe, and the sanguinary practice seems to be taking hold in the U.S. as well.
  • “ The Halloween truck attack on October 31, 2017, in Manhattan, a few blocks from the site of the Twin Towers [where the largest terrorist attack in the US history occurred on September 11, 2001], is the most recent egregious example. The atrocity also emphasizes the switch from mass shootings caused by deranged citizens to deliberate jihad by foreign and domestic Islamic terrorists. The courts’ disapproval of President Trump’s ban on immigration from seven countries with strong ties to terrorism has permitted dangerous individuals to continue to enter the country. Our faulty immigration laws and virtually open borders facilitate Islamic terrorism in this country, whether by mass shootings or by the use of vehicles to plow into crowds .”[ 10 ]
  • Will banning guns stop these mass murders?

Bombs in Boston Marathon by terrorists (April 15, 2013)

  • “ During the annual Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, two homemade pressure cooker bombs detonated 12 s and 210 yards (190 m) apart at 2:49 p.m., near the finish line of the race, killing three people and injuring several hundred others, including 16 who lost limbs… Three days later, the FBI released images of two suspects who were later identified as Chechen Kyrgyzstani-American brothers… They killed an MIT policeman, kidnapped a man in his car, and had a shootout with the police in nearby Watertown, during which two officers were severely injured, one of whom died a year later. One brother terrorist died. The other brother stated that they were motivated by extremist Islamist beliefs… and learned to build explosive devices from an online magazine of the al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen. He also said they had intended to travel to New York City to bomb Times Square. The remaining brother was sentenced to death .”[ 22 ]
  • Will banning guns stop these crimes?


Editorial in the lancet: “gun deaths and the gun control debate in the usa”.

In the October 22, 2017 issue of The Lancet, an Editorial was published entitled, “Gun Deaths and the gun control debate in the USA.” There was no author listed. The editorial begins, “The numbing parade of mass shootings in the USA — like the one in Las Vegas that left at least 59 people dead — has often obscured the gun debate’s open secret: horrific, attention- grabbing, and mass shootings represent only a small minority of gun deaths each year. Two-thirds of all gun deaths in the USA are attributable to suicide…” The editorial continues, “…Rural counties have a higher prevalence of suicide than do small and medium metropolitan, or urban counties…” The author cites the passage of “the Dickey Amendment, [a] federal law that bans funding for most gun violence research, effectively stopping the CDC (since 1996) and National Institutes of Health (NIH; since 2012) from examining gun violence and ways to prevent it… .”

JAMA editorial on “Death by Gun Violence — A Public Health Crisis”

The JAMA Editorial by Bauchner et al. was entitled “Death by Gun Violence – A Public Health Crisis,” JAMA: 318:1763, 2017. Dr. Bauchner and colleagues start by repeating the details of the Las Vegas mass shooting in which 59 people died and over 500 were injured. They continue by saying that almost 100 people die each day in the USA from gun violence. They state that there were 36,252 deaths from firearms in the USA in 2015, which exceeded the number who died in motor vehicle accidents. They agree that 60% of gun deaths were from suicides. Their conclusion was, “the key to reducing firearm deaths in the United States is to understand and reduce exposure to the cause, just like in any epidemic, and in this case that is guns.”

Dr. Faria’s response

[Miguel Faria, MD, Associate Editor in Chief SNI Publications submitted editorials to each journal in response to their editorials. Both of Faria’s responses were similar. The following is Dr. Faria’s letter to the JAMA about its Editorial on gun violence. Neither of Faria’s Letters to the Editor were published. He was given no reason for their inaction.]

“Your editorial on gun violence has a number of glaring errors and distortions. For example, the statement that guns in the home are more likely to result “in the death of the loved ones rather than the intruder” has been thoroughly disproved directly in the criminology and sociologic literature by a number of investigators, including Dr. Edgar Suter, Prof. Gary Kleck, Prof. John R. Lott, as well substantiated by the seminal work of Professors James Wright and Peter Rossi .[ 15 - 17 , 19 , 28 ] You also disingenuously implied that the U.S. has a high suicide rate because of easy gun availability. Well, it is true that a gun is a very effective method of suicide. People in other countries kill themselves very effectively and at higher rates than the US by other methods. For example, recent figures (2016) show that Japan ranks 26 th in International Suicide Rates; the Japanese commit suicide via hanging, suffocation, jumping in front of trains, and Hara-kiri at a rate of 19.7/100,000, much higher than the United States. Americans rank 48 th and the rate is 14.3/100,000. Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Hungary, and many other European countries have higher rates of suicide than the U.S., and again all of them have stricter gun laws. As long as there are ropes, knives, pesticides, and trains, there will be suicides. Will we have to return to the Stone Age to stop suicides? Like it or not, possessing firearms is a constitutional right of Americans, supported by two Supreme Court decisions.” [ 5 , 27 ]

“ As to most of the investigations linking gun availability to violence, they have been …shown to be biased and politicized studies, conducted with predetermined conclusions — which is the case with most of the public health studies on gun violence. As to the rural suicide studies, Dr. Thomas Gift, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical School, has recently debunked the Maryland study on gun violence as faulty and poorly designed. Dr. Gift complained, “While the authors claim to be comparing rural and urban data, the counties in Maryland they label as “rural” seem to be largely suburban. They conducted numerous statistical tests without any attempt to control for the associations they call “significant” but which arise solely by chance in the course of doing so many numerical manipulations.” [ 11 ] In short, the CDC was restricted from conducting such gun studies because the studies were politicized, flawed, and conducted with preordained results so that they could only be characterized as junk science. I was one of the four experts, who testified to the Congressional Committee that led to the ban in 1996. It was and remains the correct step that public policy should be based on sound scholarship with consideration of constitutional issues, not emotionalism, and pseudoscience .”[ 2 , 14 , 19 , 29 ]

According to the writing of Dr. T. Wheeler, Director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership,[ 21 ] the readers should know that the American Medical Association has taken a position against gun ownership by the public since the AMA’s President Richard Corlin’s inaugural address in 1991. He spoke against guns, public gun ownership, and gun manufacturers for catering to the criminal market. The AMA has been joined by the Joyce Foundation and its anti-gun advocacy research money although denying this position vigorously. The AMA’s House of Delegates has not subsequently fully supported Gorlin’s position. The Editorial attests to the AMA’s continued biased stance agaist gun ownership by the public. The AMA’s membership has declined from 70% of the practicing physicians in the 1950s to 15% by 2011, indicating a lack of support by US physicians for its policies.[ 21 ] This is another example of bias behind some medical reporting that is assumed to represent most physicians thinking.

In his paper on “America, guns, and freedom. Part I: a recapitulation of liberty”[ 4 ] Faria states, “As neurosurgeons, we can be compassionate and still be honest and have the moral courage to pursue the truth and viable solutions through the use of sound, scholarly research in the area of guns and violence. We have an obligation to reach our conclusions based on objective data and scientific information rather than on ideology, emotionalism, or partisan politics.”


More gun possession in the united states has not resulted in increased crime.

In his paper, “America, guns, and freedom. Part I: a recapitulation of liberty,”[ 4 ] Dr. Faria states, “The role of gun violence and street crime in the United States and the world is currently a subject of great debate among national and international organizations, including the United Nations. Because the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the individual right of American citizens to own private firearms, availability of firearms is greater in the U.S. than the rest of the world except, perhaps, in Israel and Switzerland.”[ 4 ]

“ Indeed, although the American people continue to purchase and possess more firearms, homicides, and violent crimes have continued to diminish for several decades because guns in the hands of the law-abiding citizens do not translate into more crime .”[ 4 ]

Evidence guns prevent crime

Dr. Faria[ 3 ] cites a study by Dr. Edgar A. Suter, former Chairman of Doctors for Integrity in Research and Public Policy, and others, whose studies we have cited, which states,

“ the defensive use of firearms by citizens amounts to 2.5 million uses per year and dwarfs the offensive gun use by criminals. In the United States, between 25 and 75 lives are saved by a gun in self and family protection for every life lost to a gun in crime. The Media tend to cover the sensational side of the mass killings and not the successes of those with guns who prevent attacks or limit their severity by the armed citizens’ quick action .”

From his research, Faria states,

“ Australians learned the lessons of indiscriminate, draconian gun control laws the hard way. In 1996, a criminally insane man shot to death 35 people at a Tasmanian resort. The government immediately responded by passing stringent gun control laws, banning most firearms, and ordering their confiscation. More than 640,000 guns were seized from ordinary Australian citizens .”[ 3 ]

“ As a result, there was a sharp and dramatic increase in violent crime against the disarmed law-abiding citizens, who, in small communities and particularly in rural areas, were now unable to protect themselves from brigands and robbers. That same year in the state of Victoria, for example, there was a 300% increase in homicides committed with firearms. The following year, robberies increased by almost 60% in South Australia. By 1999, assaults had increased by almost 20% in New South Wales. 2 years following the gun ban/confiscation, armed robberies had risen by 73%, unarmed robberies by 28%, kidnappings by 38%, assaults by 17%, and manslaughter by 29%, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics .”[ 3 ]

He continues…

Switzerland stood… “ against the Nazi threat during World War II, because each and every male was an armed and free citizen …Nazi Germany could have overwhelmed Switzerland during World War II, but the price was too steep for the German High Command. Instead, the Nazi juggernaut trampled over Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Norway, and other countries, and avoided the armed Swiss nation, the “porcupine,” which was prepared for war and its military was ready to die rather than surrender .”[ 3 ]

In his book on America Guns and Freedom , Faria states,

“ In Switzerland, where gun laws are liberalized, there was not a single report of armed robbery in Geneva in 1993! Except for isolated instances, Switzerland remains relatively crime free. Obviously, it is not all about guns; it is also about having a homogeneous population, and a civil and cultured society… ”[ 10 ]

Faria concludes, “ that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens deter crimes, and …nations that trust their citizens with firearms have governments that sustain liberty and affirm individual freedom. Governments that do not trust their citizens with firearms tend to be despotic and tyrannical, and are a potential danger to good citizens---and a peril to humanity.” He quotes “Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States of America, who warned us, “When the government fears the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny .”[ 3 ]

Value of concealed carry weapons to the citizens

“On the other hand,” Faria states, “Professor John R. Lott, Jr.,[ 17 ] using the standard criminological approach, reviewed the FBI’s massive yearly crime statistics for all 3054 U.S. counties over 18 years (1977–1994), the largest national survey on gun ownership and state police documentation in illegal gun use.”

“ The data show that neither states’ waiting periods nor the federal Brady Law is associated with a reduction in crime rates. But by adopting concealed carry gun laws that allowed law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons for self-defense, the death rates from public, multiple shootings (e.g., as those which took place in 1996 in Dunblane, Scotland, and Tasmania, Australia or the infamous 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colorado in the United States) were cut by an amazing 69%. Allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crime, without any apparent increase in accidental death .”[ 3 ]

Faria concludes from his review

…” how citizens can protect themselves from criminal assailants when the police, more often than not, are not there to protect them. the National Victims Data suggests that “while victims resisting with knives, clubs, or bare hands are about twice as likely to be injured as those who submit, victims who resist with a gun are only half as likely to be injured as those who put up no defense.”….“The gun is a great equalizer for law-abiding citizens in self and family protection, particularly women, when they are accosted in the street or when they are defending themselves and their children at home” (3, and multiple sources cited by Faria) .

The Second Amendment of the Constitution does not describe any restrictions for citizens to carry arms. However, as Faria describes in detail in his new book, America, Guns, and Freedom ,[ 10 ] legislation has been passed in some states restricting the use of guns. This legislation would appear to violate the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.

Faria writes in his book on this subject,

….”.“ Shall issue” refers to a legal requirement that a jurisdiction must issue a license to carry a concealed handgun to any applicant who meets a specified set of reasonable requirements. Implicit in the “shall issue” is the understanding that the applicant need not demonstrate a specific need or a “good cause.” Thus, the jurisdiction does not have the power to exercise discretion in the awarding of licenses, but “shall issue” them because the permit owners are subject only to meeting specific criteria written in the law. Therefore, most citizens should have CCW permits issued on demand .”

Faria continues, “Before 1990 there were very few states with ‘shall issue’ concealed carry laws. Beginning with Florida in 1987 and over the next 30 years, states began to pass CCW legislation [rapidly].” Presently, most states have approved either “shall issue” CCW licensing or laws for “constitutional carry” …which means that a person can exercise their Second Amendment right openly, and does not need a permit at all to carry a concealed… handgun openly. Twenty-nine states have CCW and eight states have “constitutional carry” freedom legislation…

There are 16 million concealed carry permit holders in the US, with 8% of Americans having permits. California and New York have “may issue” licenses by which the citizens may apply for a license by expressing need, but the privilege is so stringent that, even after providing evidence of a pressing need, licenses are frequently delayed or denied, and citizens have been killed while waiting to obtain one…

Before the American Civil War most states were “constitutional carry.” After the Civil War many states began to add gun control restrictions, and strict “may issue” gun licensing became the norm… ”[ 10 ]

The central concern about gun control legislation that is proposed is that “gun registration is the gateway to civilian disarmament which often precedes [tyranny and] genocide.”[ 10 ]

Violent crimes and crimes of passion

What is the profile of the person committing violent crimes?

From his research Faria answers:

“ According to the United States Department of Justice, the typical murderer has had a prior criminal history of at least 6 years, with four felony arrests in his record, before he finally commits murder. FBI statistics reveal that 75% of all violent crimes for any locality are committed by 6% of hardened criminals and repeat offenders. Less than 2% of crimes committed with firearms are carried out by licensed law- abiding citizens (e.g., CCW permit holders) .”[ 3 ]

Interpreted differently that means over 98% of violent crimes are committed by people without permits to carry concealed weapons.

In regard to “Crimes of Passion,” supposedly a result of impulse action by the killer, Faria concludes, from the evidence,

that violent crimes are a result of “violence in highly dysfunctional families in the setting of alcohol abuse, illicit drug use, or other criminal activities. Violent crimes continue to be a problem in the inner cities of the large metropolitan areas, with gangs involved in robberies, drug trade, juvenile delinquency, and even murder. Yet crimes in rural areas, despite the preponderance of guns in this setting, remain low .”[ 3 ]

Faria states in his recent book,

“The state with the most mass shootings (e.g., California) and the cities with the highest rates of serious crimes (Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, et cetera) are those with the strictest gun control laws.” [ 10 ]

Identify and treat the mentally ill. Those deemed dangerous should be prevented from hurting themselves and others by an effective mental health system that includes institutionalization

Faria blames changes in “the mental health system for the problem with the deinstitutionalization of mental patients, which began in America in the 1960s and put thousands of mental patients including dangerous ones back on the streets, which has only worsened in recent years.”[ 6 ]

Why have these developments taken place? Faria explains,

“This change has happened not only because of the recent drive for containment of health care costs but also because of the decades-long, misguided mental health strategy of administering mental health care via community outreach and outpatient treatment. In many cases, these strategies have led to inadequate follow-up of and poor compliance by patients as well as legal restraints placed on families. Some families cannot even obtain the health records of their children who are over 21 years of age to find out about their health history.” [ 6 ]

He also states that

“deadly rampages are the result of failure of the mental health system” [to identify those deranged individuals who have the potential to harm others.] He cites numerous examples in which armed citizens stopped a rampage killing using guns they had a license to carry or had nearby for personal protection .[ 6 ]

Faria cited a New York Times study in 2000 which revealed that in 100 cases of rampage shooting incidents, 63 involved people who “made threats of violence before the event, including 54 who threatened specific violence to specific people.” Nothing had been done about the threats. Moreover, over half of the shooters had overt signs of mental illness that had gone untreated .[ 6 ]

Thus, the evidence indicates that many people with mental illness who will commit violent crimes can be identified before the crime and should be managed more carefully or institutionalized.

For example, while it is true that the number of shooting rampages has increased in recent years, the rate of violent crimes and homicides for both Blacks and Whites (including those committed with firearms) has decreased significantly over the same period, despite the tremendous increase in the number of firearms in the U.S., according to both the FBI Uniform Crime Reports and the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. (5, and other sources)

Hence, another source indicates that the increased availability of guns has been related to a decrease in the rate of violent crimes in the US.

Convicted felons and mentally unstable people should not be allowed to possess guns

Faria reviewed a series of cases of violence and shooting rampages. His conclusion is that “Convicted felons and mentally unstable people,” should “forfeit the right to possess arms by virtue of the fact they are a potential danger to their fellow citizens.”[ 6 ]

Sanctuary Place, City, and Sanctuary Country laws which allow the felons to escape punishment and exist in society should be revoked

In the Introduction in cases #1 through #4, violent crimes were committed to what are regarded as GFZ, or places where guns are usually not permitted or which do not have armed people in the vicinity. Such places are preferred sites of violent crimes for the shooters. As additional examples of the dangers of GFZ,

A deadly rampage shooting in Norway occurred in a country that is a “GFZ” (where guns are not allowed) which also exists in most of Europe. Sixty-nine teenagers were killed during this rampage. In this circumstance, the deranged killer was free to murder these 69 young people. That is the fault of the state, which has GFZ that only apply to the unarmed citizens and not to the killers .[ 6 ]

See Introduction, San Bernardino: (December 2, 2015) b. for more on GFZ.

A media that sensationalizes violence leading the perverted minds of criminal malcontents and deranged individuals to believe that committing those types of high-profile crimes, such as mass shootings, will turn them into the celebrities and achieve the macabre fame they seem to crave

Faria writes: “ There is the sinister and perhaps more insoluble contributing factor to violence — namely, the problem of how the media report and how popular culture sensationalizes violence, which in association with the fruitless pursuit of celebrity status in vogue today is all pervasive. What more evidence is needed for the “15 min worth of fame” phenomenon, than the immense popularity of vulgar “reality” television shows? It is not a big step to link extensive coverage of shooting rampages in both the press and the colorful electronic media as a major contributing factor in the pathologic and even morbid attainment of celebrity status even in death.”[ 6 ]

Where is the Responsibility of the Press? What other issues can the Press correct to reduce violent crimes?

Failure to honestly report those who prevented crimes by carrying concealed weapons

As Faria states,

…“the Media do not report these citizens with guns who protect others and stop the killers. Instead the media sensationalizes the violence, blames the use of guns for the violence, and do not praise the defenders. Thus, the public gets a biased view of the crime.”…Faria states, …“the truth is that the incidence of mass shootings is very low by any standard.” Consider the fact that mass shootings are a miniscule portion of homicides, <4%, because most shootings are committed by common criminals not mass shooters. Faria describes research that “has shown that firearms are used more frequently by law-abiding citizens to repel crime than used by criminals to perpetrate crime.” He continues, “Preventing any adult at a school from having access to a firearm eliminates any chance the killer can be stopped in time to prevent a rampage.” [ 6 ] and renders the people at the school defenseless.

Thus, by a biased reporting of violent crimes particularly with the use of guns, the media fails to inform the public of the value of armed citizens in stopping crime. The purpose of this bias is to provide more propaganda to remove guns from the citizens and to support centralized control of the people.

Why is there only selective reporting of violence using guns? Are there other responsible steps the media and press can take to reduce violent crime?

A child who reaches the age of 18 has witnessed 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence on television (American Psychiatric Association, 1988). The media need to take responsibility for this example

In a paper by Muscari published in 2003, she stated,

“American children watch an average of 28 hours of television a week. By the time they reach the age of 18, they will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence (American Psychiatric Association 1998). These numbers exclude time spent watching movies, playing video/computer games or with online interactive media, and listening to music- all of which may contain violent content. Since the deregulation of broadcasting in 1980, there has been a proliferation of media content that encourages violent and other antisocial behaviors.” [ 18 ]

She continues, “Media violence can be hazardous to children’s health. Six medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association, recently released a joint statement on the impact of violence on children. They stated that studies point overwhelmingly to a causal connection between media violence and aggressive attitudes, values, and behaviors in some children.” [ 18 ]

With such bombardment of violence through the mass media and the popular culture, if guns were to be successfully banned, people will resort to violence using knives and any other available means.[ 20 ]

On this subject Faria states,

“It is not a big step to link extensive coverage of shooting rampages in both the press and the colorful electronic media as a major contributing factor in the pathologic and even morbid attainment of celebrity status, even in death.” Citing the work of Dr. Brandon Centerwall of the University of Washington School of Public Health, Faria adds, “The homicide rates, not only in Canada but also in the U.S. and South Africa, soared 10–15 years after the introduction of television in those countries. In the U.S., there was an actual doubling of homicide rates after the introduction of television. Moreover, it was noted that up to half of all homicides, rapes, and violent assaults in the U.S. were directly attributed to violence on television.” [ 6 ]

The Media needs to take responsibility on its own for presenting violent solutions to problems.[ 6 ] Government regulation of the Media is not the solution to this problem, no more than it should be involved in Gun Control legislation. Both issues deal with Fundamental Freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. The People need to decide these issues not the government, whose bureaucrats at the slightest chance, will limit our Freedoms and enhance their Power.

What else can be done to reduce violent crime in the US, particularly in GFZ, as schools.

Encourage teachers and those who are willing and properly educated in the use of guns to carry weapons in schools to prevent school shootings

Faria proposes that we consider allowing teachers to have special concealed- carry firearm licenses to defend students. It would be a sensible and easy strategy “to protect the children in this mad, dystopian world we are creating in which we are too permissive to criminals and too protective of the rights of deranged individuals, while we easily blame and propose more laws and controls to limit the rights of the lawful citizens in society at large.” “Guns are inanimate objects. The responsibility for crimes rests on the criminals and those who facilitate their crimes! ”[ 6 ]

Can Public Education be returned to its original principles that include compulsory studies on Social Science, History, Civics, the Constitutional Principles of Government, and factual objective data on Criminology including Violent Crimes and their causes? Will removing guns from society solve this deficiency in our education systems? Or is our only solution to disarm the people but not the criminals and to establish a nationwide GFZ that will only incentivize Violent Crime as this paper has shown?

Need for public education on the principles of liberty, democratic governments, and the need for citizens to be armed against authoritarian government control

On the subject of Failed Social Systems and Gun Violence, Faria states,

“The American media and proponents of gun control assert that the problem lies in the “easy availability of guns“ and “too many guns” in the hands of the public. Second Amendment and gun rights advocates, on the other hand, believe the problem lies elsewhere, including a permissive criminal justice system that panders to criminals; the failure of public education; the fostering of a culture of dependence, violence, and alienation engendered by the welfare state; and the increased secularization of society with children and adolescents growing up devoid of moral guidance.”[ 6 ]

Other factors influencing criminal behavior are a prevalent attitude in the past half of the 20 th century which degrades the wisdom of generations of human history and the values of religious principles for guiding life, while replacing them with beliefs that life is meaningless and that human existence has no purpose, all of which leads to alienation, despair, violence, and suicide.

By the way, these are all goals necessary to establish authoritarian rule, goals supported by those who want to eliminate our Constitutional Republic.

Faria believes there are additional, contributing, and more proximate causes for the loss of moral compasses in our youth that lead them to violence — for example, the misguided role of the media and popular culture in the sensationalization of violence.[ 6 ]

In his paper on “America, Guns, and Freedom. Part I: a Recapitulation of Liberty”[ 4 ] Faria states,

“… freedom comes with responsibilities. Children should be taught not only the basic academic subjects but also instructed in civics, constitutional principles of government, and the meaning of liberty. Simply stated, education is important, and a system of constitutional governance that guarantees individual liberties and protects citizens from disarmament (by their own governments) comes with concomitant responsibilities. The citizens’ necessary civic involvement in the society in which they live is paramount, and it requires that the empowered population remain an informed and vigilant citizenry, the ultimate guardians of their own rights and freedoms .” These fundamental educational principles are an essential part of the understanding and responsibility for the use of firearms.

In regard to the education of children in the use of firearms, Faria describes a study performed by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.[ 3 ]

“The Agency tracked 4000 juveniles aged 6–15 years, in Denver (CO), Pittsburgh (PA), and Rochester (NY) from 1993 to 1995. The investigators found that children who were taught to use firearms with parental supervision, as in hunting or target shooting, were 14% less likely to commit acts of violence and street crimes than children who had no guns in their homes (24%); whereas, children who obtained guns illegally, did so at the whopping rate of 74%. This study also provided more evidence that in close nuclear families, where children were close to their parents, youngsters could be taught to use guns responsibly. These youngsters, in fact, grew up to be more responsible in their conduct and more civil in their behavior .[ 3 ]

Constitutional protection of the rights of citizens to bear arms against the state — Second Amendment

Faria explored the genocide attacks that have occurred throughout modern time.[ 3 ]

All these genocides occurred after guns had been taken from the people by the government, so the people are helpless to protect themselves against the armed militias of the state. He states that well-recognized legal scholars have concluded, “The Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms” — for the purpose of defending themselves against the state.[ 4 ]

Nevertheless, Faria writes in his paper,[ 4 ]

… “gun prohibitionists, in justifying their crusade for gun control in place of crime control, have erroneously maintained that the Second Amendment only permits the National Guard or the police to possess firearms for collective police functions… In 2008 the Supreme Court of the USA ruled that U.S. citizens have an inalienable, personal right to keep and bear arms in the federal districts of the nation, a preexisting natural right guaranteed in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution…. and Under legal tradition, a constitutional right is protected and inalienable under the 14 th Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, if it is considered a fundamental right, an inherent natural right deeply rooted in American history and jurisprudence.[ 4 ]

Attempts to subvert the Second Amendment

After mass shootings, the gun control movement has immediately demanded passage of laws restricting the sale of guns before the investigations into the causes of the crime have been completed, even though these proposed regulations are ruled unconstitutional.

“To further their efforts to over-rule the US Constitution, the Gun Control supporters have appealed to the UN to adopt a worldwide sanction on the possession of guns by the public. For years the UN has been trying to formalize a global, civilian disarmament treaty with the intention of circumventing the Second Amendment rights of American gun owners … so far without success.” [ 4 ]

Faria writes that

...”the United Nations is already set to commence discussing and approving its Small Arms Treaty in March 2013, which its proponents believe would overrule the Constitution and establish gun laws in the USA, formulated by people from other countries where the problems are worse. As one can see, the fundamental goal of the gun control proponents is to find a way to prevent all citizens from possessing arms that threaten the establishment of an authoritarian government .

President Obama encouraged the Democrats in Congress to pass gun control legislation that he could sign into laws .

The American people and their conservative representatives in Congress rose to the occasion and stopped the passage of gun control laws sponsored by the Obama administration and his liberal allies in the Democratic Party. And then in 2016 a pro- Second Amendment Republican, Donald Trump, was elected President. It seemed as if the gun control activists were at least temporarily neutralized .[ 6 ]

Still, these efforts to establish laws restricting gun ownership continue to this time. It is obvious to those pursuing this gun regulation that Amending the Constitution to make such a change in gun possession would fail. It seems that calls for gun control occur immediately after a mass shooting even before any analysis of the facts in each case is made. It is reasonable for people to be upset when people are killed. Are there calls for banning automobiles which are involved in far more deaths than are killed in homicides with guns?[ 24 , 25 ] No. Are there calls for banning trucks used in the intentional killing of people? No. What is the reason behind this selective almost hysterical emotional reaction to control guns? Guns do not kill people but People using guns do. Could it be that there is an organized effort to take guns from the public?

People and Tax-Exempt foundations promoting gun control while acting as social or public health research organizations

An answer to the questions raised previously about the immediacy of the calls for gun control before the facts are known in mass shootings, the lack of a similar response to mass murders using trucks, bombs, or knives, and the hysterical emotional responses almost perfectly timed and organized at each shooting event can be found in Dr. Faria’s new book, “America, Guns, and Freedom: A Journey into Politics and the Public Health and Gun Control Movements.”[ 10 ] He states,

“While the CDC has tempered its stand on guns and violence research in the last two decades following the restrictions of 1996 (events that will be described in other chapters), the rest of the PHE (Public Health Establishment) movement — supported financially by wealthy gun control proponents such as Michael Bloomberg and George Soros, as well as progressive (Leftist, Collectivist) gun prohibitionist organizations such as The Joyce Foundation — continue to promote gun control masquerading as social or public health scientific research [ 10 ] [page 18] .

“It should also be of interest that private researchers, particularly those associated or sponsored by the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, are frequently disparaged by those in the PHE as if the fiduciary association of the former immediately taints their integrity, work, and conclusions. But why is this not so the other way around, for those receiving tax money or donations from anti-gun magnates such as George Soros and Michael Bloomberg? Why is this not the case also for research funded by private tax-exempt foundations, such as the Joyce Foundation, which are known to have progressive, socioeconomic agendas to reconstruct society in their image and with ideological axes to grind? Why do those same gun researchers, decade after decade, keep telling us that more studies are needed (and additional funding necessary) — acting for their own financial self-interests as well as subsidizing their ideological agendas? These are good questions whose answers may save taxpayers bundles of money and in the long-term, perhaps, even preserve their freedom!” [ 10 ] [page 127] .

Faria ends by providing his opinion after years of study of this problem. He states, “Let’s stop demonizing guns and end the shootings by incarcerating the criminals and healing the mentally sick. Much work needs to be done in the mental health arena and in the task of de-sensationalization of violence by the media in our dumbed-down popular culture.”[ 6 ]


Statement by Thomas Jefferson: “When the government fears the people there is liberty. When the People fear the government, there is tyranny.” [ 3 ]

The USA is a Constitutional Republic which means the rulers are bound by the rule of laws. Thus, in a Republican form of government, the rights of the minority are protected from the tyranny of the majority. A democracy governs by majority rule and the capricious and mischievous rule of man .[ 7 ]

All of the evidence presented in this review article points to the complex issues surrounding “gun violence.” It presents a different perspective from what you read in the Mainstream Media (MSM), which focus on the elimination of guns and civilian disarmament, instead of the reasons for criminal behavior. This simplistic approach of eliminating guns is not the answer. People will find other means to express their frustrations or outright criminality. The most reasonable solutions are education about guns and gun safety; instruction in civics and ethics; learning the principles of self-government and liberty; supporting the rule of law inherent to a Constitutional Republic, which we still are; and understanding the perils of Tyranny. The facts presented here indicate that after disarming citizens, crime escalates by the use of illegal guns or by substitution methods of lethality, such as knives, bombs, and vehicles plowing into crowds. Disarming good citizens does not prevent violent behavior. It leaves them defenseless and only encourages more crime by the criminal elements and deranged people. However, a clear fact stands out from this review. Arming citizens is the most reasonable, economic, and best choice to discourage gun- based violent behavior by empowering the citizen to protect one’s self, family, fellow citizens, and ultimately be used as a check on government.[ 12 ]

Although eliminating guns is a “quick fix” in response to this complex set of issues, it should be obvious to the reader that the solution to these issues is multifaceted and will take time. It has taken time for our cultures and civilizations to disintegrate into the chaotic situation that we are experiencing today. Family dysfunction, alcohol and drug abuse, and violent behavior from repeat offenders are central to this problem. Add to that mental illness that is not properly treated and the misuse of guns becomes obvious. Filling minds with an incessant stream of Media and Entertainment featuring gun violence, over and over, conditions individuals to resort to those copycat behaviors. Having an Educational system that does not equip the young with the proper civic and ethical principles to deal with life’s challenges and to appreciate our Republican form of government only compounds this problem. Taking guns from the citizens will not solve these problems as this paper has shown. The problem goes deeper.

On top of all of these new challenges, the individual is subjected to a world that is being transformed as people, family structures, jobs, societies, industries of all types, communication technology, and legal and governmental systems are changing rapidly in the 21 st century. There are different populations all over the world in different stages of technological advances and civilizations. However, the global elites, who desire power, want to enforce a rigid same-size- fits-all type of approach, including forcing the adoption of the type of government that the elites themselves want without noting ethnological, historic, and political differences, and above all, the desires of the people.[ 1 ] The oligarchical types of social democracy, or rule by a few, are the preferred system of rule of the Western European elites.

Compounding all these issues, in this group of self- appointed leaders are a number who have their own “tax- exempt foundations,” which they use to fund support for their ideas. In general, these elites believe they are smarter than the average citizen, whom they are convinced should not be allowed to make decisions on life’s complicated issues, such as the possession of guns. Evidence shows that this type of thinking is now infiltrating the US government and private institutions.[ 1 ] Examples involve the revelation of unlawful spying on and the attempted “Coup” against the President of the US, Donald Trump, as a citizen, President-Elect, and now President, in violation of the US Constitution. It is becoming clear this “coup” was planned and executed over time by unelected people in various branches of government including the FBI, Justice Department, Intelligence agencies, and others to remove the duly elected President from office and to establish their own form of authoritarian government.[ 1 , 9 , 13 ]

We have already witnessed Anarchy in our streets as unchecked, political, mostly left-wing groups (Antifa), prevent citizens from expressing opposing viewpoints, and limit Free Speech. Violence has been used by them with little condemnation from the MSM.[ 28 ] In fact, these groups are supported by the MSM and the entertainment industry in all its forms, as outlined above in this paper, in its biased reporting, in its violent-prone entertainment, frequently paid for by certain “charitable” and “nonprofit” corporations. They are committed to limiting conservative free expression, and in particular, opposite points of view in their television programming, print media, and worldwide websites. That is why most of the public is unaware of all the facts behind these events. These actions all point to the establishment of authoritarian rule and the elimination of our Constitutional and Republican form of government.[ 1 , 9 , 13 ]

The methods being used today for gun control were described by Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin to establish and enforce collectivist central control and authoritarianism. These same tactics also apply to government-controlled health care. Unfortunately, a detailed discussion of all of these issues is beyond the scope of this paper but will be addressed in a separate publication in the future. For those interested in further reading, the following references should be useful.[ 1 , 7 - 9 , 12 , 13 ]

Asking the government to solve the problem of violent crime with gun control will ultimately lead down the path to authoritarian and Tyrannical government. It is like asking a dictator what he would decide about Liberty for his people. The government should have less responsibility for our lives rather than more. The problem of violent crimes and the factors behind them should be debated and solved in each community.


From the evidence presented in this paper, Gun Control is not about guns. Guns are not responsible for killing people. Guns cannot be blamed for deaths, being inanimate objects that require a person to pull the trigger. People who use guns irresponsibly are to blame. Therefore, the real subject of the “sometimes hysterical” Gun Control movement seems to be People Control by the elimination of the individual possession and use of firearms, despite the guarantee of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. Gun Control is intended to make it easier to control the people. For the same reason, Gun Control is constantly supported by the self- appointed media elites and the hypocritical entertainment industry. The progressive stripping of the citizens’ rights to keep and bear arms in the 300-year history of the U.K., which began not long after the Glorious Revolution (1688), has reached the point where people are incarcerated for using kitchen knives against home intruders. As crime increases in the U.K, it provides evidence of how futile gun control legislation is in stopping criminal behavior and reducing violence. Tyranny is progressing as violence increases. And why just gun control and not knife control, or truck, or bomb control? Why is the focus on guns? There is no other logical reason except what I have stated:

People Control is the real purpose of depriving people of the right to possess arms for self-defense. Recent increases in violence seem not to be random events, but events that are used to cascade into more laws and more government intervention. Elimination of or circumventing the Second Amendment removes the fear of the collectivist authoritarian leaders that the citizens will rise against them with their firearms. At the same time, eradication of Freedom of Speech is already muzzling certain conservative media and website outlets, a practice the Media are now strangely supporting. The eventual elimination of Freedom of Speech, which is a collectivist goal, in the end will shock all of the Media. The Media are supporting its own destruction. Is Media Control the solution or is Media Responsibility to objectively report the Truth and to protect the people and the Constitution that grants the right to Free Speech, a better answer? The real goal of the gun control movement is to establish a governmental system that is centrally controlled and to overthrow Rule by the People or their Constitutional Republic. The issue is not about Crime Control either because we are seeing that the only way to reduce rampant crime is to arm the good citizens, as there are not enough police to prevent, much less, stop all crimes.[ 1 ]

Some gun control advocates may not even realize that they are being manipulated by people who seek Power to destroy their freedoms. Evidence is suggested that there are those who are determined to undermine our Constitutional Republic, and who are financing many programs planned to replace our individual rights and personal liberty with central control and an authoritarian government.

It is obvious that in the rapidly changing world, we need to find answers to the dynamically changing challenges we face. That will take time and patience. In the meantime, is there a gray area for compromise in the Guns and Violence issue? Yes, logically, from all the evidence presented, citizens should be encouraged to carry arms for self, family, and fellow citizen protection, and as a check on government, a right guaranteed by the Constitution and endowed by our God-given natural right. The challenges facing us are multifaceted.

All of the issues discussed in this paper are a result of the disintegration of the principles of moral and ethical behavior, a failed education system, a loss of the guidance of a good family structure, and an insatiable desire for self-satisfaction above family and country.


As John F Kennedy stated in his Inaugural Address on January 20, 1961: “ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU. ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY,”

How to cite this article: Ausman JI, Faria MA. Is gun control really about people control? Surg Neurol Int 2019;10:195.

Financial support and sponsorship

James I and Carolyn R Ausman Educational Foundation.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the journal or its management.

The authors want to thank Russell Blaylock, MD for his contributions to this manuscript .

Miguel A. Faria, M.D., is the Associate Editor in Chief in socioeconomics, politics, medicine, and world affairs of Surgical Neurology International (SNI). He is a Board-Certified Neurological Surgeon (American Association of Neurological Surgeons); Clinical Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery, ret.) and Adjunct Professor of Medical History (ret.) Mercer University School of Medicine. He was appointed and served at the behest of President George W. Bush as member of the Injury Research Grant Review Committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2002-2005. Dr. Faria is an escapee from Communist Cuba at age 13 to the USA. Educated in the U.S., he became a neurosurgeon, was Editor of the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, and founded the Medical Sentinel for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. He has authored a number of books and is an authority on Public Health and Gun Control. His latest book is America, Guns, and Freedom: A Journey into Politics and the Public Health & Gun Control Movements which is to be released October 1, 2019. Mascot Books, Herndon VA; President , , USA-JIA]

clock This article was published more than  1 year ago

What the research says about gun laws

The divide over guns can be partisan and ideological. but a growing body of social-science research is showing which laws work — and which don’t..

research paper gun laws

Part of the deeply polarized debate over guns in the United States — inflamed, yet again, by the horrific events in Uvalde, Tex. — is ideological. A segment of the population rejects any and all regulation of these weapons as an abridgment of freedom; another segment holds uncompromising anti-gun views. But some of the arguments about how best to prevent gun violence boil down to disagreements about the real-world effects of policies that have been proposed or implemented. Are certain laws and regulations likely to improve or worsen public safety? These disagreements involve empirical questions that can be answered with good research. At a time when many Americans are searching for solutions to our country’s intolerably high rates of gun violence, social scientists can help provide answers — and, possibly, lead people of good faith to modify their views.

For more than six years, the Rand Corp., through its Gun Policy in America initiative, has been evaluating the available scientific evidence on the effects of gun laws on a wide range of outcomes, including homicides, suicides and mass shootings. We have reviewed thousands of scientific articles to identify those that credibly estimate the effects of 18 different gun laws that are commonly debated in state legislatures. In particular, we have looked for evidence that these laws caused changes in one of the outcomes of interest — not just that they are correlated with these outcomes (because mere correlation is poor evidence of causation). Several policies, we find, do have substantial support in the scholarly literature — with child access prevention legislation, also known as CAP laws, or safe storage laws, boasting some of the most potent evidence about effectiveness. Studies make clear that CAP laws decrease self-injuries and suicides among youths in states that adopt them, and also decrease unintentional injuries and deaths. Yet only 19 states have such laws.

Policies requiring firearms owners to keep guns in safes or other places where children can’t access them would not have changed events in Uvalde, but they deserve strong consideration by any legislators concerned about gun deaths. It’s an unfortunate fact that mass shootings are sufficiently rare that it is hard to establish with scientific rigor whether policies affect them — although some laws that reduce gun violence in general may also reduce mass shootings.

How long are Americans sad and angry about mass shootings? Four days.

Of course, we should not expect to implement laws only for which we have strong scientific evidence. Often — usually — no such evidence is available. Even when it is, failure to find a statistically significant effect does not mean the law has no effect: It usually means the study wasn’t strong enough to say what the law’s effects might be. When no rigorous evidence of law effects is available, policymakers and the public instead must rely on logical considerations (for example, is it plausible that restrictions on magazine capacity might reduce the carnage mass shooters cause?) and weaker evidence (such as correlations).

The results of Rand’s regularly updated and ongoing review of evidence might be, at first glance, underwhelming: Most of the gun policy effects for which we sought evidence have not been evaluated or haven’t been evaluated well enough to draw strong conclusions from. The two problems — weak studies or no studies — are related: For decades, we in the United States have underfunded research and data collection efforts that could help us establish the effects of gun laws and other firearm violence prevention interventions. (In fact, for nearly a quarter-century, almost no federal funding was available for research in this area, for political reasons.)

As mentioned, where positive effects are concerned, child access prevention laws have the strongest evidence in their favor. (According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 842 children younger than 18 died in firearms accidents or firearms suicides in 2020, and a larger number were injured, though some of these casualties were at the hands of older people.) Meanwhile, the research is similarly persuasive that “Stand your ground” laws are associated with an increase in firearm homicides, and there is moderate evidence suggesting they also drive up total homicides after their passage. “Stand your ground” laws remove the traditional obligation to avoid using deadly force in a conflict if retreat is a safe option. Such laws have been popular in recent years, and by now more than half of all states have implemented them.

There is less robust, but still notable, evidence for the effects of other laws. Since the mid-1990s, all states have required background checks for firearms purchased from a licensed dealer. There is mounting evidence that these checks decrease homicides . Although almost half of U.S. states have some form of “universal” background check laws, which also require checks for sales between private parties, the effects of these laws are not yet well established. There is also moderately strong evidence that waiting period laws (found in fewer than half of all states) decrease firearm suicides and homicides , and that laws prohibiting firearms possession by people with domestic-violence restraining orders — variants of which are present in most state laws — decrease intimate partner homicides.

Other policies — such as assault weapons bans of the sort the United States had in place for the 10 years after 1994 — don’t yet provide enough scientific evidence to indicate what their effects might be. That is not to say that these laws do not have effects, only that they have not been rigorously demonstrated. By some definitions, for example, mass shootings declined in the United States during the period of the federal ban, but because mass shootings remain, at least in a statistical sense, relatively rare, and because rates of mass shootings highly variable from year to year, there are methodological challenges to reliably detecting even fairly strong effects for these laws.

Some people who argue about guns are simply never going to be swayed by scientific evidence regarding firearms policies, but many citizens and lawmakers are willing to take sound evidence into consideration. We have extraordinary levels of firearms violence in this country — but also research-proven ways to reduce it.


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There are approximately as many guns in civilian hands in the United States as there are people, more than 250 million (Kleck, pp. 96– 97). Most are rifles and shotguns used primarily for recreation, but a growing proportion, perhaps one-third, are handguns, which are usually purchased for personal or home defense. Between the late 1960s and late 1970s, violent crime rates in the United States increased very rapidly. The robbery rate increased nearly six-fold, and the murder rate nearly doubled, peaking at about 10 in 100,000 in 1979 (Polsby). During this same period, the American public rapidly acquired an inventory of tens of millions of new handguns, as well as even more rifles and shotguns. Many opinion leaders blamed the escalating rates of violent crime on the increased private ownership of firearms, and proposed various kinds of gun control laws to deal with the problem.

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Four main policies constitute gun control as the term is used in common conversation:

  • Laws and regulations meant to prohibit, or to impose regulatory burdens on, civilian importation, manufacture, sale, or possession of certain weapons or classes of weapons;
  • Laws requiring people who want to buy firearms to wait out a ‘‘cooling off ’’ period between purchasing a weapon and taking

delivery of it;

  • Laws requiring people who want to buy firearms to undergo background checks to ensure that they are not legally ineligible for some reason, such as having a criminal record, to purchase or own such weapons;
  • Efforts by municipalities and occasionally by private philanthropies to buy guns from members of the public at a stated price with no questions asked (often called gun buyback programs).

Many other sorts of efforts by the criminal justice system to deter or minimize the abuse of firearms, such as aggravating punishments for the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime, or directly confronting and discouraging potential abusers of firearms, are practically never called ‘‘gun control.’’ ‘‘Gun control,’’ in other words, usually refers to the set of public policies whose main purpose is suppress or slow down the supply of firearms to the general public. It usually does not include the (much less politically controversial) policies meant to reduce potential abusers’ demand for firearms.

Gun control laws usually are based on the assumption that there is a regular relationship between the availability of weapons to members of the general public and the rate at which crimes, especially homicides and suicides, occur in a given population. Numerous scholars have made some version of this claim (e.g., Zimring; Cook; Kellermann and Reay; Duggan). Note that this claim is not that better-armed populations are automatically more criminous than less well armed populations, as there may be many other differences, such as age, income, wealth, education, and so on, that much more powerfully predict extreme deviant behavior than any ‘‘access to a gun’’ variable could ever do. Rather, the contention is that if one could hold constant the characteristics of a population and vary only the accessibility of firearms, one should expect to see higher rates of murder and suicide among the better-armed, and lower rates among the less well armed populations.

More Guns, More Crime

The most important and influential evidence for the claim that guns are a vector of violent crime is found in the work of Zimring and Hawkins, whose comparison of the crime, violence, and lethal outcomes rates of various countries leads them to the conclusion that forms the title of their study: Crime Is Not the Problem . What is the problem, then? Guns—at least as a first approximation. For example, if one compares the rates of assault or robbery in the United States with other Anglophone countries (e.g., Australia, New Zealand, Canada, England, and Wales), America’s statistics appear normal; most of those countries’ rates of crime are quite similar to that of the United States. Similarly, if one compares burglary rates in London and New York City, one finds rather similar numbers. But in terms of lethal outcomes of crimes—crimes that end with somebody getting killed—the U.S. experience is far more deadly than that of other English-speaking countries. Polsby and Kates (1998) argue that differences in the populations and cultures of these countries offer an explanation for this phenomenon.


For purposes of the present discussion prohibition means either legally forbidding civilian ownership of weapons of a certain class or heavily burdening ownership with the practical effect of prohibition. In the second sense, machine guns and artillery pieces have been prohibited by federal law even though a few civilians—collectors and hobbyists—comply with the onerous legal requirements that are imposed on the possession of such weapons. In the first sense, sawed-off shotguns are prohibited by federal law; handguns by the laws of a number of cities such as Washington, D.C., or Chicago and a few of its northern suburbs (Morton Grove, Winnetka, Evanston, Highland Park); Saturday night specials (cheap, easily concealed handguns), variously defined, by the laws of a few jurisdictions; and socalled assault weapons, variously defined, by federal law and the laws of a number of states.

The two principal questions posed by any prohibition law is whether it will have its intended effect and, if so, whether it will have unintended effects. Both these questions have theoretical and empirical aspects.

Intended Effect

It is reasonable to ask why one should, a priori, expect weapons prohibitions to work at all. Prohibitions are enforced by means of criminal penalties, but the penalty assessed for violating a weapon law as such will always be minor in comparison to the penalty that is specified for using a weapon to commit a murder or armed robbery. Persons who are not deterred by the greater penalty are not likely, as a rule, to be deterred by the lesser. The entire freight of behavior modification that such laws can be expected to effect should be on people who are highly unlikely to utilize weapons in crime. Supposing that prohibitory laws have any effect at all, one should expect them first of all and most significantly to affect the behavior of persons who are disposed voluntarily to obey the law—who obey as a habit of social life and not as a calculation about the probability of being apprehended and punished in any given instance. Equally, one should expect to see the tardiest and most trivial obedience to such laws among persons who are not disposed to obedience to law. Accordingly, in the real world of weapons prohibition one should expect to see, if any effect at all, a perverse change in the distribution of weapons in society, with those least disposed to crime disarming themselves and those most disposed to crime disarming themselves, if at all, at a slower rate. Moreover, if it is true that weapons, as a tool of criminals, become more valuable as they can be introduced into transactions where defenders (shopkeepers, homeowners, and so on) are increasingly less likely themselves to be armed, one should actually expect prohibitory laws to ‘‘cause’’ a certain amount of crime. A more circumspect conclusion is reached by Kleck and Patterson (1993), whose study of the effect of nineteen different gun control laws on gun ownership levels and rates of violent crimes, controlling for numerous potential confounding factors, found no consistent evidence for the effectiveness of these laws.

Unintended Consequences

The most ambitious econometric study ever attempted of the effects of gun control on crime reached the conclusion that liberalizing the terms on which civilians might carry concealed weapons had a significant and constructive effect on the rate of murders, robberies, burglaries, and rapes (Lott and Mustard). The explanation for this effect seems, in fact, to be the oldest theory of modern criminology, namely that of general deterrence (Beccaria). As predatory behavior becomes more expensive, there will be, other things equal, less predatory behavior. The implication is that restricting civilian access to firearms can reasonably be called a ‘‘cause’’ of crime, at least certain kinds of crime—the kinds that involve interpersonal confrontations in which direct intimidation is a factor.

Suicide differs from other homicide in that perpetrators more seldom have a background of deviant behavior. Suicide is overwhelmingly a phenomenon of the old and the sick; in fact, suicide rates are the highest in segments of the population in which homicide rates are the lowest—and vice versa. National rates of suicide are among the most stable of public health statistics. The suicide rate in the United States is approximately 11 or 12 in 100,000 of population, and handguns have been rapidly increasing as the method of choice for suicide. A number of studies have attempted to relate an individual’s access to handguns to his probability of committing suicide (see Kleck). The methodological problem for such studies is that of causation: does possession of a gun increase a person’s likelihood of suicide, or do people who mean to commit suicide go out and get guns? It may be the case that access to a firearm modestly increases the risk of suicide. Other means of selfdestruction, though numerous, are imperfect substitutes for firearms, which are cheap, effective, and easy to use. This fact might also serve to explain why handguns are increasingly becoming the instrument of choice for suicides. There appears to be negligible evidence, however, that gun control laws can realistically be used to keep weapons out of the hands of those contemplating suicide.

Waiting Periods

Laws that require purchasers of firearms to wait for one or more days between purchasing weapons and taking possession of them are based on the idea that a certain number of homicidal attacks are impulsive, rage-driven affairs, and that a cooling-off period might lower the danger of this sort of homicide. Lott found no evidence that waiting periods did in fact affect rates of homicide or other crimes, nor did Kopel in an earlier study. If there is any evidence in favor of this form of gun control, it is anecdotal in nature.

Gun Buy-Back Programs

The premise of programs in which people turn in unwanted weapons to authorities, with no questions asked—sometimes in exchange for cash or something of value—is that firearms are, in effect, mischief waiting to happen, and that the fewer firearms in civilian hands, the better. Buyback programs have been favorites of newspaper editorialists and anti-gun advocates (e.g., Editorial, Chicago Tribune ; Seibel), but even some scholars generally friendly to gun control (e.g., Callahan, Rivara, and Koepsal; Romero, Wintemute, and Vernick), have found no credible evidence that such programs affect rates of crime or have a favorable impact on public safety.

Background Checks

The federal Brady law requires purchasers of handguns to submit to background checks prior to taking delivery of a handgun, and the laws of some states, like Illinois, make background checks mandatory for all firearms purchases. The purpose of these laws is to establish that the purchaser is not a criminal, fugitive, known substance abuser, or in other ways legally disqualified from possessing a firearm. So long as the background check is carried out within a few minutes, such laws impose little burden on gun buyers. For this reason, they have not been especially controversial. There appears, however, to be no persuasive evidence that such laws affect crime or indeed that they have any impact on criminals’ acquisition of weapons. As a leading researcher on the subject has said, there are apparently ‘‘serious limits on the results one can reasonably expect from controls applied only to voluntary (nontheft) transfers such as gun sales. One cannot substantially reduce the flow of water through a sieve by blocking just a few of the holes, especially if one cannot block the largest ones’’ (Kleck, p. 93).

Gun control laws invite two questions. First, how do firearms laws affect the distribution of guns in a given population; second, how does the pattern of firearms dispersion in that population affect its likelihood of engaging in crime. It must be said that there is relatively little evidence in the United States for the proposition that laws can effectively get people to give up guns they already own or to refrain from acquiring new weapons. The relationship between firearms dispersion, crime, and violence is difficult to sort out. While criminals often use guns to commit crimes, seek firearms for this purpose, and probably commit a different number and kind of crime when they have guns than when they do not, it is undeniably also true that guns are effective in the same applications for which police officers use them—deterring aggression. One should expect to see guns where one sees criminals, but also where honest people are fearful of criminals. There is little persuasive evidence in favor of gun control as a crime reduction technique and some probability that, in some circumstances, additional regulation might have a perverse effect.


  • BECCARIA, CESARE. An Essay on Crimes and Punishments (1764). Boston: International Pocket Library, 1983.
  • CALLAHAN, CHARLES; RIVARA, FREDERICK P.; and KOEPSAL, THOMAS D. ‘‘Money for Guns: Evaluation of the Seattle Gun Buy-Back Program.’’ Public Health Reports ( July 1994): 472.
  • COOK, PHILIP ‘‘The Technology of Personal Violence.’’ Crime and Justice, Annual Review of Research. Edited by Michael Tonry. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.
  • DUGGAN, MARK. More Crime, More Guns (National Bureau of Economic Research working paper no. W7967, October, 2000).
  • ‘‘317 Down, Millions More to Go.’’ Chicago Tribune , 29 December 1993, sec. 1, p. 14.
  • KELLERMANN, ARTHUR, and REAY, DONALD T. ‘‘Protection or Peril? An Analysis of FirearmsRelated Deaths in the Home.’’ New England Journal of Medicine 314 (1986): 1557–1560.
  • KLECK, GARY. Targeting Guns. Hawthorne, N.Y.: Aldine de Gruyter, 1997.
  • KOPEL, DAVID Why Gun Waiting Periods Threaten Public Safety. Golden, Colo: Independence Institute, 1993.
  • LOTT, JOHN, JR. More Guns, Less Crime. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.
  • LOTT, JOHN, JR., and MUSTARD, DAVID. ‘‘Crime, Deterrence and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns.’’ Journal of Legal Studies 26 (1997): 1–68.
  • LUDWIG, JENS. ‘‘Gun Self-Defense and Deterrence.’’ Journal of Crime and Justice 27 (2000): 363–417.
  • POLSBY, DANIEL. ‘‘The False Promise of Gun Control.’’ Atlantic Monthly (March, 1994), pp. 57–70.
  • POLSBY, DANIEL, and KATES, DON. B., JR. ‘‘American Homicide Exceptionalism.’’ University of Colorado Law Review 69 (1998): 969–1007.
  • ROMERO, MICHAEL; WINTEMUTE, GAREN J.; and VERNICK, JON S. ‘‘Characteristics of a Gun Exchange Program, and an Assessment of Potential Benefits.’’ Injury Prevention 4 (1998): 206– 210.
  • SEIBEL, TOM. ‘‘Rodriguez Touts Gun Turn-In.’’ Chicago Sun-Times, 25 January 1994, p. 6.
  • ZIMRING, FRANKLIN. ‘‘Is Gun Control Likely to Control Violent Killings?’’ University of Chicago Law Review 35 (1968): 721–737.
  • ZIMRING, FRANKLIN, and HAWKINS, GORDON. Crime is Not the Problem. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.


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  • Published: 25 September 2023

Distinguishing features of Long COVID identified through immune profiling

  • Jon Klein   ORCID: 1   na1 ,
  • Jamie Wood 2   na1 ,
  • Jillian Jaycox 1   na1 ,
  • Rahul M. Dhodapkar   ORCID: 1 , 3   na1 ,
  • Peiwen Lu   ORCID: 1   na1 ,
  • Jeff R. Gehlhausen 1 , 4   na1 ,
  • Alexandra Tabachnikova 1   na1 ,
  • Kerrie Greene 1 ,
  • Laura Tabacof 2 ,
  • Amyn A. Malik 5 ,
  • Valter Silva Monteiro   ORCID: 1 ,
  • Julio Silva   ORCID: 1 ,
  • Kathy Kamath 6 ,
  • Minlu Zhang   ORCID: 6 ,
  • Abhilash Dhal 6 ,
  • Isabel M. Ott 1 ,
  • Gabrielee Valle 7 ,
  • Mario Peña-Hernandez 1 , 8 ,
  • Tianyang Mao   ORCID: 1 ,
  • Bornali Bhattacharjee   ORCID: 1 ,
  • Takehiro Takahashi   ORCID: 1 ,
  • Carolina Lucas   ORCID: 1 , 11 ,
  • Eric Song   ORCID: 1 ,
  • Dayna Mccarthy 2 ,
  • Erica Breyman 2 ,
  • Jenna Tosto-Mancuso 2 ,
  • Yile Dai   ORCID: 1 ,
  • Emily Perotti 1 ,
  • Koray Akduman 1 ,
  • Tiffany J. Tzeng 1 ,
  • Anna C. Geraghty 9 ,
  • Michelle Monje   ORCID: 9 , 10 ,
  • Inci Yildirim   ORCID: 5 , 11 , 12 , 13 ,
  • John Shon 6 ,
  • Ruslan Medzhitov   ORCID: 1 , 10 , 11 ,
  • Denyse Lutchmansingh 7 ,
  • Jennifer D. Possick 7 ,
  • Naftali Kaminski   ORCID: 7 ,
  • Saad B. Omer   ORCID: 5 , 11 , 13 , 14 ,
  • Harlan M. Krumholz   ORCID: 11 , 15 , 16 , 17 ,
  • Leying Guan 11 , 18 ,
  • Charles S. Dela Cruz   ORCID: 7 , 11 ,
  • David van Dijk   ORCID: 11 , 19 , 20 ,
  • Aaron M. Ring   ORCID: 1 , 11 ,
  • David Putrino   ORCID: 2 , 21 &
  • Akiko Iwasaki   ORCID: 1 , 10 , 11  

Nature ( 2023 ) Cite this article

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We are providing an unedited version of this manuscript to give early access to its findings. Before final publication, the manuscript will undergo further editing. Please note there may be errors present which affect the content, and all legal disclaimers apply.

  • Viral infection

Post-acute infection syndromes (PAIS) may develop after acute viral disease 1 . Infection with SARS-CoV-2 can result in the development of a PAIS known as “Long COVID” (LC). Individuals with LC frequently report unremitting fatigue, post-exertional malaise, and a variety of cognitive and autonomic dysfunctions 2–4 ; however, the biological processes associated with the development and persistence of these symptoms are unclear. Here, 273 individuals with or without LC were enrolled in a cross-sectional study that included multi-dimensional immune phenotyping and unbiased machine learning methods to identify biological features associated with LC. Marked differences were noted in circulating myeloid and lymphocyte populations relative to matched controls, as well as evidence of exaggerated humoral responses directed against SARS-CoV-2 among participants with LC. Further, higher antibody responses directed against non-SARS-CoV-2 viral pathogens were observed among individuals with LC, particularly Epstein-Barr virus. Levels of soluble immune mediators and hormones varied among groups, with cortisol levels being lower among participants with LC. Integration of immune phenotyping data into unbiased machine learning models identified key features most strongly associated with LC status. Collectively, these findings may help guide future studies into the pathobiology of LC and aid in developing relevant biomarkers.

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Author information

These authors contributed equally: Jon Klein, Jamie Wood, Jillian Jaycox, Rahul M. Dhodapkar, Peiwen Lu, Jeff R. Gehlhausen, Alexandra Tabachnikova

Authors and Affiliations

Department of Immunobiology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

Jon Klein, Jillian Jaycox, Rahul M. Dhodapkar, Peiwen Lu, Jeff R. Gehlhausen, Alexandra Tabachnikova, Kerrie Greene, Valter Silva Monteiro, Julio Silva, Isabel M. Ott, Mario Peña-Hernandez, Tianyang Mao, Bornali Bhattacharjee, Takehiro Takahashi, Carolina Lucas, Eric Song, Yile Dai, Emily Perotti, Koray Akduman, Tiffany J. Tzeng, Lan Xu, Ruslan Medzhitov, Aaron M. Ring & Akiko Iwasaki

Abilities Research Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, NY, USA

Jamie Wood, Laura Tabacof, Dayna Mccarthy, Erica Breyman, Jenna Tosto-Mancuso & David Putrino

Department of Ophthalmology, USC Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Rahul M. Dhodapkar

Department of Dermatology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

Jeff R. Gehlhausen

Yale Institute for Global Health, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA

Amyn A. Malik, Inci Yildirim & Saad B. Omer

SerImmune Inc., Goleta, CA, USA

Kathy Kamath, Minlu Zhang, Abhilash Dhal & John Shon

Department of Internal Medicine (Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine), Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

Gabrielee Valle, Denyse Lutchmansingh, Jennifer D. Possick, Naftali Kaminski & Charles S. Dela Cruz

Department of Microbiology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

Mario Peña-Hernandez

Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA

Anna C. Geraghty & Michelle Monje

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, MD, USA

Michelle Monje, Ruslan Medzhitov & Akiko Iwasaki

Center for Infection and Immunity, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

Carolina Lucas, Inci Yildirim, Ruslan Medzhitov, Saad B. Omer, Harlan M. Krumholz, Leying Guan, Charles S. Dela Cruz, David van Dijk, Aaron M. Ring & Akiko Iwasaki

Department of Pediatrics (Infectious Diseases), Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT, USA

Inci Yildirim

Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA

Inci Yildirim & Saad B. Omer

Department of Internal Medicine (Infectious Diseases), Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

Saad B. Omer

Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT, USA

Harlan M. Krumholz

Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

Department of Health Policy and Management, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA

Department of Biostatistics, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA

Leying Guan

Department of Computer Science, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

David van Dijk

Department of Internal Medicine (Cardiology), Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, NY, USA

David Putrino

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to David van Dijk , Aaron M. Ring , David Putrino or Akiko Iwasaki .

Supplementary information

Reporting summary, supplementary table 1.

Antibody clones and dilutions used for flow cytometry analysis. Excel file containing a list of antibodies used in flow cytometry analysis.

Supplementary Table 2

Viral antigens included in REAP analysis. Excel file containing a list of viral antigens used in REAP analysis.

Supplementary Table 3

MY-LC Clinical and Immunological Data. Excel file containing various immunological and clinical data used for analyses throughout the manuscript.

Supplementary Table 4

Ext. LC Clinical and Immunological Data. Excel file containing various immunological and clinical data from the external LC group used for analyses throughout the manuscript.

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Cite this article.

Klein, J., Wood, J., Jaycox, J. et al. Distinguishing features of Long COVID identified through immune profiling. Nature (2023).

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Received : 08 August 2022

Accepted : 18 September 2023

Published : 25 September 2023


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    Introduction. Gun reform was a key policy issue of the 2020 presidential general election. President Biden and Democratic leaders have advocated for the enactment of "common sense" gun reform efforts, such as assault weapon bans, universal background checks, and increased resources to enforce current gun laws (Lucey, 2021).They believe that such reforms will help reduce the ...

  4. The Science Is Clear: Gun Control Saves Lives

    The Science Is Clear: Gun Control Saves Lives By enacting simple laws that make guns safer and harder to get, we can prevent killings like the ones in Uvalde and Buffalo By The Editors on May...

  5. Scholarly Articles on Gun Control: History, Legislation & Activism

    Though there are differences along party lines, a 2021 Pew Research poll found that 53 percent of Americans believe gun control laws should be more strict, and 14 percent believe they should be less strict.

  6. The Science of Gun Policy

    This study synthesizes the available scientific evidence on the effects of various gun policies on firearm deaths, violent crime, the gun industry, participation in hunting and sport shooting, and other outcomes. 1 It builds and expands on earlier comprehensive reviews of scientific evidence on gun policy conducted more than a decade ago by the ...

  7. Gun Policy Research Review

    The primary focus of our analysis was the systematic review of 18 broad classes of gun policies that have been implemented in some states and the effects of those policies on eight outcomes. We produced research syntheses that describe the quality and findings of the best available scientific evidence. Each synthesis presents and rates the ...

  8. Key facts about Americans and guns

    (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) Guns are deeply ingrained in American society and the nation's political debates. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, and about a third of U.S. adults say they personally own a gun.

  9. Effective Gun Control Policy in the United States

    Effective Gun Control Policy in the United Stat es.pdf Content uploaded by Aron Hagos Author content Content may be subject to copyright. A preview of the PDF is not available References (24) The...

  10. Is gun control really about people control?

    This review provides a factual background to the debate about the issues surrounding the arguments for and against "Gun Control." The paper documents many factors that lead to violent crimes committed by people. ... federal law that bans funding for most gun violence research, effectively stopping the CDC (since 1996) and National ...

  11. Research Essays on Gun Policy in America

    Research on the effects of gun policies has a history of producing contradictory results and contentious debates about appropriate research methods. Our review of this literature identified several problems that, if addressed in future research, could result in stronger and more compelling evidence. Essays on additional topics in the Gun Policy ...

  12. PDF The Impact of Mass Shootings on Gun Policy v29[1]

    In this paper, we explore the impact of mass shootings on gun policy, constructing a dataset of all U.S. gun legislation and mass shootings over a period of twenty-five years (1989-2014)— combining data from a variety of media and government sources. We begin by looking at the extent

  13. What the research says about gun laws

    What the research says about gun laws The divide over guns can be partisan and ideological. But a growing body of social-science research is showing which laws work — and which don't....

  14. Gun violence: Prediction, prevention, and policy

    Most gun-related laws focus on the user of the gun (e.g., increased penalties for using a gun in the commission of a crime). Some research suggests that having been threatened with a gun, as well as the perpetrator's having access to a gun and using a gun during the fatal incident, is associated with increased risk of women becoming victims ...

  15. Gun Issues Research

    This eBook from 2019 examines the controversies surrounding gun control in the U.S., which, it asserts, are about whether to prioritize the traditional values of rugged independence or newer values of communitarian interdependence. School/College Safety and Security. Newspaper articles on issues of school security including coverage of the ...

  16. Gun Control Research Paper

    Four main policies constitute gun control as the term is used in common conversation: Laws and regulations meant to prohibit, or to impose regulatory burdens on, civilian importation, manufacture, sale, or possession of certain weapons or classes of weapons;

  17. Felony Convictions & Firearms

    This guide provides information on Texas and federal gun laws including: background checks, open carry, concealed carry, handgun licenses, restrictions for felons, and local regulation of firearms and shooting ranges. The Texas State Law Library publishes legal research guides to help both self-represented litigants/pro se litigants and ...

  18. Gun control research paper topic : r/guncontrol

    Hey guys! I want to write a research paper about gun control. But, I am unsure how to word the statement or thesis. ... Race, and Ethnicity Ethics and Philosophy Fashion Food and Drink History Hobbies Law Learning and Education Military Movies Music Place Podcasts and Streamers Politics Programming Reading, Writing, ...

  19. Crime in Russia

    Approximately 1.4 thousand crimes per 100 thousand population were recorded in Russia in 2021. Most criminal offenses in the country were of little gravity, while the share of especially grave ...

  20. PDF The city of Moscow in Russia's foreign and security policy: role, aims

    The third part of the paper analyzes the stages of interaction between the region and the federal center. It also considers Moscow's potential to influence decision-making in the area of the Russia's foreign policy. A special task of this research paper is to reveal the extent of influence and the consequences of Presi-

  21. Distinguishing features of Long COVID identified through immune

    Infection with SARS-CoV-2 can result in the development of a PAIS known as "Long COVID" (LC). Individuals with LC frequently report unremitting fatigue, post-exertional malaise, and a variety ...

  22. (PDF) Spatial Planning & Urban Development in Russia ...

    Abstract. The political structure of the Russian Federation and the current system of strategic planning. When territorial and urban planning regulation became a part of a national socio-economic ...

  23. Full article: Urban Governance in Russia: The Case of Moscow

    Theoretical propositions. The programme of housing renovation in the city of Moscow, Footnote 1 initiated by Mayor Sergey Sobyanin and approved by President Vladimir Putin in February 2017, has attracted much commentary among the domestic Russian audience and from international observers (see for example, Seddon Citation 2017).The programme promised to introduce significant improvements to the ...

  24. The Effects of Stand-Your-Ground Laws

    National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 28763, July 2021. Finkelstein, Amy, "E-ZTAX: Tax Salience and Tax Rates," Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 124, No ... "State Gun Laws and the Movement of Crime Guns Between States," International Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 61, 2020. Kalesan, Bindu, Kinan Lagast, Marcos ...