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Research Shows How Policies Can Reduce Gun Deaths

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Seven people were killed and dozens of others were injured in a Monday mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois. 

The attack comes on the heels of several recent mass shootings, including incidents in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, which intensified calls for nationwide gun control.

Already in 2022, the US has seen more than 300 mass shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive. 

Following the Uvalde school shooting earlier this year, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott suggested that mental health concerns are in part, responsible for the rise in mass shootings over the past few decades, but scientific research doesn’t support those claims. Experts have repeatedly shown that mental health issues are not predictive of violence.

What science has demonstrated, however, is that the number of gun deaths in the US is much higher than in other nations with similar rates of gun ownership – like Switzerland – and that certain policies can help prevent these fatalities. Studies have linked stricter background checks, rules prohibiting domestic abusers from owning weapons, and secure locks on firearms in the home with decreased rates of gun-related deaths.

Here’s what the data shows.

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