"Here’s Why There Is So Little Research On Gun Violence" - Sam Petulla
It's hard to find anything that kills as many people as gun violence that is so lacking in scientific research. This is the conclusion of a study published earlier this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association that treated gun violence as a public health epidemic and examined the relationship between topics of research and funding. But it is beyond dispute that gun violence kills a lot of Americans. Usually something that costs so many lives has a body of research trying to get behind it. "In relation to mortality rates, gun violence research was the least-researched cause of death and the second-least funded cause of death after falls,” said study co-author, David Stark, MD, assistant professor of health system design and global health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and medical director at the Institute for next generation health care. Researchers of gun violence say this is unsurprising. They are hobbled more than other areas of research by rules and legislation that have limited what researchers can possibly learn. Someone trying to understand gun violence cannot set up experiments in the same way a medical researcher into, say, cancer, is able to. On top of that, a lot of the data that's out in the world isn't available to researchers to use, limiting research opportunities.
- David Stark, MD, Assistant Professor, Health System Design and Global Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Medical Director, Institute for Next Generation Health Care