The Laura and John Arnold Foundation has announced a $20 million commitment in support of a data-driven research effort focused on gun-related violence in the United States.
The funds will launch and support the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, which over the next five years will sponsor research on the causes and patterns of gun violence with the goal of helping policy makers craft evidence-based policies designed to reduce it. To be overseen by RAND Corporation, the collaborative's research agenda will focus on the characteristics of gun violence, including how guns are purchased, how they change hands, and how they are used in fatal and non-fatal cases; risks and protective factors that increase or reduce the probability of gun violence; and interventions that can, among other things, effectively prevent violence-prone people from accessing guns or reduce gun violence in high-crime areas by improving the physical environment.
LJAF will work to secure an additional $30 million from other funders in support of the effort, with the goal of catalyzing much-needed funding from the federal government in support of additional research.
"Unfortunately, government research has been stymied for more than two decades, and that gap hasn't been adequately addressed by the private sector," said Jeremy Travis, executive vice president of criminal justice at LJAF. "As with other public health challenges, the crisis of gun violence will be effectively addressed only if we produce high-quality, objective research. We believe that funding this research will save lives."
"Understandably, gun violence is a deeply emotional issue. But arguing about the proper response will not solve the problem. Our goal is to provide objective information to guide a rational, fact-based response to a national crisis," said LJAF co-chair Laura Arnold. "We need data, not politics or emotion, to drive our decisions."
(Photo credit: RAND Corporation)