Tag Archives: #AHCJSummit22

Experts share databases and other useful resources for U.S. gun violence data

Thomas R. Simon, Ph.D., associate director of the CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention, addresses attendees during the “Everything you think you know about guns is wrong: Myths, facts and where to find the best research & data” session. (Photo by Erica Tricarico)

One of the most challenging aspects of writing about gun violence is finding good data. The CDC has reliable statistics on gun deaths, including accidents, suicides and homicides, but it’s historically been more difficult to find data on gun injuries or more detailed epidemiology.

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Red flag gun laws: Dig deeper to find stories that matter

Photo: Erica TricaricoJonathan Davis, executive director of the Baltimore Crisis Response; Shannon Frattaroli, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Veronica Pear, an assistant professor at University of California-Davis, during the “‘Red Flag’ Laws: The use of court orders to reduce gun violence” session.

In recent years, multiple states have made headlines for approving “red flag” laws or extreme risk projections orders, which allow judges to order the confiscation of firearms from people considered to be dangerous to themselves or others.

But too often, that’s where the reporting stops — right after a vote in a legislature and a governor’s signature. Two professors who study the measures urge journalists to find news by following up to see what happened next. 

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Experts who work with children affected by gun violence say coverage lacks nuance

Kathryn Bocanegra, assistant professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago, listening to panelist Arturo Carrillo, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., director of health and violence prevention at Brighton Park Neighborhood Council. (Photo by Erica Tricarico)

Law enforcement officials frequently mischaracterize perpetrators and victims of gun violence, resulting in news headlines and soundbites that sometimes obscure the toll it takes on very young people.

That was the broad message from experts on the “What exposure to chronic violence — especially among children — does to human health” panel at Reporting on Violence as a Public Health Issue: An AHCJ Summit in Chicago.

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Fall summit speaker Jessica Beard targets more empathetic, ethical coverage of gun violence

Dr. Jessica Beard answers AHCJ Board President Felice Freyer’s questions during the lunch talk Q&A. (Photo by Erica Tricarico)

If reporters covered gun violence with greater empathy and context — including telling the story from the victims’ perspectives — instead of doing the more typical episodic reporting, it could reduce psychological harms of and potentially affect the prevalence of gun violence, said Jessica Beard, M.D., M.P.H., a trauma surgeon at Temple University Hospital. 

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