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Category: gun violence

The lead story in the opinion pages of yesterday's New York Times was a fine reflection on children and gun violence by Alex Kotlowitz...

The lead story in the opinion pages of yesterday's New York Times was a fine reflection on children and gun violence by Alex Kotlowitz, a distinguished reporter formerly of the Wall Street Journal, and the author of the acclaimed bestseller "There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America," about a violence-plagued public housing project. 

Kotlowitz's Sunday piece was entitled "The Price of Public Violence," and it deals with the problem not of children who are murdered, but of those who are wounded or who witness violence. "What is the effect...

[Dan Kahan, a professor of law and psychology at Yale Law School, wrote this for the blog of the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale, of which he is a part. He and his colleagues study how cultural values shape risk perceptions. In this post,...

[Dan Kahan, a professor of law and psychology at Yale Law School, wrote this for the blog of the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale, of which he is a part. He and his colleagues study how cultural values shape risk perceptions. In this post, published today, he looks at research on the death penalty and concealed-carry gun laws and how the findings were portrayed in editorials in The New York Times.]

What is the expert consensus on whether the death penalty deters murders—or instead increases them through a cultural “brutalization effect”?

What is the expert consensus on whether permitting citizens to carry concealed handguns in the public increases homicide—or instead decreases it by discouraging violent predation?

According to the National Research Council, the research arm of the National Academy of Sciences, the expert consensus answer to...

It now appears that Washington will engage in a debate over gun control, and possibly go beyond a feckless "national conversation" and actually do something. Gun control is on the agenda: but beware who is controlling the agenda.

Much of the talk in the first two business days after the Newtown, CT...

It now appears that Washington will engage in a debate over gun control, and possibly go beyond a feckless "national conversation" and actually do something. Gun control is on the agenda: but beware who is controlling the agenda.

Much of the talk in the first two business days after the Newtown, CT shooting involves suggestions to restrict the use of guns by people with mental illness, as reported in Science Times by Richard A. Friedman, a professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in Manhattan and a regular Times contributor.

It's hard to argue with that. Guns shouldn't be in the hands of crazy people who are likely to use them to commit murder. But there are two problems with this emerging "national conversation" about guns and mental illness. 

First,...

Before we says anything about Newtown, a moment of silence.

As science reporters sit down at their desks on this very sad Monday morning (I'm sure I'm not the only one still in the emotional grip of this thing), we need to get to work. It's essential that we do not hand over this story to the...

Before we says anything about Newtown, a moment of silence.

As science reporters sit down at their desks on this very sad Monday morning (I'm sure I'm not the only one still in the emotional grip of this thing), we need to get to work. It's essential that we do not hand over this story to the political reporters, who will be interested in which party has leverage on gun control, how the NRA is mobilizing, what the prospects are for passage of a gun-control bill, and whether opponents of a bill will predicate their support on cuts in health care or entitlements or another unrelated issue. Political reporters are more likely than science reporters to repeat, without challenge, the myth and misinformation that will surely bubble from politicians' mouths.

There is plenty for science reporters to write about here. Why are the killers so often young adult men? What is it about schools that has led them to replace post offices as frequent scenes of mass...