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Understanding and Preventing Violence: A Public Health Perspective

NCJ Number
Date Published
Arthur L. Kellermann M.D., M.P.H.
Publication Series
NIJ Research Preview
This video presents a lecture by Arthur L. Kellerman regarding his research into the way guns are used in American society, particularly in the homes of gun owners, and discusses how emergency room medical personnel can cooperate with police in apprehending violent offenders; a community-wide effort in Atlanta to counter violence, particularly among juveniles, is also described.
Based on a number of studies of gun ownership and how guns are used in the home, it is clear that those who have guns in their homes are more likely to have those guns used against family members and acquaintances than against criminal intruders. This suggests that the presence of guns in a home increases the risk of death and injury for family members rather than diminishes it. Emergency room medical personnel treat most gunshot wounds. They can, therefore, become important sources of information for police in detecting and investigating gun-related violent crimes and other violent crimes. Currently, however, emergency room personnel typically do not follow a systematic and consistent procedure for reporting gunshot cases and maintaining an appropriate chain of custody for evidence, such as bullets retrieved from gunshot victims. In Atlanta the concern over juvenile violence has led to a comprehensive, community-wide approach that involves all segments of the community in reducing the flow of guns into the community, the demand for guns, and the rehabilitation of those who commit violent acts.
Date Created: July 10, 2000