Gun Violence Work
Purpose of Research
As one component of our efforts to address the gun violence epidemic in Houston and the rest of the country, the Center for Justice Research has partnered with Delaware State University, Coppin State University, and Jackson State University for an Understanding Gun Possession Among Young Males study. Funded by the National Coalition on Gun Violence Research and initiated and overseen by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, this four-city gun violence study examines gun possession among young males in high-crime cities with the goal of informing support services, violence prevention, and intervention efforts.
Social norms and antisocial behavior can be strong predictors of gun possession, and prior trauma is also correlated with gun possession among youth.
Common social context factors for these high-crime areas included high STD rates, single-parent households, food insecurity, lack of sleep, housing segregation, and difficulty affording housing costs.
These cities also shared social distress predictors, such as unemployment, income, and population density. These factors are more related to class, not race.
Ultimately, gun violence is a multi-faceted problem requiring a multi-pronged solution. Nationwide solutions to this problem must be culturally responsive and public health-oriented to address the many factors that contribute to gun violence in the first place, such as poverty and unemployment, unaddressed trauma and mental health challenges, and gun access. At the Center for Justice Research, we continue our work in the area of gun violence prevention and related policy to inch toward safer, more equitable communities.