COVID-19 isn’t the only public health crisis in American life. The epidemic of gun violence predates the current pandemic and will outlast it. In 2019, the U.S. lost more than 39,500 adults and children to gun violence, including 418 mass shootings and 15,411 homicides. By September, 2020 had already surpassed the 2019 mass shootings total with 453 incidents.
That guns play an outsize role in American politics is never more evident than in an election year. Much of the public and political focus turns to the availability of guns and mental health services, particularly after a mass shooting event, and on whether the 2nd Amendment permits various types of gun control legislation. Less attention has been paid to the role(s) gender plays in America’s gun violence problem. Yet research shows that gender is inextricably linked to gun violence, from root causes to the profound impacts that permeate our society.
How can we improve our understanding of the gendered dynamics of gun violence? How does racial inequality intersect these dynamics? And how do various policy proposals address, exacerbate, or ignore them? Here, an interdisciplinary group of scholars looks broadly at these questions, bringing a gender lens to one of this country’s most intractable policy problems.
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