Editorial: In era of mass shootings, research needed on how to stop the violence

Editorial: In era of mass shootings, research needed on how to stop the violence

Wood stars decorated by children with messages of hope hang in a tree above a makeshift memorial outside the Annapolis Capitol Gazette offices for the employees killed by a gunman last week. ( Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images ) Last week, it was a newsroom in Annapolis, Md. About a month ago, it was Santa Fe High School in Texas. And in February, it was a high school in Parkland, Fla. Regardless of our politics, there couldn’t be any stronger warning sign that something is going wrong in our country than the prevalence of mass shootings. So we were more than a little encouraged recently when folks from the Texas-based Laura and John Arnold Foundation stopped by our offices to talk about an initiative they’ve launched to do something about this problem. There are a lot of people who call for something to be done, but what stands out about the Arnold Foundation’s work is that it attempts to bridge the political divide that stymies discussion. The foundation focuses on taking the first crucial step of gathering information before offering policy prescriptions. Here is what the Arnold Foundation is doing: Over the next five years, it has pledged to spend $20 million on research into gun violence, and efforts to encourage others to engage in such research. In the short run, the foundation hopes to raise an additional $30 million in private funds. And the foundation is also collaborating with the Rand Corp. to collect and analyze empirical evidence […]

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