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Research Shows How Policies Can Reduce Gun Deaths

On Tuesday, an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killing 21 people, including 19 children.

Earlier this month, a different 18-year-old man dressed in tactical gear and livestreaming on


, fatally shot 10 people in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in what authorities described as a racially motivated mass shooting.

Already in 2022, the US has seen 27 school shootings and more than 200 mass shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in a Wednesday press conference suggested that mental health concerns are in part, responsible for the rise in mass shootings over the past few decades, but scientific research doesn’t support those claims. Experts have repeatedly shown that mental-health issues are not predictive of violence.

What science has demonstrated, however, is that the number of gun deaths in the US is much higher than in other nations with similar rates of gun ownership (like Switzerland), and that certain policies can help prevent these fatalities. Studies have linked stricter background checks, rules prohibiting domestic abusers from owning weapons, and secure locks on firearms in the home with decreased rates of gun-related deaths.

Read More: Switzerland has a stunningly high rate of gun ownership — here’s why it doesn’t have mass shootings

Here’s what the data shows.

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