This is a question that should be researched as a public health problem, just like car accidents. This data-driven article provides the beginning of such an analysis. Unfortunately, this important work is being neglected because of an implicit moratorium on federal funding of research on gun violence by the Dickey Amendment. How can the government develop effective policies without data?
A small example of the insights data can offer. In San Francisco, cars hit bikers and pedestrians on a near-daily basis. A recent study found these collisions are concentrated in high-risk hotspots: 12 percent of intersections result in 70% of major injuries. Now the city is taking action to improve safety in these areas.
Ten years ago, Daniel Esty (director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy) and Reece Rushing (director of regulatory and information policy at the Center for American Progress in Washington) were already talking about the promise of data-driven policy. Their comments are all the more relevant today.