COSSA Running “Why Social Science” Series Spotlighting Research on Gun Violence


The statistics surrounding gun violence in America are staggering and the policy solutions varied. Recent tragedies in Uvalde, TX and at a grocery store in my hometown of Buffalo, NY—not to mention the countless other shootings that have occurred since then—underscore just how pervasive this crisis is, regardless of where you live. The institutions long-considered “safe spaces”—schools, hospitals, houses of worship—are no longer safe from the scourge of gun violence.

Mass shooting events are just one piece of this social and public health crisis. Everyday across the country families and communities are being rocked by gun violence, from suicide by gun to violence between domestic partners to tragedies stemming from improper storage of firearms in the home. While not all fatal, these experiences leave lasting effects on the communities in which they occur, changing countless lives forever.

What can we do to address a challenge as big and complex as gun violence in America?

The social and behavioral sciences provide an evidence base that allows us to better understand the many factors contributing to gun violence and inform policy or other solutions. Over the next few months, Why Social Science? will spotlight what social science research can tell us about gun violence—conditions that can lead to it, its effects on those involved, and possible solutions informed by science.

I invite you to read—and share—these posts within your own communities, starting with this first contribution by Dr. Rebecca Cunningham, Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan and leading expert on firearm injury prevention and public health.

By shining a light on the contributions of social and behavioral science, we hope to present a fuller picture of this complex issue and share insights and expertise that can help move the conversation forward… hopefully to a safer future.

Thank you, social scientists, for all you do.

Wendy Naus

Proud Buffalonian

COSSA Executive Director



Past Newsletters



Browse 40 years of the COSSA Washington Update.