Black women in the U.S were, on average, six times more likely to be murdered than their white peers for the years 1999 through 2020, according to an analysis of racial disparities in U.S. homicide rates released by Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Tage Rai is a psychologist and assistant professor of management at UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management who studies ethics and violence. He co-authored the book “Virtuous Violence” outlining research which finds that most acts of violence are driven by moral motives on the part of perpetrators. That is, perpetrators believe they are doing the right thing when they hurt and kill their victims. In this Q&A, Rai, who teaches negotiation at the Rady School, addresses dual crises impacting America—police brutality and gun violence—and what can be done to prevent them.
Two newly published articles by researchers at the University at Albany and Northwestern University show the extent to which civilians working to intervene in and de-escalate street violence face job-related violence themselves, as well as secondary trauma from that violence.
Researchers explored suicide trends by firearms in white and black Americans ages 5 to 24 years from 1999 to 2018. From 2008 to 2018, rates of suicide by firearms quadrupled in those ages 5 to 14 years and increased by 50 percent in those ages 15 to 24 years. Suicide deaths by firearms were more prevalent in white than black Americans – a marked contrast with homicide by firearms, which are far more prevalent in black than white Americans.
In a powerful call-to-action to prevent child homicides, LifeBridge Health’s Center for Hope created a moving public art display: 111 red school desks on the lawn of Sinai Hospital. Each desk represents a child killed in the City of Baltimore over the past six years. The Red Desk Project is designed to sound the alarm and raise public awareness about the dramatic increase in child homicide in Baltimore City year over year and the effects these homicides have on the entire community, including other children.
States with stricter firearms laws reported lower suicide and homicide rates, according to a Rutgers study.
State handgun purchaser licensing laws—which go beyond federal background checks by requiring a prospective buyer to apply for a license or permit from state or local law enforcement—appear to be highly effective at reducing firearm homicide and suicide rates.