University of New Haven at the Forefront of Gun Violence Prevention Discussion
Following a decision by Congress to fund gun violence prevention research for the first time in 20 years, the University of New Haven hosted a roundtable discussion to address how the money should be allocated, bringing together experts, local and state leaders, and advocates.
January 21, 2020
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
Less than a month after Congress reached a spending agreement that includes $25 million for gun violence prevention research, Minges and U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro led a roundtable discussion on campus about the best possible ways to allocate the funding. The two have worked together for more than a year, advocating for the provision of these federal research dollars.
Minges urged taking a public health approach to the issue of gun violence prevention, stressing the need for more information and the importance of developing a gun violence surveillance system – a central repository to integrate medical, law enforcement, and media records to enable a better understanding of the scope of gun-related violence.
"This has been a rich conversation in dealing with complex issues."Rep. DeLauro
"To understand the prevalence of gun violence, the mediators and moderators, risk factors and protective factors that are so necessary for effective, evidence-based intervention development, we need strong observational data related to gun violence," said Minges, an expert on improving the health of vulnerable populations. "This information can help with the development of evidence-based interventions to more effectively address this issue."
The first funding for gun violence prevention research in more than two decades, the money will be split evenly between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. A leader in the efforts to secure the funding, Rep. DeLauro led the discussion on the University’s main campus in West Haven, which included local lawmakers, healthcare providers, advocates, and law enforcement officials.
"We now have the opportunity to come up with the necessary research and to move forward," she said. "This has been a rich conversation in dealing with complex issues. This is not the first and won’t be the last conversation. It is part of a process."
Discussing existing research and the challenges associated with current databases of information on the topic, panelists identified opportunities for improvements and more research opportunities.
"The School of Health Sciences, in partnership with the Lee College, has an unprecedented opportunity to make an impact on one of the most critical public health issues our country faces," she said. "Using public health approaches to study the predictors of gun violence holds great promise for reducing gun violence in Connecticut and across the U.S."