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Special Event - Gun Policy Summit - January 14 & 15, 2013

Summit FAQs

Summit on Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis

The purpose of this FAQ is to provide answers to commonly asked questions about the Summit on Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis. For further information please contact a media representative.

1.    What is the purpose of this Summit?
The Summit affords the opportunity for experts on gun policy and violence from the U.S. and selected other countries to summarize relevant research and its implications for policymakers and concerned citizens.

During the Summit, national and global experts, advocates, and leaders in gun policy, violence prevention, law enforcement, and mental health will gather to present research, analysis and their experience.

At the conclusion of the Summit, experts will put forth proposals for gun policies that will reduce gun violence, will have broad public support and will not violate constitutional rights.

Following the Summit the Johns Hopkins University Press will publish the book, Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis. Collected for the first time in one volume, this reliable, empirical research and legal analysis will inform the policy debate by helping lawmakers and opinion leaders identify the policy changes that are most likely to reduce gun violence in the U.S. The book will be available in late January and can be purchased from Amazon (http://amzn.to/Wo26UN) and other booksellers worldwide, or directly from the Press at http://bit.ly/ZgfxbJ.

2.    How will the conclusions be disseminated?
On Tuesday, January 15th, at the conclusion of the Summit, a series of recommendations informed by research will be announced at a press conference held at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The recommendations will be disseminated widely to the media and general public. They will also be available to those invited/in attendance at the Summit, including public health researchers, relevant advocacy groups, and policymakers.

After the Summit, the Johns Hopkins University Press will publish the book, Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis, which will include a chapter on each of the topics presented at the Summit and the concluding recommendations. Copies of the book will be delivered to policymakers from across the country, including members of Congress and the Administration.

3.    What do you anticipate the impact of this Summit will be?
By summarizing research on a number of policies related to gun violence prevention and putting forth subsequent policy recommendations, the outcomes of this Summit will provide reliable, empirical data and analysis to inform upcoming legislative and regulatory proposals.  The research and recommendations will identify policy changes that are most likely to reduce gun violence in the U.S.

4.    Are you working with members of the Biden task force on this issue?
Yes. Earlier this month, the Vice President’s task force solicited recommendations to inform their work. Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research faculty submitted an executive summary of the center’s white paper (released in October of 2012), Case for Gun Policy Reforms in America, along with a copy of the report. Faculty also submitted material on personalized guns.

In addition, Hopkins gun policy experts Daniel Webster (director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research) and Stephen Teret (faculty member and former director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research) were invited to meet with the task force in Washington, DC on Friday, January 11.

Members of the task force have been invited to the Summit, and will receive copies of the recommendations and the book.

5.    Is this a “first” for the University?
This is the first time the University has held a Summit of this nature focused on gun violence research and policy analysis. It is believed to be the most extensive summit meeting ever of gun policy researchers to discuss the evidence and make specific action recommendations.

Soon after the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Ronald J. Daniels, president of The Johns Hopkins University, proposed this Summit to find solutions to the continuing gun violence in this country. President Daniels previously led summits at other institutions following 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, illuminating the powerful convening role that research universities play in bringing experts together to inform policies on critical issues.

The University brings a wide collaboration of experience and knowledge to this issue. For example, The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, housed at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, is one of the nation’s preeminent academic centers focused on gun policy. The Center examines the public health effects of guns in society and serves as an objective resource for policy makers, the media, advocacy groups, and the general public. For the past two decades its faculty has helped shape the public agenda in the search for solutions to gun violence.

6.    What is New York City Mayor and MAIG co-chair Michael Bloomberg’s involvement?
Mayor Bloomberg is delivering the Summit’s opening remarks on Monday January 14th at 9:15 a.m.

7.    You have a number of experts from other countries involved. What can we learn from their experiences?
While there are cultural and political differences between the United States and other nations, the experiences of other countries that have passed strong guns laws in response to mass shootings and other gun violence are critically important. Given the relative weakness of federal gun laws in the U.S., coupled with limited funding for evaluation research, it is important to learn from the experiences of other countries who have passed broad reforms that have been effective in saving many lives.

8.    Other than researchers, who was invited to attend this Summit?
Over 400 individuals, including survivors and representatives from gun violence prevention, public health, policy and medical organizations were invited to attend the Summit.
The Johns Hopkins University is providing a live webcast of the event on January 14th and January 15th: www.jhu.edu/gunpolicysummit.

9.    Was the Summit prompted by the most recent school shooting in Newtown, Conn.?
The Summit was proposed amid a growing consensus that the staggering toll of gun violence in the U.S. is an urgent public health issue that needs addressing. 

Last month’s school shootings in Newtown, Conn., opened the door to new federal action to reduce gun violence in the U.S. Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Gun Policy and Research believes that any action should be based on the best available research. Evidence-based measures should aim, the center believes, to curb not only mass shootings but also the less publicized U.S. gun violence that takes an average of 30 lives every day.

10.   What was the process for determining speakers?
Faculty from the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, along with University leadership, invited global experts on various policies relevant to gun policy and research to participate in the Summit.