A little about my day job.
Fascinating information, please keep sharing!!! I'm not a gun-owner, but I don't want to take that right away from anyone else. I love my kids and I want them to be safe. There's a balance, I know, and people like you can help us find this.
This is fantastic. Your approach do laying out data is really appreciated -- offering your analysis, but also presenting conflicting analysis as valid. I wish more journalism outlets would take this approach. Covid, gun violence, or anything else you want to cover, I'm in.
I would LOVE to hear more on this, and if you could point me in the direction of some research I'd be thrilled. I'm a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) and this idea is precisely in line with our theoretical framework. Studying and manipulating the environment, analyzing motivation, determining the function of behavior through studying a person's (or a group's) environment is key to my work. Monitoring patterns, determining predictable antecedents/consequences that are maintaining behavior and coming up with a solution that fits American culture is exactly what is needed. I couldn't love this more!!!
I've never heard of violence epidemiology. That's fascinating! I'd be really curious to hear your thoughts on serieses like 13 Reasons Why given the contagious aspect of suicide.
I had no idea this was a thing and I'm fascinated. "Our theory is that violence is contagious. We’ve shown time and time again, that clusters of violence mirror clusters of infectious disease." The pic chosen for a cover compares Cholera in India to gun violence in Chicago. At first glance, to me this looks like the memes of drownings associated with Nicolas Cage films...the one used to point out that causation doesn't equal correlation. In fact, one of the things I have noticed is that the number of mass shootings has decreased since the Pandemic. Why? Because nobody is allowed out of the house. Nobody is allowed to gather. No mass = no mass to shoot. There was literally nobody to shoot at. As soon as we allowed people to congregate, the shootings resumed. Angry people + access to guns + large crowds = mass shootings. It's literally firefighting. Heat + Oxygen + Fuel = Fire. Remove any one of those, you extinguish the fire.
What I am surprised about is that the reports of increased domestic violence hasn't been a dominating theme. Imagine being trapped with your abuser during a pandemic. The world has been so focused on one kind of data that it's ignored the others. Yes, I've seen a graph or two. But it certainly hasn't gotten the attention that coronavirus has.
The link between exposure to suicide and suicidal thoughts makes sense. "high-school environments can be changed in order to stop the spread of suicidal thoughts among adolescents." I'm not thankful for much during my high school years, but the one thing I'm super happy about is we didn't have social media. I don't think I would be alive today if we had Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook or any of the other tools used for cyberbullying or having your awkward moments become a viral video. The one saving grace of my foster care environment is the frequent "fresh starts". I spent a lot of time being the "new kid" in school. But with social media, the embarrassments of your previous school follow you wherever you go. "High school environments can be changed". Yes, certainly. Growing up in the foster care tends to create the human equivalent of "little dog syndrome". You've seen the tiny dog that barks, growls, bares its teeth to prove that it's just as tough as the big dog it's facing off against. So yes, my home life was a constant declaration that "You're a worthless piece of trash, not even my your own family wants you" coupled with high school's general theme that "you're a worthless piece of trash, let's make fun of you" added with my own self-talk that said, "I'm a worthless piece of trash" added with my exposure to multiple suicides in my environment, tended towards higher contemplations (and attempts) at suicide. I'm thankful that I didn't have access to any guns.
I probably sound argumentative and disagreeable. That is not my intention. I fully support the evidence which backs up the statement "if it's predictable then it's preventable". But my amateur, unexposed to all the data self says we should probably be looking towards a different root correlation than infectious disease. To coin a phrase "change my mind". I should probably take your class but as a guest student it will cost me around $3500
Great to have this research even if limited. But how sad that Americans seems to love their guns more than anything else. That it has to be said that my husband would hate my job if the job meant end to guns is indeed sad. I do t think Americans even realise what life looks like without guns- which is the life majority of the rest of the world leads. No one o know has even owned nor wanted to own a gun and we are not missing a thing. Life is about family, good food and travel and spending time in nature and with those we love. Guns have no space in a happy life.
Can you share the names of some nonprofits that support this type of research?