Unanswered Questions Gun Violence Researchers Would Tackle If They Had The Money

Researchers reveal the most pressing unanswered questions about kids and guns.

ByABC News
January 31, 2014, 5:32 PM

Jan. 31, 2014— -- intro: In 1996 the NRA successfully lobbied Congress to pull millions of dollars out of government-funded firearms research. This has resulted in essentially a 17 year moratorium on major studies about gun injuries, which claim the lives of more than 1,000 children a year in the United States.

ABC News asked the country's top firearms researchers for the most pressing unanswered questions about kids and guns they would tackle if they had more funding. Here's what they said:

quicklist:text:"Sorry, you're asking an atheist for his opinion on how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. The focus should not be kids, if that means pre-adolescent children, since they are virtually never involved in gun violence as either victims or offenders (and certainly not gun accidents -- less than 40 fatal gun accident deaths of kids under 13 per year). If research were focused on age groups, it should focus on adolescents and young adults."

-- Gary Kleck, Florida State University, widely cited by the NRA.

quicklist:text: "Is locking your gun in a safe going to make you more vulnerable to intruders?"

"What are the factors that put certain children at a much higher risk of shooting themselves or another person?"

"Does gun safety education work to reduce firearm injuries among children?"

-- Mark Rosenberg, former CDC Director and CEO of Task Force for Global Health

quicklist:text: "Precisely how guns move from the legitimate market, where all guns begin, and end up in the hands of someone using them to kill another person."

-- Cathy Barber, Harvard School of Public Health

quicklist:text: "How are guns used -- and how often do guns appear -- in a variety of different media that kids use like TV, movies, videos, the Internet, social networking sites?"

-- Victor Strasburger, University of New Mexico

quicklist:text: "How are Americans storing their guns: unloaded, locked away (not just "hidden") and truly inaccessible to kids?"

-- Tom Smith, NORC at the University of Chicago

quicklist:text: "What are the sources, origins, and trail of guns used by kids in street crimes?"

-- David L. Altheide, Arizona State University

quicklist:text: "How do we communicate the risks of guns in a credible, honest way and inspire families to think about gun safety, regardless of their political views."

-- Jennie Lintz, The Center to Prevent Youth Violence

quicklist:text: "How do we keep guns from people at high risk of suicide? Through gun laws? Physician counseling protocols? social marketing campaigns?"

-- Daniel W. Webster, Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research

quicklist:text: "Does gun violence in the mass media make kids more likely to want to shoot a gun? Do our youth want to imitate media characters that use guns?"

-- Brad Bushman, Ohio State University