• More black police will not result in fewer police-involved homicides of black citizens

    Hiring more black police officers is not a viable strategy for reducing police-involved homicides of black citizens in most cities, according to new research. The study finds that, for many cities, it would take a massive increase in the percentage of black police officers to reduce the number of police-involved shootings of black citizens. Adding just a few black officers, the researchers say, won’t help and might make matters worse.

  • Threats of violent Islamist and far-right extremism: What does the research say?

    The 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by Islamist extremists, resulting in nearly 18 times more deaths than America’s second most devastating terrorist attack – the Oklahoma City bombing. More than any other terrorist event in U.S. history, 9/11 drives Americans’ perspectives on who and what ideologies are associated with violent extremism. But focusing solely on Islamist extremism when investigating, researching and developing counterterrorism policies goes against what the numbers tell us. Far-right extremism also poses a significant threat to the lives and well-being of Americans. This risk is often ignored or underestimated because of the devastating impact of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.It remains imperative to support policies, programs, and research aimed at countering all forms of violent extremism.

  • Assault weapons not protected by Second Amendment: U.S. appeals court

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth circuit ruled 10-4 to uphold Maryland’s ban on assault weapons, ruling that assault weapons are not protected under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. “Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war,” Judge Robert King wrote. “Both before and after Newtown, similar military-style rifles and detachable magazines have been used to perpetrate mass shootings in places whose names have become synonymous with the slaughters that occurred there,” he wrote.

  • Hate groups increase for second consecutive year, while Patriot groups decline

    The number of hate groups in the United States rose for a second year in a row in 2016, according to the SPLC annual census of hate groups and other extremist organizations, released yesterday. The most dramatic growth was the near-tripling of anti-Muslim hate groups — from 34 in 2015 to 101 last year. Figures compiled by the FBI dovetail with those of the SPLC – and the latest FBI statistics show that hate crimes against Muslims grew by 67 percent in 2015, the year in which Trump launched his campaign. In contrast to the growth of hate groups, antigovernment “Patriot” groups saw a 38 percent decline — plummeting from 998 groups in 2015 to 623 last year.

  • No link between immigration and increased crime: Research

    Political discussions about immigrants often include the claim that there is a relationship between immigration patterns and increased crime. However, results of a new study find no links between the two. In fact, immigration actually appears to be linked to reductions in some types of crimes, according to the findings. “It’s important to base our public policies on facts and evidence rather than ideologies and baseless claims that demonize particular segments of the U.S. population without any facts to back them up,” says one of the researchers.

  • Temporary gun removal law shows promise in preventing suicides

    A Connecticut law enacted in 1999 to allow police to temporarily remove guns from potentially violent or suicidal people likely prevented dozens of suicides, according to a new study. In their review of 762 gun-removal cases, the authors calculate that for every 10 to 20 instances of temporary gun seizures, one suicide was prevented.

  • House ends rule preventing mentally ill people from buying guns

    The House voted 235-180 to allow mentally ill people to buy and own guns. Lawmakers overturned a regulation which went into effect last year – and which affected about 75,000 people – which required the Social Security Administration to relay names of Social Security recipients diagnosed with mental health conditions, such as extreme anxiety and schizophrenia, and who are considered incapable of managing their own affairs. The names of these individuals were added to a database of citizens who are ineligible to purchase a firearm.

  • Two Texas mosques burned to the ground this month

    The Islamic Center of Victoria was destroyed by a massive fire Saturday, less than three weeks after the partly constructed Islamic Center of Lake Travis suffered the same fate. The two fires come amid a time of increased unease within Muslim communities across the country.

  • School shootings in U.S. linked to increased unemployment

    A rigorous new study of a quarter-century of data has found that economic insecurity is related to the rate of gun violence at K-12 and postsecondary schools in the United States. When it becomes more difficult for people coming out of school to find jobs, the rate of gun violence at schools increases.

  • Do Americans want to buy ‘smart’ guns?

    “Smart gun” refers to firearms that include some sort of safety device designed to make sure that the gun can be fired only by an authorized user. These safety devices include fingerprint recognition, wearable “tags” that a gun can recognize and other similar features. Smart guns are not yet widely available on the market. But would Americans actually buy smart guns? We need more studies with larger, nationally representative samples and more detailed questions about smart guns. However, my study sheds light on how subgroups of Americans feel about the issue. Not all gun owners or nonowners feel the same way about smart guns. Support is not evenly divided by political party. American attitudes toward smart guns are complex and do not necessarily follow the patterns we might expect.

  • Public view of police and body-worn cameras

    With heightened public and media interest, there is a national push to expand the use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) by law enforcement. However, there is limited research and only anecdotal evidence suggesting that the public supports the use of these cameras in policing. A new study reveals general public perceptions with some unexpected results.

  • Is mass murder becoming a form of protest?

    If there’s one thing Americans can agree upon, it might be that people – no matter how angry they are – shouldn’t be indiscriminately firing guns into crowds. Yet mass shootings are on the rise, with the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport just the latest example. I’m fearful that what we’re seeing isn’t just an increase in violence, but the normalization of a habit, a new behavior recognized as a way to express an objection to the way things are. That is, I’m afraid that mass murder may be becoming – to the horror of almost all of us, but to the liking of a violent few – a form of protest. The terrifying part is that once protest tools become part of the repertoire, they are diffused across movements and throughout society. Perhaps that’s why we see such a range of motivations among these mass murderers. It has become an obvious way to express an objection, and the discontented know they can get their point across.

  • FBI arrests wife of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen

    Noor Salman, the wife of Omar Mateen, the gunman who carried out the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history when he killed forty-nine people at an Orlando, Florida, night club, was arrested by the FBI in San Francisco. she is expected to face charges of aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice.

  • Deadly thoughts of offenders may hold answer to reducing crime

    It’s a figure of speech many of us have likely said during an argument or frustrating situation without really meaning. For a small percentage of the population though, the phrase, “I could kill you,” is not so meaningless. Identifying criminal offenders with homicidal ideation – thoughts of committing deadly violence, regardless of action – could change how we sentence and treat some of the most serious offenders.

  • Gun violence research dramatically underfunded, understudied compared to other leading causes of death in U.S.

    More than 30,000 people die each year from gun violence in the U.S., a higher rate of death than any industrialized country in the world. Funding and publication of gun violence research are disproportionately low compared to other leading causes of death in the United States, according to new research.