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How To Curb America's Epidemic of Gun Violence: Two Policy Views

Guns for sale at a gun show in Naples, Fla.
Spencer Platt
Getty Images
Guns for sale at a gun show in Naples, Fla.

Hopkins gun policy researcher Daniel Webster and Maryland gun rights advocate Mark Pennak discuss policy strategies for ending rampant gun violence.

After a shooter killed eight people at three spas in the metro Atlanta area a little more than a month ago, he headed to Florida to continue his murderous rampage. Police apprehended him before he could kill more people. Since that day, up until the early morning hours of Sunday, when three were killed and two were wounded at a bar in Kenosha Wisconsin, there were 50 mass shootings across the United States in cities large and small. So far this year, at least 150 incidents in which multiple people were shot have occurred in the United States.

In the city of Baltimore, 93 people have been victims of homicides so far this year, most of them killed with a gun. Another 175 people in our city have been injured in non-fatal shootings.

In 2019, nearly 24,000 Americans committed suicide using a firearm.

There are more guns than people in the United States, and there are more tragedies involving guns than at any time in our history.

With each passing day and each horrifying incident, are Americans finally ready to respond to the uniquely American epidemic of gun violence? And if so, what form will that response take?

Even in an era of rigid political polarity, 84% of Americans agree on measures like universal background checks. President Biden has issued executive orders, but Congress does not appear poised to act on legislation.

Today on Midday, the search for solutions to end the epidemic of gun violence.

Tom's guests are Dr. Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy and the co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence.

Mark Pennak is an attorney and president of Maryland Shall Issue, a gun owners' rights organization.

Daniel Webster-MarkPennak combo.jpg
Johns Hopkins University/Mark Pennak
Johns Hopkins Prof. Daniel Webster directs the Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy. Mark Pennak is president of Maryland Shall Issue, a gun rights group.

They both join us today on Zoom.

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