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Broad approach is needed to reduce gun violence, US psychologists say

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f7497 (Published 13 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7497
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

In a report issued to mark the first anniversary of the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 20 schoolchildren and six school staff members dead, an expert panel convened by the American Psychological Association calls for a broad approach to tackle gun violence in America and admits that psychological profiling is not successful in identifying people who might commit such crimes.1

“Although many highly publicized shootings have involved persons with serious mental illness, it must be recognized that persons with serious mental illness commit only a small proportion of firearm-related homicides; the problem of gun violence cannot be resolved simply through efforts focused on serious mental illness,” the panel said.

Gun violence in the United States is a complex, multifaceted problem, the panel said, that requires multifaceted solutions, including interventions that focus on child and adolescent development, that consider the social and cultural factors that promote gun violence particularly among men, and that identify people who are likely to engage in gun violence so that effective preventive steps can be taken.

Gun homicide rates in the …

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