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CSU finds no consensus on gun control

By Rachel Shirey

rshirey@news-daily.com

MORROW — A Clayton State University discussion Friday on gun control didn’t produce any suggestions that would guarantee a reduction in gun violence.

Dr. Lisa Holland-Davis, an assistant professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology, facilitated the discussion called “Gun Control: Missing the Target — Sense and Nonsense About Gun Violence in America.”

She presented disturbing facts and figures about gun violence in America.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 70 percent of all crime in 2011 involved firearms, or more specifically, handguns.

Homicide is also one of the five leading causes of death between ages 1 and 44.

Gun violence is higher among black males between 15 and 24, and the number increases significantly if broken down by metropolitan area, Davis said.

Davis also presented data to suggest that gun violence between 1980 and 2010 has been fairly consistent, with the number of victims actually decreasing over the past two years.

But does that really tell the whole story?

There is still an average of 20 gun-related incidents per year and an average of 100 victims a year.

One of the predominant questions raised during the discussion was whether President Obama’s recommendations will reduce mass shootings, and if not, what can be done?

Obama recently proposed that background checks be done for all gun transactions, with increased access to information like mental health history, that the ban on assault rifles be reinstated, that magazines should be limited to the sale of only 10 rounds per weapon and that mental health programs for youth will be expanded. Obama also directed the CDC to further research gun violence.

There were about 25 people in attendance and the majority of the discussion turned into a debate on solutions for gun violence. But, much like the nation’s divide, the audience never reached a consensus.