There’s a link between neighborhood gentrification and a short-term uptick in gun violence, according to a recent analysis published in JAMA Surgery. Researchers examined gun injury rates in nearly 60,000 urban census tracts between 2014 and 2019, and found “a sharp increase in the rate of firearm injury concurrent with the gentrification process,” according to the study. That increase wasn’t found in the high-income and low-income neighborhoods researchers examined.
Researchers noted that the displacement and social upheaval caused by gentrification could help explain why those neighborhoods experienced a temporary increase in gun injuries. Two co-authors told U.S. News & World Report that policies increasing access to affordable housing and reducing resident displacement could help mitigate the risk of gun violence.
“For us, this [study] is an indicator that communities are really important and communities are a part of the solution for preventing gun violence,” said co-author Molly Jarman. “People build relationships, and they settle into a rhythm with the people they see every day in their neighborhoods. If you start shifting around who lives where and who interacts with whom, then tensions that may have been managed well suddenly spill over.”
Philadelphia mayoral candidates Cherelle Parker and David Oh have agreed to one debate, but community leaders worry they won’t get details on the candidates’ plans to address gun violence. [The Trace]
What to Know Today
Gun violence is changing American classrooms. Parents are purchasing bulletproof backpacks for children, while schools invest in safety architecture like bullet-resistant windows and auto-locking doors. [CNN]
Two Texas Democrats vying to unseat Senator Ted Cruz see the Republican lawmaker’s championing of gun rights as a crucial vulnerability. The challengers — state Senator Roland Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde, and U.S. Representative Colin Allred, who represents Dallas — both support universal background checks, raising the minimum age to purchase assault-style weapons, and expanding extreme risk protection order restrictions. [The Dallas Morning News]
The Police Department in San Jose, California, will soon record cases in which officers point their gun at someone as a use of force, joining a number of major U.S. cities that classify gun-pointing as such. San Jose’s civilian police auditor has been urging the department to adopt the practice for years; the change comes after the watchdog found that police misconduct hit a five-year high in 2022. [The Mercury News]
The Second Amendment Foundation claims that Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has unlawfully targeted the gun rights group through a politically motivated investigation, per a lawsuit filed in state court. A spokesperson for the attorney general said it was the office’s duty to “enforce Washington laws prohibiting self-dealing and the illegal misappropriation of charitable donations.” [The Seattle Times]
Rabbi Tamar Manasseh holds an annual Yom Kippur service for victims of gun violence, this year on a street corner on Chicago’s South Side. Manasseh calls the public service an opportunity to remember that “no matter what you’ve done, you still are not beyond redemption” — and she says she’s seen reduced gun violence in neighborhoods where she’s introduced Yom Kippur. [NPR]
A number of London police officers are pausing armed duties “while they consider their position,” per the law enforcement service, after a member of the Metropolitan Police was charged with murder for a high-profile shooting. British police officers are required to obtain a license to carry guns on duty, and armed officers make up a relatively small proportion of the country’s police force. [The Washington Post]
+62 percent — the increase in gun injury incidence rate for gentrifying neighborhoods compared to nongentrifying neighborhoods with similar socio-demographic characteristics. [JAMA Surgery]