It’s natural to feel sad, scared, and angry in the wake of mass shootings like in El Paso and Dayton. But there is still cause to be hopeful. Here’s a collection of past Trace articles examining promising strategies for reducing shootings of all kinds. 

  • Urban gun violence predominantly impacts people of color. To curb shootings, focus on the small percentage of people most likely to be perpetrators or victims. Three effective models are focused deterrence, Cure Violence, and hospital-based intervention.
  • A growing Chicago-based program, Becoming a Man, has reduced violent crime arrests among high-risk teens. The approach uses cognitive behavioral therapy practices to help young men slow their reactions in high-stress situations.
  • Lack of funding and political will has long hindered a scientific understanding of the scope and causes of gun violence. But increasingly, states are finding ways to fund research in the field.
  • Abuse victims who seek court protection from violent partners face acute danger. As a result, more than a dozen states require abusers to hand over their guns after being served with a temporary restraining order.
  • Federal prosecutors are also cracking down on people who should not have firearms because of prior domestic violence misdemeanors, felonies, or protective orders.
  • Longtime gun violence researcher Garen Wintemute argues that background checks, if implemented properly, could help stem shootings.
  • Red flag laws — also known as extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs) — enable police and sometimes family members to petition a judge to remove guns from people who pose a threat to themselves or others.
  • ERPOs have been shown to reduce gun suicides on a local level, and 17 states have enacted red flag laws so far.
  • Four law enforcement strategies that have demonstrated an ability to curb everyday gun violence — including Ceasefire and “hot spots” policing — are featured in our 2016 primer.
  • Requiring people to safely store their weapons is one of the most effective ways to keep kids from unintentionally shooting themselves, researchers say.

To learn more about other approaches to solving America’s complicated gun violence problem, check out our “How We Fix This” series.