Recently, the state of Connecticut joined a group of states advocating for a decrease in gun violence through increased communication and awareness of gun laws and restrictions between states. This coalition, named “States for Gun Safety,” is currently made up of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Puerto Rico. While many of these states are “among the lowest rates of gun deaths per capita in the country” this group is aiming to do more than just lower the amount of gun violence in their own states, they plan to openly communicate about how guns are sold and obtained both legally and illegally within their borders. They also hope to increase the amount of research currently done by universities regarding gun violence.
Connecticut has always been a strong advocate for gun violence reduction and stricter gun laws, and this has proved to be even more true over the past few years. Thus, while this decision by Governor Dannel Malloy may not come as a surprise to many Connecticut residents, it should still be recognized as another step in the right direction towards reducing the amount of gun violence in our country.
While many people in this country have very strong opinions about whether or not the gun laws in the United States should be strengthened, one thing that remains true is how many people form these opinions without being educated on the subject. The issue of gun violence may already be a topic that has come into the limelight recently, but with all of the fighting and disagreements about what to do, many people are acting on emotion alone without looking into any research or history behind their arguments. At our university, UConn Against Gun Violence, a student organization dedicated to educating people on and reducing gun violence in this country, is trying to increase students’ knowledge on the topic.
But educating just our university is not enough. While some of the details about this coalition may still be fuzzy, it is important to remember one of its goals is to “designate universities that can collaborate on regional gun violence research,” thus hopefully leading to an increase in the amount of education people have, or at least the amount of information they have access to, regarding gun control in America. As a large research university, UConn is in a unique position here where we may also be able to benefit the state in facilitating more of this research and education.
Gun violence is an extremely controversial topic at this point in time, and without proper research and solutions it is only going to become more so. Because of this, the States for Gun Safety coalition could not have come at a better time for our country. While it is not a solution, it is taking the right steps towards a plan and will hopefully help create more knowledgeable and well-informed people along the way.