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Rutgers Professor Approves of Biden Approach to Reducing Gun Violence

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Michael Anestis, who is also the director of the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center, likes the data-driven approach to stopping the pipeline of guns into cities.

The Biden administration is working on ways to control the explosion in gun violence in recent months in a number of major US cities.

Rutgers Public Health Professor Michael Anestis, who is also director of the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center, likes the approach.

“The focus on tracing the sources of crime guns offers a lot of potential to better equip states and law enforcement agencies to be able to shut down the pipelines that cause firearms to go across state lines and then be trafficked into cities,” he said.

Anestis said guns also make their way into cities by simply being bought. He said there’s been a surge in sales during the pandemic.

“Our nation was already inundated with firearms, more firearms than people, but that’s gone up dramatically, moreso than what we would expect over the last year and so where there’s more firearms there’s more gun violence,” he said.

He said surprisingly, early data show that suicides in the US actually went down in 2020, contrary to popular belief.

“Anytime we have sort of a big community event, good or bad, there’s a sort of coming together effect that’s at least temporarily protective,” he said. “There’s data showing that the Miracle on Ice day in 1980 had a lower incidence of suicides than on similar weekdays in the years before and after that.”