As deaths from mass shootings have mounted across the United States, some states are moving to collect hard data to guide their decisions about guns — even as the federal government has retreated from such research in the face of pressure from pro-gun groups.
The New Jersey Legislature, for example, is weighing a measure that would create a gun-violence research center at Rutgers University. The center would be modeled on the new Firearm Violence Prevention Research Center at the University of California at Davis, which launched last summer with $5 million in state money over five years.
The impetus for both initiatives is the vacuum created by the federal government’s virtual abandonment of research into gun violence — its causes, its patterns, its perpetrators, its victims, and the best ways, based on scientific evidence, to curtail it.
[For more on this story by Michael Ollove, go to http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/re...ur-states-to-step-in]