A group of surgeons and epidemiologists at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine are calling for more research on firearm injuries and the establishment of a national database to track them, citing racial disparity among Philadelphia victims as the "elephant in the room" of gun violence.
Trauma surgeons partnered with colleagues at the Penn Injury Science Center to build on previous research about patterns of gun violence in Philadelphia neighborhoods. Their research, published this week in JAMA Surgery, says deeper investigation is needed to understand why gun murders and injuries are more strongly associated with race than neighborhood income.
“Firearm violence is still largely a taboo research subject,” lead author Jessica Beard said. “We struggle to obtain even basic information on its epidemiology. We need data to accurately assess the overall extent and geographic distribution of this problem.”