July 21, 2021 | Nature
Gun violence is surging — researchers finally have the money to ask why
Implementation scientist Rinad Beidas at the University of Pennsylvania is testing whether routine paediatric visits can be an effective time to talk with new parents about gun safety. Like Wexler, Beidas hopes to prevent suicides — the risk of death by suicide is higher when guns are easily accessible in a home. Her NIH-funded project will have paediatricians counselling parents about ways to limit gun access — for instance, by keeping firearms unloaded and locked away in their homes — alongside the conventional checklist of child-safety measures, including car seats and smoke alarms. Study volunteers will also receive locks for their guns from the programme. “Just like we made cars safer with seatbelts, we want to make homes safer around safe firearm storage,” she says.