U.S. Congresswoman’s Report on Gun Violence in America Features Research by Cook, Goss

A report on gun violence released today by the office of Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL.) draws heavily upon the research of Sanford School of Public Policy professors Philip J. Cook and Kristin A. Goss.

The 2014 Kelly Report on Gun Violence in America analyzes the causes and impacts of gun violence and offers recommendations for legislative and policy actions at federal and state levels to combat the problem.

The report features excerpts from a chapter from Cook and Goss’s new book, “The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know” published in May by Oxford University Press.

The chapter, “The Costs of Gun Violence,” outlines costs to society, including:

  • Two-thirds of homicides and half of all suicides are committed with firearms.
  • The case-fatality rate for gun robbery is three times as high as for robberies with knives, and 10 times as high as for robber­ies with other weapons.
  • Males 15-34 are the victims of half of all murders.
  • In 57 percent of mass shootings between 2009 and 2012 the shooter killed a current or former intimate partner.

Cook has studied gun violence throughout his 40-year career and his research informs several parts of the Kelly report, as well as the recommended policy solutions. He co-authored the section, “Gun Violence Among School-Age Youth in Chicago” and contributed to “Guns, Public Health, and Mental Illness: An Evidence-Based Approach for State Policy.” 

Cook’s research on gun markets and background checks also informs a research study contributed by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, “Felon Seeks Firearm, No Strings Attached: How Dangerous People Evade Background Checks and Buy Illegal Guns Online.”

Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake also contributed to the report, as did other academics and advocacy groups.

In addition to releasing the report on Wednesday, Rep. Kelly and Sen. Dick Durbin introduced a bill in Congress, The Crime Gun Tracing Act, which incentivizes law enforcement agencies to report 100 percent of their recovered crime guns to the National Tracing Center to better target gun trafficking operations and solve violent gun crimes. Rep. Kelly’s bill is the House companion to Sen. Durbin’s S. 1337 bill.