Study Finds that School Shootings Less Likely in States with Background Checks

In a bid to address gun violence, researchers from Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health and Columbia School of Law drew analysis of media coverage of school shootings between 2013 and 2015 to see if the frequency of these events could be linked to state-level factors.

The study, led by Assistant Professor of Medicine Bindu Kalesan, PhD, MPH, found that school shootings are less likely in U.S. states with mandatory background checks on gun and ammunition purchases and with higher levels of spending on mental health services and public education.

Although this was an observation study without information on the perpetrators’ mental health, Kalesan notes “Our results may have a direct implication for public health approach to gun violence prevention and emphasizes the need for a national surveillance registry of mass shootings and school shootings with retrospective and prospective information to be a priority to better inform studies that consider the drivers and consequences of school shootings.”

Incidents of school shootings between 2013 and 2015
Incidents of school
shootings between 2013 and 2015

Read the full study here.