This page openly describes my research process initiated in my course on Medical Geography, spring 2019. The goal of this course was to explore the consequences of domestic and international production and distribution of weapons, using public health frameworks. The two main texts for the course, Private Guns Public Health and Indefensible, similarly outline existing evidence pertaining to the costs of weapons proliferation to human health and communities.
Areas that I am exploring further include:
- Increases in gun production, number of manufacturers and ownership in the United States
- The geographic distribution of gun ownership in the United States
- The relationship between domestic production of firearms and DoD small business programs
- The geographic distribution of federally licensed firearms dealers
- The evolving nature of advertising for firearms and ammunition, including print, cable, internet and social media outlets, across purchasing communities: private sales, police, and military
- Non gun owners rights advocacy
- The connections between injury prevention work in public health and environmental justice, specifically related to firearms
- The connections between environmental health approaches such as life cycle assessment (LCA) and injury prevention approaches to firearms
- The evidence for US domestic firearms policy as de facto foreign policy regarding small arms proliferation
On March 15, 2019, I presented an exploratory poster on characteristics of firearms advertising at a Medical Humanities conference at Drew University. And, in April, my poster, “New Jersey Firearms and Public Health: Framework for a Life Cycle Assessment Approach” won best educational map at the NJDEP Poster Contest.
In summer of 2019, I collaborated with two partners in the Drew Digital Humanities Summer Institute to study gun advertising on social media. The results were published in JMIR. That same summer I worked with an amazing group of high school participants in the New Jersey Governor’s School in the Sciences to explore the life cycle of firearms. We hope to publish the materials from our research, which we shared at the 2019 APHA Meetings in Philadelphia.
In 2020, I continued to examine firearms through a geographic perspective in partnership with my Medical Geography course. Though the data analysis from the class was extensive, and will take some time to process, I began to post some of the materials on two domains: Suicide Data Project and Firearms Data Project. Three texts for the course outline the research frame by examining perspectives from environmental health (Story of Stuff, by Annie Leonard), population health (Suicide, by Emile Durkheim), and community health (Bleeding Out, by Thomas Abt).