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Gun violence research being done at Arizona State University without politics

Posted at 4:35 AM, Aug 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-15 11:58:58-04

From Parkland to Las Vegas to Phoenix's Serial Street Shooter, the impact of someone pulling the trigger of a gun can be felt everywhere.

But, discussing gun violence often takes a political turn.

Now, researchers at Arizona State University are getting involved in a national study to just find the facts on what is going on in our country. 

RELATED: PSA says 8 kids a day are killed by accidental gunshots 

A study like this has been virtually unheard of until today. That is because if there was research being done, it usually came with an agenda and a plan to prove either pro- or anti-gun results. 

"A lot of what has occurred in the past 20, 30 years and what we know about guns is generally pretty stunted," explained Jesenia Pizarro with ASU's School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. "Because there has not been a lot of public money going into this."

Pizarro is now one of the 20 researchers working to fix that with a new $5-million grant from the National Institutes of Health to get the facts. 

Pizarro is an associate professor and is conducting this study alongside emergency room doctors, social workers, etc. -- people who are involved in the chain of events when a shooting occurs. 

Their job is to fill that knowledge gap and see what kind of solutions could be done to curb gun violence, especially in kids and teens.

"We could actually do something good and save lives and...inform policy in a way that is not based on anecdotes or feelings, but show people - these are the hard facts and this is what we can do. Do we want to do this? Do we want to save lives? Let's move forward," Pizarro explained. 

This research will take time and will be done in multiple steps. We can expect some results in roughly four to five years.