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Hopkins Group, Nonprofit Merge To Create New Center Studying Gun Violence

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A center at Johns Hopkins studying gun violence and another organization have merged, forming the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions, which will look at shootings in the U.S. through a public health lens, the Bloomberg School of Public Health said.

The merger includes the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention, founded at the Bloomberg School in 1995, and the Policy and the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, a nonprofit that launched in 1978.

"These two organizations have done extraordinary work to prevent gun violence—together, they will be even stronger," said Dr. Ellen J. MacKenzie, dean of the Bloomberg School. "Our faculty are national leaders in the field, with a proven record of using research to advance meaningful change in both practice and policy. Through the new center, they will take research and advocacy to the next level as they work toward goals we all believe in: fewer gun-related injuries and deaths and safer communities."

According to the school, 45,000 people died from firearms in 2020, more than half of which were suicides.

The new center will be co-led by Daniel Webster, director of Hopkins' gun violence organization since 2012, and Joshua Horwitz, the executive director of the Educational Fund.

"Our Center will continue to apply strong research methods to assess the effectiveness of strategies intended to prevent gun violence," said Webster. "With our new colleagues, we will now have even more capacity to bring meaningful policy change through evidence-based advocacy."

Research topics will include violence intervention programs, licensing for firearms, political violence and "ghost guns." The group will also track public opinion on policy and violence-reduction programs.

The Center for Gun Violence Solutions is funded in part by a donation from Pamela and Chris Hoehn-Saric, which includes an endowed professorship named for Pamela Hoehn-Saric's sister, Dana Feitler, who was killed in 1989 during an armed robbery, Hopkins said.

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