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U.S. Murder Toll From Guns Highest in Big Cities: CDC
Date:5/12/2011

calculate gun murders in the 50 largest U.S. cities for 2006-2007.

The researchers found regional differences in the rates of firearm homicides rates, which tended to be higher in cities in the Midwest and South than in the Northeast and West.

Dahlberg noted that research shows that youth violence is preventable -- with effort. "Programs that build skills in resolving conflicts without resorting to violence have resulted in reductions in youth violence," she said.

Parenting and mentoring programs can also have a strong impact. So can community-wide programs that focus on neighborhoods trying to change the physical and social environment, Dahlberg added. "Neighborhood interventions have resulted in significant reductions in crime and violence," she said.

There are also programs like "Cease Fire" that focus on preventing shooting and try to work with many people in the community, including hospitals and community outreach groups, to help defuse violence and "change the community norms around violence," Dahlberg said.

The report also included information on gun suicides -- which, unlike murders, are least common in cities.

Cities accounted for only 39 percent of firearm suicides, Dahlberg pointed out. "Gun suicides were lower in urban areas than in the nation overall," she said. "And, the central cities had rates below other metropolitan areas."

Daniel Webster, professor and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research in Baltimore, isn't surprised that most firearm murders occur in inner cities.

"One of the strongest correlates for homicide is 'concentrated disadvantaged,' where everyone living in an area is poor and unemployed," he said. "There are a lot of sociological factors at play here that make some urban communities at high risk for youth and gun violence," he explained.

Webster's strategy for reducing gun murders by teens is making guns harder to get. That means cracking down on
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