The Burden of Gun Violence: Trends and Policy Solutions

The Graduate Hotel, Wayne Ballroom, Downtown Iowa City
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
US map with event title overlay

This event brought together a panel of experts to discuss the burden of American gun violence and the potential for evidence-based public policy solutions.

The PPC’s Crime & Justice Policy research program, directed by Mark Berg, hosted this panel as part of the Run Up to the 2020 Caucus – a series designed to examine different policy topics that will be discussed during the campaign.

Topics included:

  • Gun violence trends in the United States
  • Gender, intimate partners, and gun violence
  • Regulation of guns and gun markets
  • Violence reduction strategies and their effectiveness for reducing suicide and criminal violence

To view KCRG-TV coverage of this event, click here.

To listen to the Q&A discussion on Iowa Public Radio's River to River, click here.


The University of Iowa School of Social Work is offering free CEU credit to social workers and other helping professionals who attended this event. Click here for the CEU request form.  



Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019
Session Details Speakers
7:00 PM Panel Discussion
  1. Thomas Abt
  2. Philip J. Cook
  3. Janet L. Lauritsen
  4. Richard Rosenfeld
  • Thomas Abt

    Senior Research Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

    Thomas Abt is a Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Both in the United States and globally, Abt writes, teaches, and studies the use of evidence-informed approaches to reduce urban violence, among other criminal justice topics. His book, Bleeding Out: The Devastating Consequences of Urban Violence - and a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets, was published in June 2019. Copies of the book will be available for sale at the event. Abt’s work is frequently featured in major media outlets such as the Atlantic, Economist, Foreign Affairs, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, and National Public Radio.

    Before joining Harvard, Abt served as Deputy Secretary for Public Safety to Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York, where he oversaw the state’s criminal justice and homeland security agencies. During his tenure, Abt led the development of New York’s GIVE (Gun-Involved Violence Elimination) Initiative, which employs evidence-informed, data-driven approaches to reduce gun violence.

    Before his work in New York, Abt served as Chief of Staff to the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked with the nation’s principal criminal justice grant-making and research agencies to integrate evidence, policy, and practice. He played a lead role in establishing the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, a network of federal agencies and local communities working together to reduce youth and gang violence.

  • Philip J. Cook

    Terry Sanford Professor Emeritus, Duke University

    Philip J. Cook joined the Duke faculty in 1973 and is now the Terry Sanford Professor emeritus of public policy, economics, and sociology at Duke University.  Much of his research has focused on understanding how and why to separate guns from violence through effective regulation and law enforcement.  He is currently working with the University of Chicago Crime Lab where he is scientific director of a project to increase clearance rates in gun assaults and murders.  He is author or co-author of books on alcohol control (Paying the Tab), state lotteries (Selling HopeHarvard, 1989), the increasing inequality of income (The Winner-Take-All Society, a New York Times “Notable Book of the year”, The Free Press 1995), the economic costs of gun violence (Gun Violence: The Real Costs Oxford 2000), and, with Kristin Goss, The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford, 2014, 2020).  He has served as a consultant with the US Department of Justice Criminal Division and the US Department of Treasury Enforcement Division.  Cook is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, and a fellow of the American Society of Criminology.

  • Janet L. Lauritsen

    Curators' Distinguished Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Missouri - St. Louis

    Janet L. Lauritsen is Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Her research focuses on the causes and consequences of victimization, the social and historical contexts of crime and victimization, and quantitative research methodologies. Dr. Lauritsen recently served as Chair of the Panel on Modernizing the Nation’s Crime Statistics for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. She is Co-Editor of the journal Criminology,and a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology.

  • Richard Rosenfeld

    Curators' Distinguished Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Missouri - St. Louis

    Richard Rosenfeld is the Curators' Distinguished Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri - St. Louis. His research focuses on crime trends and crime control policy. Professor Rosenfeld is a Fellow and former President of the American Society of Criminology. In 2017 he received the American Society of Criminology's Edwin H. Sutherland Award for career contributions to criminology.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Leslie Gannon at (319) 335-6817 or