In 2020, more than 45,000 Americans died from firearm-related injuries. Firearm-related injuries were among the top five causes of death for all age groups between 1 and 44. According to CDC data, firearms are now the leading cause of death for US children and teens (ages 1 – 19), surpassing motor vehicle accidents in 2020. Suicides account for more than half of firearm-related deaths. Firearm death rates per capita are higher in rural than in urban counties. Survivors of gun violence experience long-term consequences, including permanent injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder; communities affected by gun violence experience major social and economic harm. The public health approach to this crisis takes a broad perspective, incorporating data, behavioral science, and economic and educational tools. Using this approach, what steps can we take to reduce the harms associated with gun violence? Specifically, what can be done to identify risk and protective factors related to gun violence, develop and test methods of preventing gun violence, and spread adoption of what works to reduce gun violence?

Do you have a big idea to tackle this issue? Submit it to us online by filling out a short form.

In the tradition of the thought-provoking conversations and ideas shared at the Aspen Ideas Festival and Aspen Spotlight Health about how to solve critical societal issues, we are looking for big ideas that will transform the way we are addressing public health approaches to gun violence. They should be “big” – as in meaningful and bold – and “ideas” as in reflecting thought and not simply an exhortation that someone do something they should be doing already. 

We know that good ideas can come from anywhere and anyone, so we are opening up our solicitation for big ideas to everyone. If you have an idea for addressing maternal mortality, we hope you will share it with us. The AHSG staff and members will select up to five that will be included in a paper that will be prepared later in the year. This isn’t a competition—there is no prize—but your big idea just might become the starting point for much-needed change in healthcare. 

To give you a sense of the tone and scope of the Aspen Health Strategy Group, please consult our reports over the years.