New Faculty Member’s Research on Gun Violence Receives National Recognition

August 5, 2020
Photo of Dr. Emma Fridel

Dr. Emma Fridel has only recently joined the College’s faculty, but her research is already getting national attention. Dr. Fridel recently published a study in Justice Quarterly addressing mass shootings in the United States and how government policy could better work to prevent gun violence.

In her study, Dr. Fridel examined how gun ownership and concealed carry legislation impacted the number of mass shootings and homicides from firearms in the United States over the last 25 years. Dr. Fridel discovered that mass shootings occur disproportionately in states with higher levels of gun ownership and that rates of firearm homicides are higher in states with permissive concealed carry policies. Controlling for other factors that might influence mass shootings and homicide rates, Dr. Fridel discovered that more permissive concealed carry laws had little impact on preventing mass shootings and actually increased a state’s gun homicide rate by 11%. Higher rates of firearm ownership overall, meanwhile, were associated with a 53.5% increase in the likelihood of a mass shooting.

Dr. Fridel’s findings suggest that policymakers may wish to engage in a two-pronged approach: reducing gun ownership, such as through universal background checks and more restrictive permit requirements to reduce mass shootings, and reinstating more restrictive concealed carry legislation to decrease the overall rate of homicides from firearms.

“Dr. Fridel is just beginning her career and is already bringing research to life by making exceptional contributions to the field of criminology,” said Dean Blomberg. “We are extremely proud of her recent work and look forward to her future contributions to the College’s intellectual community and to the field.”

To view coverage of Dr. Fridel’s study, please click on the publications below.

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