For me, reading Private Guns, Public Health, by David Hemenway was a transformative experience. Hemenway’s text provides the public health foundations for moving forward to reduce gun violence. His approach is systematic, inclusive, and evidence-based. I also found his approach to be compatible with many other perspectives held within public health.
One opportunity ripe for integration, from my perspective, is the application of life cycle assessment to firearms. Annie Leonard’s book and films on The Story of Stuff have provided me helpful materials through the years in clearly describing the systems that produce unsustainable relationships with our environment. By understanding the life cycle of consumer products, numerous points of intervention and policy action are revealed. My hope with this project is to build on Hemenway’s and Leonard’s work, to elucidate the many and varied opportunities for intervention to reduce gun violence, both in the United States, and globally.