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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Report: Iowans Face Rising Gun Violence

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Monday, August 7, 2023   

Some 74% of young people in the U.S. believe gun violence is a problem, and almost 60% want to see stricter gun laws, according to a new report from American University, Everytown for Gun Safety, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Between 2015 and 2020, Iowa firearm deaths rose by more than 42% - the third largest increase among states.

For the Everytown study, researchers polled a nationally representative sample of more than 4,100 people, ages 14 to 30.

Wyatt Russell, senior program manager and policy analyst with the Polarization & Extremism Research and Innovation Lab at American University in Washington, D.C., said this generation - raised in an era where mass shootings are ubiquitous - said school safety is a major concern and is associated with negative mental health outcomes.

"The average young person knows at least one other person who's been injured or killed by a gun," Russell pointed out. "We've seen an astonishingly high 25% of youth have been in an active shooter lockdown. Not a drill. A lockdown."

A study from the Kaiser Family Foundation found gun violence was the leading cause of death for kids in 2020 and 2021, more than any other type of injury or illness, which is the highest rate in the world among large, wealthy nations. Opponents of stricter gun laws cite concerns about personal freedom and self-defense.

Gun sales in the states, measured using FBI firearm background check data, also increased over the same period.

Russell noted the survey found that a young person's access to guns, identification with gun culture and exposure to media relating to guns correlated with support for male supremacy, belief that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to overthrow the government, higher levels of racial resentment and post-traumatic stress disorders.

"We're working to develop some inoculation strategies to help young people stop harmful myths and disinformation, conspiratorial thinking, and supremacist ideologies that can influence gun violence," Russell explained. "More specifically, extremist violence, as well."

Among the young people surveyed, 40% said they have "somewhat easy" access to a gun, and 21% reported having "very easy" access.

Gun sales in Iowa increased by 83.7% between 2015 and 2020, the nation's 12th highest rate.





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