Thus, the committee recommends that a sustained body of empirical research be developed to study the effects of different safety technologies on violence and crime. There are many obstacles to answering the key empirical questions, not the least of which is the lack of detailed individual-level data on firearms ownership, the use of safety devices and firearms, and the outcomes of interest that, in the case of accidents, are especially rare. Without better individual-level data, researchers will continue to be forced to rely on aggregated data that are subject to many different interpretations and strong assumptions that are rarely justified. Researchers may exploit the fact that many of these technologies have been used for over a century and, more recently, have been widely disseminated. Well-designed experimental evaluations that subsidize technologies in different locales may be an alternative approach to reveal the demand for these technologies as well as their effects on crime and violence.



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