Del State joins TMCF in a gun violence research project
Delaware State University has been enlisted to become part of a research project seeks to better understand why some young urban males carry guns.
Del State will receive $166,290 over two years as part of the study, part of a $1 million grant awarded to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) by the National Collaborative for Gun Violence Research.
Dr. Harry L. Williams, TMCF president and CEO, as well as a former Del State President (2010-2017) is the Principal Investigator, and Dr. Dorothy Dillard, Director of Del State’s Center for Neighborhood Revitalization and Research is the Co-PI.
The funding to Del State will cover Dr. Dillard’s role as the lead researcher on the qualitative component of the study, as well as support graduate students who will conduct interview with at least 150 urban males between the ages of 15-24 in the Wilmington, Del. area. The targeted interviewees will be young urban males who currently carry a gun or in the past have possessed one.
In the past year in Wilmington, there have been 175 victims of shootings, 31 of which were homicides. In addition to Wilmington, other research groups connected with the study will conduct similar interviews in Baltimore, Md., Houston, Tex., and Jackson, Miss.
The study is designed to gain a better understanding of attitudes toward gun ownership, possession and usage by urban youths, the dynamics of social transmission of gun ownership and possession, carrying a gun, using a gun to threaten someone; an also how conflicts escalate to gun violence.
“Despite the attention to urban gun violence, we have little information from the young men participating in gun violence,” Dr. Dillard said. “This study will provide a critical missing piece in understanding their lived experience.”
In Delaware alone, since November 2019 there have been 303 victims of gun violence – 65 of whom were fatalities, according to Delawareonline.com (website for the daily News Journal). Sixty-two of the victims were under age 18; the average age of the victims was 27.