Boston gun violence highest in ‘red’ areas since the 1930s – Boston 25 News



BOSTON – A new study by researchers at Boston Medical Center indicates that areas of Boston that experienced a “red line” in the 1930s currently have higher rates of gun violence than areas that do. were not.

According to the study, structural racism in the form of “redlining” – a practice of the United States government in the 1930s that denied home loans to people living in certain geographic areas, such as inner cities – led to these ” Increased rates of violence in cities largely due to high rates of poverty, low education and low rates of home ownership.

“Known as redlining, this practice has affected individuals and families living in inner cities, and primarily people of color, by denying them access to federally guaranteed home loans. This severely affected the potential for upward mobility in people of color; even today, the areas that have been demarcated have lower residential values ​​and higher poverty rates, ”a statement from Boston Medical Center said.

The study, published in The Lancet Regional Health – Americas, notes the need to better understand the other factors at play in the demarcated areas in order to develop targeted interventions to reduce gun violence.

In Philadelphia, research showed that areas that were marked in red have shot rates 13 times higher than other areas, demonstrating the impact downstream of the red line, according to the study. Data also shows that the leading cause of death for black men under 44 is homicide; however, there is a lack of data on broader geographic issues that may play a role in this disparity.

“This study is the first to explore the underlying factors that contribute to higher rates of gun violence in certain areas of Boston,” said Dr. Michael Poulson, resident of surgery at Boston Medical Center and first author of study.

For this study, the researchers collected data from the Boston Police Department for incidents classified as assaults and homicides involving a firearm between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2019. The data included incidents in which police officers reported. been sent to respond. They then obtained a map of Boston and color-coded it to categorize how certain areas were classified for mortgage applications in the 1930s: red was “dangerous”; yellow was “definitely in decline”; blue was “still desirable”; and green was “the best”. Then they overlaid this map on a current map of Boston that marked the location of incidents of gun violence. Using a mediation analysis, the researchers then studied the impact of poverty, education, employment and demographics on increasing rates of gun violence in communities. areas marked in red.

Shot rates per 1,000 people were significantly higher in the areas designated yellow (5.4) and red (5.3) compared to the green areas, which had 0.5 shots per 1,000 people. The yellow areas had the highest share of the black population, at 31 percent, and the red areas had the second highest number at 19.4 percent. In addition, the yellow and red areas had higher rates of residents who: lived below the poverty line (13.8 and 17%); were uninsured (3.7 and 3.6 percent); were publicly insured (39.2 and 38.4 percent); and had less than a high school diploma (12.9% and 17%).

Poverty, poor educational opportunities, rental housing, and black segregation (represented by the share of blacks in the population) mediated the interaction between redlining and discriminatory housing policies.

“It is important for researchers and policy makers to understand the downstream impacts of structural racism and how they affect gun violence in devalued and red-marked communities,” added Poulson, who is a clinical instructor in the department of surgery from Boston University School of Medicine. “The results of our study show that taking into account neighborhood factors such as poverty, educational attainment and segregation is important when interventions are developed to help reduce gun violence in communities that are are still feeling the effects of redlining. “

The study was funded in part by a training grant from the National Institutes of Health.

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