Minding the Gun Law Gap

Federal law requires criminal background checks on people obtaining guns in stores, pawn shops, and from other licensed dealers. More than a dozen states also require background checks for privately exchanged guns. A new survey finds that the overall rate of background checks is higher in those states.

Flood-Risk Figures Get Friendlier

A new approach to assessing changes in U.S. flood risks in the past 30 years reveals a progressive rise in risk in the northern U.S. and a drop in much of the southern U.S. And the risk is expressed in elevation measures that make sense to non-scientists rather than in cubic meters per second.

Know This First: Risk Perception Is Always Irrational.

We can’t make risk perception perfectly rational. We can’t intellectually overpower the emotions that our subconscious cognitive system relies on. We can, however, start to close the risk perception gap and minimize its dangers by applying what we’ve learned about why it occurs.