Craig K. Collins is a San Diego-based author and executive. His first book THUNDER IN THE MOUNTAINS: A Portrait of American Gun Culture is a work of literary non-fiction that offers readers a unique and personal look at our country’s ongoing gun crisis. Collins is a master at spinning eloquent coming-of-age tales set against the majestic backdrop of the American West and in the small towns of his youth. One of the seminal events of his life occurred during a deer hunt with his father and brothers in the rugged wilderness of Northeastern Nevada. That’s when Collins, at the age of 13, accidentally shot himself in the foot with a high-powered deer rifle. It was a harrowing incident, and he uses it as a jumping-off point for his engaging and poignant memoir about the historical formation of America’s gun culture and how the effects of that culture came to reverberate daily coast-to-coast.
A native of Pocatello, Idaho, Collins attended college in San Diego, where he has lived since. He holds a BA in English and an MBA from San Diego State University. After a stint as a journalist, he served as a senior executive for Fortune 500 companies. Later, he founded a series of technology start-ups and has raised over $60m in venture capital. He currently serves as President & CEO of Boost Academy, a venture-backed educational technology firm.
Collins is well-versed in big data and analytics, and since his gun accident, has had a long and abiding interest in America’s ongoing epidemic of gun violence. This interest and expertise led him to found and serve as Executive Director of the Center for Gun Analytics. The San Diego-based non-profit is dedicated to leveraging the power of technology and big data to accurately illuminate the true nature of American gun deaths and injuries. The organization’s team of scientists, statisticians and researchers employ the latest software, analytical and algorithmic systems to glean insight from current gun violence data. The findings and data are then shared, publicized and made widely available for the public good. The CGA advocates for increased federal funding – to agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health – that’s on a level commensurate with the pervasive scope of American gun violence, an epidemic that claims over 114,000 casualties annually.
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