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What Shootings Like Sandy Hook Say About Americans And Guns

08 December 2017

The study is part of a larger body of recent research that is shedding light on gun violence, according to researchers. Although the CDC largely withdrew from funding research on gun violence more than 20 years ago (under intense congressional pressure), there are active research programs in medicine, public health, law, and the social sciences under way in universities and think tanks.

In the five years since the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in CT, scientists have been studying how Americans respond to these high-profile tragedies. He killed 20 children (six- and seven-year-olds) and six adults.

Availability bias might lead people to purchase firearms for their own protection, due to the fears of gun violence that mass shootings can induce.

Next Thursday, December 14th will mark the fifth anniversary since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in CT, in which 20 children and six adults were shot to death.

That likely is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the overall effect on public safety, added McKnight, who is an associate professor of economics at Wellesley College in MA. They found that this estimated increase in gun exposure corresponded to an increase of 60 accidental firearm deaths during this period, including 20 children.

In the five months after the mass shooting, approximately 3 million more guns were sold than would have been expected based on historical trends. Google searches that included the term "clean gun" spiked post-Sandy Hook. However, funding aside, comprehensive analyses of gun regulations are methodologically challenging, the authors say; variations in crime are driven by many factors, making it challenging to attribute changes to a specific policy.

"Those deaths jumped exactly at the same time as gun sales spiked, McKnight said, "and even more so in the states where the spike in gun sales was bigger". But until now, there hadn't been any definitive proof that these rises in gun sales resulted in any surge in gun deaths.

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But there are other serious limitations to studying gun deaths too.

Hemenway would like to see research into the impacts of multiple guns in a household.

That means there's no national database of gun purchases, so it's hard to tell how many guns are sold. Essentially, in the months after the shooting, 3 million guns were bought by American consumers, much more than average, and the incidence of accidental gun deaths skyrocketed concurrently.

"It's nearly the iron law of guns", agrees Stanford Law School professor John Donahue, who wrote a commentary arguing for evidence-based gun policies also published today in Science. This good news, often lost in the well-justified complaints about the lack of federal funding, deserves greater recognition. It also stirred a four-month national debate regarding gun control, including attempts to enact new legislation. The policy was challenged in certain states, but data shows the states that did ban domestic abusers from gun ownership reduced gun murders by 17%. Although it's also possible that it could have been people who were just curious. According to Cook and Donohue, such laws increase the rate of firearm homicides by 9% when state-by-state homicide rates are compared. But it's a thorough analysis, Poliquin says.

Among those putting together the gathering are the Livingston County chapter of Michigan Moms Demand Action, St. Paul's Episcopal Church and the Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.

But considering the House recently passed a bill that would let people carry weapons across state lines and require states to honor the concealed-carry policies of other states, research about the impact of such policies is more important than ever. The number of people run through the system increased beyond the standard number after Sandy Hook, they found.

What Shootings Like Sandy Hook Say About Americans And Guns