Gun sales, more deaths re­sult from mass shoot­ings

The Buffalo News - - FRONT PAGE - By Melissa Healy LOS AN­GE­LES TIMES

LOS AN­GE­LES – One lit­tle-known fact about mass shoot­ings is that they have been very good for the gun busi­ness. Amer­i­cans’ anx­i­eties are stoked both by the ran­dom vi­o­lence it­self and the en­su­ing de­bates over gun con­trol. Cus­tomers, in­clud­ing some who’ve never owned a gun, race to buy weapons they fear may be de­nied them down the road. And gun sales soar.

But the af­ter­math of a mass shoot­ing does not ap­pear to be very good for Amer­i­cans’ safety. New re­search sug­gests that the in­creased avail­abil­ity of firearms af­ter a mass shoot­ing ex­acts a deadly toll of its own.

That toll falls heav­ily on chil­dren, ac­cord­ing to the study, which links the spike in gun sales fol­low­ing a mass shoot­ing with an in­crease in fa­tal ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing firearms.

To reach that con­clu­sion, re­searchers ze­roed in on the five-month pe­riod fol­low­ing the Dec. 14, 2012, shoot­ings in New­town, Conn., that claimed the lives of 20 school­child­ren and six adult staff mem­bers at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School.

In ad­di­tion to the ex­pected num­ber of guns sold in a typ­i­cal five-month pe­riod, the study’s au­thors found that about 3 mil­lion ad­di­tional guns were sold fol­low­ing the Sandy Hook shoot­ings. And be­yond the ex­pected num­ber of ac­ci­den­tal gun deaths in the United States, they es­ti­mated that at least an ad­di­tional 57 fa­tal gun ac­ci­dents – and as many as 66 – oc­curred. Some­where be­tween 17 and 22 of those ac­ci­den­tal deaths took the life of a child.

The anal­y­sis, pub­lished Thurs­day in the jour­nal Sci­ence, is the lat­est in a crop of stud­ies that look at the pub­lic health im­pact of firearms.

“This is part of this blos­som­ing in gun re­search,” said Duke Univer­sity emer­i­tus pro­fes­sor Philip J. Cook, a pioneer in the field of firearms in­jury re­search who wasn’t in­volved in the new study. The line be­tween in­creased gun sales and ac­ci­den­tal shoot­ings is by no means a di­rect one. But the re­search strongly sug­gests that the be­hav­ior of gun own­ers and gun buy­ers in the wake of the Sandy Hook shoot­ing con­trib­uted to a rise in ac­ci­den­tal gun deaths.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.