Friday, January 8, 2016

The More Guns Floating Around, The More People Die

Nicholas Kristof: "Most gun owners use firearms responsibly, but with more guns there are more tragedies." "The Republican presidential candidates are on the wrong side of history here. While even Republican voters overwhelmingly say in polls that they favor sensible steps like universal background checks, the Republican candidates are politicizing what should be a public health issue, and they are scaring Americans into buying more guns, which magnifies the problem and causes more carnage.

Here are other quotes and statistics from the article:

The states with the most restrictive gun laws have the lowest gun death rates (including suicides). Take Massachusetts and New York, which have some of the tightest gun restrictions in America; they have three or four gun deaths per 100,000 inhabitants per year. At the other extreme, two of the states with the most permissive gun regulations are Alaska and Louisiana, and both have gun death rates about five times as high: more than 19 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Republican presidential candidates should look at the natural experiment that occurred when Missouri eased restrictions on buying handguns. The result was a 25 percent rise in the firearm homicide rate, according to a study in the Journal of Urban Health.

In contrast, Connecticut tightened regulations on buying handguns, and gun homicides there fell by 40 percent, according to the American Journal of Public Health.